To the editor: Ben Franklin warned of our current societal divide more than 200 years ago.

"When the people find they can vote themselves money, that will herald the end of the republic."

What he foresaw was our growing socialism.

The local commissioners and representatives trying to reduce government size and spending are right. The nature of socialism is a thieving, destructive lie. It encourages corruption by redistributing tax revenues from real earners to supporting elites, and freeloading dependents, in exchange for votes and power. This is gang theft, even if a government endorses it.

We now have, as Franklin warned, people voting themselves public benefits earned by their neighbors. This redistribution is our main source of division, its continuation, and its debt, will end the republic.

Ben Franklin wrote, "It would be thought a hard government that should tax its people one tenth part." Franklin believed taxing 10 percent of one's earnings was extreme; now many are paying more than 50 percent. He also knew that liberty made wealth possible by unleashing private industry, writing, "The sun of liberty is set, you must light up the candle of industry and economy." High taxation strangles the private industry that produces wealth.

Limited taxation is freedom, and the antidote to socialism. It rewards individual productivity and forces responsibility, rather than dependency, on one's neighbors. These spending and tax cuts might not be immediately welcomed, but are necessary to produce wealth. They will be beneficial to us long term. The tea party "extremists" are right. They echo Franklin's warnings.

Our forefathers' did not ratify the Constitution, fight the American Revolution and storm the beaches of Normandy for a centralized socialist government; they fought against them. They fought for liberty. We should support those trying to reduce government's crushing socialist taxation so we can restore and preserve this priceless liberty. Ben Franklin would.

Malcom Farrow