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December 16, 2012

PUBLIC FORUM: Columnist’s opinions far from truth



I am continually puzzled by this newspaper’s support of Joe Bowyer’s column of nonsense. While I suppose some people find his nostalgic anecdotes amusing or even sentimental, he never fails to work in some kind of rhetoric just edging on the rim of bigotry and hate.

Mr. Bowyer also has a problem with facts. It’s stunning that Joe would call roughly half of the people of this country “parasites” after the debate that ensued from Mitt Romney’s 47 percent comments during the election. Apparently, Joe wasn’t paying attention. According to the non-partisan Tax Policy Center, 10.3 percent of “those” people are elderly folks (like my parents) living on Social Security and pensions. A staggering 28.3 percent of Joe’s parasites are working people who pay into Social Security and Medicare through payroll taxes, but pay no income taxes because of their low incomes. Yet Joe believes that autoworkers are ruining the country. Sadly, another 6.9 percent are non-elderly low income people who are currently not working. Some of these people are right here in our community and need our support and compassion, not more stereotyping.

Until now, I have just refused to let Mr. Bowyer get to me. But here’s the problem this time. Mr. Bowyer insulted my mother by his generalizations. Maybe I’m being over sensitive. You see, my mother is nearing the end of a four-year battle with cancer. Not only is she a retired autoworker that Joe so despises, but she is now, according to Joe, a parasite. Because even though my parents worked hard all their lives and paid their taxes, they now are the mistletoe hanging from Joe’s oak trees.

Joe wrote that not all changes are good, and I suppose he is right. I wonder if Joe could get by with insulting so many people so recklessly back when hamburgers were a nickel. If he did, I wonder if editorial ethics would have allowed it in the newspaper. Have a merry Christmas, Joe. I hope you like coal.

Anthony Suter, Logansport

 

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