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|Stop Suffering Politicians’ Talk and Indict Their Walk|
|Commentary/Politics - Editorials|
|Written by Kathleen McCarthy|
|Wednesday, 01 April 2009 07:27|
When are Americans going to stop suffering the politicians' talk in favor of indicting their walk? Obama's and Bush's administrations, in tandem with Congress, have given all new meaning to the term "passing the buck." Each of these political entities has managed to take not a scintilla of responsibility for any of it. And there is no end in sight to the cycle of spending and taxing.
Our elected officials continue to vote up legislation that allocates trillions in subsidies, in what amounts to pure pork disguised as bailouts for unworthy enterprises. What enrages most is the blame game that continues between the political parties' leadership, including the mainstream media according to its party affiliation, with the full participation of the congressmen themselves, who transparently feign outrage over what Wall Street is still getting away with. Meanwhile, these largely incompetent legislators consistently try to disassociate themselves with the outrageous lack of accountability and transparency.
Case in point is Representative Phil Hare in a recent interview with the Reader. (View this interview in its entirety at RiverCitiesReader.com/video.) He points out that more money than ever is being given to those who don't need it, yet no one can account for how the money is spent. He informs with no small measure of indignation that there are only 20 auditors overseeing the entire TARP fund allocation - 20 auditors for $750 billion ($350 billion allocated in the fourth quarter of 2008). He also lets us know that the excuse being ladled by TARP recipients is ignorance. (These supplicants claim that they weren't aware of any requirement for transparency, thereby justifying providing none.) He (along with the rest of Congress) claims to "be all about transparency and accountability," yet not so much as a paragraph is dedicated to either in any of the legislation that he has voted for to date. Whose fault is that, Representative Hare?
One after another, Republican and Democrat congressmen approve legislation that commits tax dollars in unprecedented amounts without having read the bills they passed! Afterward, each has the brass to throw stones at everyone but themselves. Whose fault is that, American voters?
All four incumbents in our area up for election (Senators Tom Harkin and Dick Durbin and Representatives Hare and Bruce Braley, all Democrats) voted twice for Bush's bailout in fall 2008 but were re-elected regardless in November 2008. Why should voters be surprised that these congressmen would do anything differently in 2009? In fact they have not, doubling the giveaways they approved under Bush with approval of Obama's stimulus plan(s), as well as approving trillions in unfunded mandates rife in Obama's 2009/2010 budget requests that have yet to be discussed in the media in terms of the burden on the states that are forthcoming and threaten every single American, many of whom are not even born yet.
How do you think Congress intends to pay for all this? It has one source of revenue - taxes.
But if we don't have elected officials who will protect us against the excesses of government, and/or the abuse of the Constitution, then we need to find and elect ones that will. Right now, any congressman who supports legislation that unreasonably taxes its citizens, or appropriates monies not expressly defined in the Constitution, is acting contrary to his/her oath of office. There are remedies for this, but it requires actions by Americans who are willing to stand up for this country by getting involved.
Consider that in Iowa alone, there are two bills being considered that need to be stopped. The first is Senate File 227. This law would allow Iowa's electoral votes to be cast for the candidate that is most favored nationally, rendering Iowa votes meaningless. The second is House Study Bill 284. This is a law that would abolish the federal deduction on our state income taxes. Currently, we are allowed to deduct what we owe in federal taxes from our state obligation. This causes a much lower amount due to the state than would otherwise be owed without it. By eliminating this federal deduction, we would be virtually doubling our taxes each year. More information on this arbitrary legislation can be found at RiverCitiesReader.com/commentary/iowa-legislature-considers-12-percent-cut/all/. Please don't be fooled, because no matter what this legislation pretends to do, what it actually does is raise taxes for every Iowa taxpayer who pays federal income tax. No exceptions.
The Reader polled our state legislators to see if they would or would not support these two laws. Please view their responses at RiverCitiesReader.com/commentary/iowa-legislator-survey-march-26-2009/. You will note that all Democrats but one refused to give his/her answer on these two critical laws, which typically means they support it but know that it is politically damaging to admit it. As well it should be. If these legislators do support such a devastating financial hit to Iowa taxpayers, then they absolutely do not deserve their seats.
Understand that when our government overextends itself, refusing to operate within fiscally responsible confines, then it has only two options: cut spending or increase taxes. At the rate our government is spending (national, state, and municipal), and with only one source of revenue - taxpayers - then the burden will necessarily fall on us. But thanks to the U.S. Constitution, taxpayers have rights, too. Taxpayers are a very definite part of "We the People" prominently mentioned in the overarching document that obliges the United States government to rule of law. Intervention requires citizen participation, as well as elected representation that is responsive to those who elected it. Right now, the opposite prevails.
For your information, on April 15, there are two Tea Party protests planned for the Quad Cities. One is from noon to 2 p.m. in downtown Davenport at the corner of Main and West Fourth streets. The other is from 4 to 6 p.m. at 2001 52nd Avenue in Moline.
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