To the Editor:
I am writing in response to a letter written by a supporter of U.S. Congressional candidate Scott Sipprelle that was recently published in the Asbury Park Press and the Courier Post, ("Alternative to Holt a good choice"), the Atlantic Highlands Herald ("Support Sipprelle in the 12th District"), the North/South Brunswick Sentinel and the Independent (“Holt ‘votes with Nancy Pelosi’s agenda 99 percent of the time’”), the Princeton Packet ("U.S. Rep. Holt's liberal voting record"), and the Times of Trenton ("Take a new approach to ease economic woes"), among other local newspapers. The writer describes Congressman Rush Holt as the most “hyper-partisan” member of Congress on the basis of a ranking by the “non-partisan” National Journal. An equally meaningful way of looking at Congressman Holt’s record, of course, would be to point out that over the past five years he has consistently been given an “A” rating by the “non-partisan” Drum Major Institute for Public Policy (www.themiddleclass.org/legislator/rush-holt-165), based on his support of legislation that supports the American middle class.
A more fundamental concern raised by this letter is the fact that nearly 30 years after the election of Ronald Reagan to the Presidency we continue to be barraged with rhetorical attacks on “big government” and “big government” politicians without an honest discussion of what this really means.
If by “big government” one means (for example) the escalation of military spending into the stratosphere (one of President Reagan’s legacies), to the point where the United States now spends more on “defense” than all other nations in the world combined, then Congressman Holt is no friend of “big government”, having spearheaded (against the wishes of Nancy Pelosi and other Democratic Party leaders) efforts to restore the Office of Technology Assessment (established under President Richard Nixon) for the purpose of avoiding the unnecessary expenditure of taxpayer money on future costly boondoggles like "Star Wars".
Kenneth J. O'Dowd