To the Editor:

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:56

    This is what public service has become in the year 2005: • Scott Garrett, the Republican Congressman from my area illustrates how he does not represent me and my neighbors by voting against a Federal aid program for victims of Hurricane Katrina, and West Milford council member Joseph Elcavage defends the Congressman. • According to a story that appeared in your sister newspaper, Suburban Trends, Elcavage attempted to justify Garrett's vote by calling it, " ...a symbolic vote to point out that next time this happens we should have a better plan instead of throwing a lot of money into a situation." This is yet another example of Elcavage, who makes himself look more foolish the longer he remains in office, tripping over his own tongue. Garrett has a history of votes for throwing money at situations that haven't been well planned or executed. For instance, the Congressman as recently as May voted to throw another $75.9 billion to continue the disgraceful war in Iraq, which every day meets growing opposition from even more of Garrett's constituents. The tab for that fraudulent war is now $300 billion, more than the estimated cost to restore the Gulf Coast. Also on Garrett's record is a vote to approve the repeal of the estate tax. In the first decade after repeal nearly $1 trillion in tax revenue will be lost, revenue that could fund the Katrina reconstruction several times over. Not incidentally, the repeal of the estate tax applied to fewer than 1 percent of people who died in 2004. Garrett seems to throw budgetary caution to the winds when it comes to tax breaks for the rich and lucrative no-bid war contracts for corporations. Yet, he suddenly rediscovers his fiscally conservative roots when it's time for the government to pony up for fellow Americans who desperately need help. I can't help but wonder if Garrett would have voted the same way and if Elcavage would have defended him if the victims of Hurricane Katrina were wealthy white executives. Martin O'Shea West Milford