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Letter: Hatch is out of touch

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, the poster boy for the out of touch, disconnected and hypocritical, stated Tuesday that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act in the Senate might be complicated because once the public "is on the dole, they'll take every dime they can."

This is just another of many misguided, divisive and elitist comments made by a career politician who campaigned on term limits over 40 years ago — advising his incumbent opponent in 1976, "Senator, you have served the people of Utah for 18 years; it's time to retire." Well, Sen. Hatch, your political sell-by date has long since passed. You’re definitely spoiled.

Republican rhetoric has, for decades, pitted the middle class against the poor, spinning the tale that the less-fortunate or the disadvantaged are somehow lazy or ignorant and are stealing from the hardworking, paycheck-to-paycheck middle class. Hatch’s comments about an American public “on the dole” and, like Jason Chaffetz’s “iPhone” comment, keep the focus off of the corporate welfare Republicans “dole” out freely to corporations with impunity. In our home state, Sen. Hatch, the “dole” has been handed out again and again to companies with very little if any return on our investment. Utah needs a representative, not a corporate shill.

Earlier this month while touring southern Utah in an effort to stay in touch with constituents over the Bears Ears National Monument, Hatch explained, “The Indians, they don’t fully understand that a lot of the things that they currently take for granted on those lands, they won’t be able to do if it’s made clearly into a monument or a wilderness ... Once you put a monument there, you do restrict a lot of things that could be done, and that includes use of the land … Just take my word for it.”

Your word, Sen. Hatch, does not speak from a place of compassion, empathy nor understanding of how to best represent the taxpayers. Your work speaks from a place of corporate welfare and elitism. Your word is divisive — in exact opposition to the values and principles Utahns stand for.

Who is “on the dole?” Corporations who benefit from tax breaks, subsidies, deregulation and policies that put American citizens after profits.

Sen. Hatch has obviously chosen to give corporate stockholders a return on their investment over the return on our investment.

To paraphrase another quip made by Sen. Hatch in 1976, "What do you call a senator who's served in office for 40 years and has lost touch with the citizens he is supposed to represent? You call him home."

Mitchell Vice

Salt Lake City