I applaud the free exchange of positions in Iowa’s small-town newspapers. The April 17 REVIEW letter entitled: “Left seeks control . . .” is deserving of a response. Ms. Helen De Kam of Doon made some assertions that I’d like to tic through.

Firstly, she asserts that the Affordable Care Act places government in control of medical care. If we learn anything from this pandemic, like the rest of the world, a common service to all — like electricity, food safety, medical care, transportation, etc. — mandates government oversight of standards, fairness and distribution. It is why we have elected leadership. Without a governed society, one has chaos.

Does anyone think that shutting down businesses during a pandemic was to enhance poverty? That is a stunning assertion and perhaps not worthy of reply by anyone.

The Keystone Pipeline job losses that even the Unions pooh-poohed, are far surpassed by the raft of jobs created by renewable energy industries. Ultimately, ethanol will be used as a standard fuel source for electrical generation. Experts in the energy industry, as detailed in a plethora of trade press, saw the pipeline as a more efficient method to bring a terribly dirty petroleum product to a market that’d never be used in the United States.

Ms. De Kam’s list of the former President Trump’s triumphs — opting out of the Paris Accord, the WHO, and the JCPOA with Iran and other leading nations — were not done with the advice and consent of specialists. The then-president did what he thought was popular with people like Ms. De Kam, vice by taking the advice of people, like a litany of other administrations, specialists in the respective fields and other nations, who see the value of America in a leadership role vice as an outcast.

The firearm issue is unique to America. President Joe Biden is for responsible firearm ownership, just like me, a person with almost 40 years of military experience and a worldwide perspective. Doon, like my hometown of Lebanon, Iowa, may not have had crimes and suicides committed with firearms in 2020, but that isn’t indicative of America more broadly. The vast majority of Americans want people who shouldn’t have access to firearms removed from those firearms. Count me in.

Regarding a vaccine “passport,” the U.S. Navy calls it a Shot Card. It has been around since World War II. I used it just last week traveling overseas, again. I hope my vaccination record will one day be on my health card along with my medical history so that we can join the rest of the advanced nations. Ignorance of this issue will prolong it.

The Green New Deal is not legislation. It is a thought piece. Ms. De Kam’s numbers are simply strange fallacies based on fear.

Regarding education in America, I’m upset that Iowa’s public education, once ranked No. 1 in the nation, is now mediocre, ranked in the middle of the pack. And regarding religion in schools, since our nation was founded on freedom of religion, that means all religions. And I do not believe by the tone of Ms. De Kam’s letter that she favors all religions equally represented in public education.

Regarding taxes, there is no simple tax rate in America. Tax law is complicated, multivariable, multifaceted, and parsed across America. The bottom line is that everyone ought to pay taxes. President Joe Biden is making that principle fairer to the middle class. Bravo to him.

Mike Franken,

Sioux City