Not about balance

August 15, 2014

Times Argus

Alan Parent in his letter “Real leadership needed” (The Times Argus, Aug. 6), does not define what he means by “real leadership.” Instead, he hides behind suggesting that what Vermont needs is “balance in Montpelier.” Mr. Parent says this will bring “real, and honest, leadership,” conveniently ignoring how this “balance” he advocates often brings gridlock rather than “real and honest” leadership. Our present government in Washington, D.C., is a good example of what can happen (though not always) when neither party can do anything because each party has the balance to block the other. Nothing can get done.

I suspect that Mr. Parent’s meaning of “balance” is something different than what he says. Would he be telling us that we need balance if the majority party were Republican? I doubt it. Was the 108 years of continuous Republican one-party rule that ended in 1963 with Democratic Gov. Phil Hoff “balanced,” according to Mr. Parent’s definition?

And who is Mr. Parent to tell the voters what they need? The administration and the Legislature were built the way they are because the majority of Vermont voters wanted it this way. In other words, voters wanted single-payer, this “narrow and national ideological agenda,” as Mr. Parent described it, and not what Mr. Parent says they need.

The exchanges are federal law. They are almost unfathomably complex. Their purpose seems to be to preserve as much of the broken and unsustainable non-system afflicting our health care as they can, while attempting to mitigate some of its horrible abuses, and call it reform. They are not reform; they never will be. This next election will decide whether the voters of Vermont stay the course they embarked on to universal guaranteed health care in 2017 and not what Mr. Parent says we need.

Walter Carpenter

Montpelier