Evan Vucci, Associated Press
Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, left, talks with Sen. Orrin Hatch, R- Utah on Capitol Hill in Washington.

I haven't always agreed with the way Sen. Orrin Hatch votes. However, I do not think that now is the time to be swept up in the angry anti-incumbent rhetoric and throw away the only influence Utah has left in Washington. If Republicans take back the Senate in 2012, and it is looking very likely that they will, Hatch will be the chair of the Finance Committee.

This committee is responsible for tax reform, Social Security and Medicaid reform and is where Obamacare will have to be defunded if it cannot be repealed. When I hear people insist the only way for positive change is to throw out the incumbents, with no real regard as to what the alternative is, we end up with more liberals with more power in office and less actual change.

Case in point, if the extreme right in this state are successful in ousting Hatch, the new chairwoman of the Finance Committee will be Olympia Snowe, who is arguably the most liberal Republican in the Senate: The same woman who voted with other Democrats and liberals to send Obamacare to the floor for a vote, voted for all of the stimulus packages and hasn't met a spending program she didn't like.

This is not the person we need to deal with the most pressing fiscal issues of our time. I don't believe voting for unknown alternatives to Hatch is an intelligent choice. Hatch is our best hope for making the fiscal change we need in Washington.

Keith Breinholt

Riverton