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Letters to the Editor – Weekly Issue of April 4, 2011

Readers write in about progressive social policies as necessary, not coercive; the need to cut defense spending, not just entitlements; and raising taxes for the rich to tackle US debt.

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They 'chose' wrong parents

In his March 14 commentary ("When compassion turns into coercion"), Michael Knox Beran does a great job of exposing all the bad features of a "progressive social policy." But he does not offer a good solution for the people in our great country who seemed to have "chosen" the wrong parents. Without "free" public education or a progressive health-care policy, I wonder what the landscape of this country would look like.

It is easy for those who can afford good medical care to call universal coverage "coercive," but it often seems they have nothing to worry about – except what they may face in the future for neglecting the needy.

Real deficit drain: defense

The March 14 editorial ("Tea party can show its punch") emphasizes entitlement reform as vital to tackling US debt and balancing the budget. But it ignores the 20 percent of US spending that goes to defense.

We can't solve the deficit-spending problem without addressing the unfunded costs of the Bush wars or our ongoing defense spending. We spend more on defense, broadly defined, than the rest of the entire world combined. Defense spending needs to be on the table.

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