The American people witnessed a debate between candidates vying for the U.S. presidency on Oct. 3.

During the debate, Mitt Romney used Big Bird as a metaphor to illustrate choices Americans have to make between wants and needs of taxpayer-funded programs.

With our country on the brink of bankruptcy, it’s reasonable to ask questions about which programs deserve to be funded by our hard-earned tax dollars. Given our budget deficit, it’s also reasonable to ask questions about which programs deserve to be funded through borrowings from China.

I believe taxpayer funding of PBS comes under the heading of wants. That some people will disagree with that statement reveals the larger problem: We have become a nation that cannot distinguish between wants and needs.

Unfortunately, President Barack Obama is guilty of this character flaw. Voted in on a plank of hope and change and the promise to be America’s “post-partisan” president, we instead have the most partisan president in my lifetime, which goes back to the Great Depression). Obama panders for votes rather than making tough decisions required to get America’s fiscal house in order.

We are now trillions of dollars in debt with nothing to show for it. Our infrastructure is decaying while more and more people depend on taxpayer-funded assistance to make ends meet. We cannot continue with this president who puts the wants of some before the needs of many.

We will all vote soon. It will be up to the American people to decide if we will take the path of borrowing ourselves into oblivion (as has Greece) or make a change and elect Mitt Romney.

He is willing to reform government programs and make tough choices between wants and needs with the courage to follow through on these choices.

Margie Thibault

Skowhegan

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