Vicki Lau’s letter (Sept. 28) identifies two goals: One, peace and prosperity for our citizens, and two, young people should become responsible adults with awareness of their social obligations to neighbor, community, country and to the world. These are worthy goals.

She says achievement of these goals by responsible decision-making would be “success.” She then offers examples of irresponsible decision making which impedes that success.

She says abortion clinics are responsible for young people today being irresponsible in their sexual life. Perhaps that is true to some extent, but young people were irresponsible in their sexual lives before abortion clinics. Abortion clinics have saved the lives of people who would have chosen less safe ways to end unwanted pregnancies.

Other forces influence sexual activity among young people. Sexual freedom is now portrayed in books, movies and television. We have become accepting of unmarried couples living together and the sexual relationships of movie idols. These become role models for young people.

She says our constitutional rights are ignored and asks why are we not allowing states to protect their borders. Immigration regulation is a federal responsibility.

She asks why are we forcing United States citizens to pay for benefits to non-citizens. Financial aid is provided to impoverished citizens. Some of these citizens are children of non-citizens and the money passes to those parents. We also provide medical care to non-citizens who are unable to pay as we do for citizens who cannot or choose not to buy health insurance. Unfortunately, those costs are passed on as higher fees to those patients who do have health insurance.

She also suggests that irresponsible decisions have created a growing national debt. I suggest invading Iraq and deregulation in the financial industry might be examples. Unfortunately, higher federal taxes on those who can afford to pay and reduced spending will be needed to reduce that debt.

If we become good role models and elect representatives challenged to work for the good of all people, and not just those of their own district, state or political party, maybe we can move closer to “success.”

Phillip G. Swartzell

Mountain Ranch