When Maine first tried to implement the food stamp program, things were much the same. The huge computers that took up most of a large room constantly broke down and the usual suspects shouted the program would benefit only those radical hippy back-to-the-landers from outta state and not “deserving” people, meaning themselves.

Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, all had rocky starts, as did the space program. But the space program did not have a group of “public servants” rooting for its demise and doing everything in their power to see that that failure occurred.

In the movie “Jeremiah Johnson,” the Will Geer character tells the Robert Redford one, “You have done well, Pilgrim, to keep so much hair when so many’s after it.”

So many in Congress feel government should be of, by and for the “deserving,” and just know the deserving are themselves. They have a God-taken right to decide what is best for everyone else. It is a wonder programs based on need survive at all.

The Founders, including Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and James Madison, may have been almost as smart as some in the current Congress. They started a government of, by and for the people, not just the “deserving” people, but all the people. Since then, those who think themselves more deserving have worked tirelessly to correct the Founders’ mistake and create a meritocracy.

Yes, the Affordable Care Act is off to a rocky start, but with so many out to scalp it the fact it is alive at all is a miracle. The Founders said put all the people first, not just the “deserving” people. If we are going to bet the future, that is the surest bet.

George Hunt, Augusta

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