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LETTER: Stakes high in presidential campaign

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To the Editor:

Many people exhibit a negative knee jerk response to paying taxes. Yet taxation is a form of regulation that enables us to meet our common needs in a disciplined way.

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Without effective government, in our own small circles of family and friends, we'd be far less likely to succeed in educating our people, keeping them healthy, insuring the quality and reliability of our food and products, carrying out public works projects, responding to accidents, epidemics, natural disasters, and crime, to cite a short list. We rely on local, state and national government to enact and supervise the delicate condition we call civilization.

The Bush administration has exhibited a particular talent for making America safe for scoundrels and shredding government regulations meant to safeguard our civil liberties, economy and respected status in the world.

Understandably, years of theft, fraud and corruption in high places were destined to bring on the chaotic moment that now confronts us. Recent false reassurances about the economy now compound other deceptions about the reasons for war on Iraq, misguided denial of global warming, environmental devastation etc.

Now, instead of disciplined, principled taxation, we are taxed in another way, the fruits of our labors siphoned off by those who blamelessly abscond with our money to their havens of wealth and privilege.

As the election speedily approaches it is incumbent upon us, more than at any other time of our lives, to consider what kind of leadership will help us steer a course to survival as a civilized democracy. The stakes couldn't be higher.

We have an opportunity, finally, to elect principled leaders, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. If, however, the Republicans manage to win this election, we're likely to have many more years of McPain.

Phyllis Goldin

River Falls

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