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Letter: Controlled Anger

I am thinking of that movie and saying to myself as many of you are: “I’m madder than hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.”  It seems as if all of government has been a complete failure and that we should start all over. I am just so tired of politicians who put their own egos ahead of their constituents without any new ideas and characterizing themselves as saviors when really they are quite ordinary and mediocre. We’d be better off letting scientists, computer experts, statisticians and mathematicians run government than the generalists who profess to know everything but in reality know so little even about management.

To me it’s simply incredible that we have had two wars lasting more than 10 years; no world peace; hunger, homelessness and poor to non-existent educational programs throughout the world with terrorists seizing on these weaknesses and threatening our security. I cannot believe our national debt or that elected representatives would shut down government for two weeks. I cannot believe the proliferation of government at all levels, that public school superintendents are paid over $500,000.00 per year; that Correctional Officers can be paid over $400,000.00 per year or that police can make more than $300,000.00 per year. The laudable purposes of unions when they were first started have gone awry particularly municipal unions with politicians afraid to speak out of fear of losing campaign contributions and endorsements. Our politicians are bought and paid for by special interests and lobbyists.  None of this makes any sense.

Politicians come and go, patronage remains intact where they take care of their friends while in office only to be rewarded by those same special interests after leaving government with high paying jobs and other benefits.  Powerless taxpayers suffer with a failing assessment system that will cost them more than half a billion dollars in my County alone. We are still saddled with a debt of $6.5 billion dollars from the LILCO/Shoreham bailout from 18 years ago.

Our immigration policies are a dismal failure as is the War on Drugs. We are the most incarcerated nation on earth having caved into the prison lobby instead of focusing on the lower costs and recidivism that rehabilitation, alternative sentencing programs entail.  We are just one of three nations worldwide that still has a death penalty.  

Illegal guns are everywhere creating violence in our schools, workplaces and streets, yet the NRA, with its big dollars, buys off the politicians. Universal health care is a great idea but can we afford it while we are still paying for a recession, bailouts, wars and outrageous corporate bonuses. Our priorities are askew. The poor and middle class continue to pay for these mistakes while the rich get richer.

Our politicians cannot speak the truth to power because they are the power and the rest of us cannot take the truth so we just keep going along while our civilizations and society as we know it, are crumbling all around us. Global warming, pollution and climatic changes threaten our very existence. Wasn’t Hurricane Sandy and this winter’s snow storms enough of a wake up call? Just spending money to rebuild does not address the more endemic problems that are worldwide in scope. Basically it’s now or never. The old rhetoric just does not cut it anymore. We need radical change and honesty at all levels of government and business. At the moment, we have neither.  

Thomas F. Liotti, Garden City