Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Where Is The Country Headed?

I've got to say I am very nervous about the upcoming 2012 presidential election.  I am worried about where the country may be headed, or more to the point who will take us there.

When I turned 18 years old, I jumped at the opportunity to register to vote, and when I registered, I registered as a Republican.  On the many occasions I had to register again as I moved from place to place, I always registered Republican.  Until four years ago, I also always voted Republican.  Two years ago, at the approach of the mid-term election I was even asked to be a Republican precinct judge.  I declined for I no longer find myself in line with the values of Republicans, especially Tea Party Republicans.  Knowing full well that Republicans often protected the values of a financially elite group, I could in the past accept that because they also firmly held to a pro-life ideology.  While they and I are still pro-life, I can no longer accept the former stance, not when it comes at the expense of everyday Americans.

I find myself becoming more and more frustrated with the Republican position each and every day.  They do not fail to say something that makes my blood boil and leaves me feeling like I need to write to my representatives in Congress and the White House.

Did Mitt Romney really say that the Occupy Movement's concern about inequality was all about "envy?!"  Mr. Romney I am not envious of you.  I do not want your $20 million a year.  All I want, and what most Americans want, is a fair wage that allows us to raise a family comfortably, to take a summer vacation with the kids.  Why should all of the wealth go to the CEOs, investment bankers, and venture capitalists? Don't the people who are actually doing the work and making the products deserve to be paid well for their services?  Just because you can take advantage of people, of their need for a job, doesn't mean you should.

Newt Gingrich recently said, "If you want your children to have a life of dependency and food stamps, you have a candidate, it's Barack Obama. If you want your children to have a life of independency and paychecks, you have a candidate, that's Newt Gingrich." First, let's try to get past the fact that "independency" is not a word.  The word Mr. Gingrich is independence.  Second, do you really think the millions of Americans who are currently unemployed and need the assistance of the government are really shooting for dependency?!  They are not.  They are looking for work, but the work available is not in their skill set, or there are too many other people competing for the same job.

Republican congressmen are no less out of touch.  They met yesterday to unify themselves against President Obama.  And Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas said, "He [Obama] promised the American people hope and change, and now we see a nation that has lost hope, but they have seen the change. Almost 2 million more Americans have lost their jobs under his economic policies."  Mr. Hesarling, I ask you, is the loss of hope the president's fault or the refusal of Republicans to compromise on anything that will help the American people?  Perhaps, the president could be a stronger leader, but at every attempt he has made in the last two years to get anything done, Republican congressmen have put up concrete roadblocks.  Most recently, you would have allowed payroll taxes to rise for hardworking Americans just to ensure that the super wealthy didn't have to pay a penny more.  If it weren't for your House Speaker, we would already be headed down a road to greater difficulties for many Americans.  As it is that outcome is postponed temporarily.  Stop blocking every effort the president makes to improve the country and give Americans some new hope.

I promise to stop ranting soon even though I could go on and on.  However, I have one more thing to say that has particularly been bothering me this morning.  In last night's Republican debate, Romney said, "I pay all the taxes that are legally required and not a dollar more. I don't think you want someone as the candidate for president who pays more taxes than he owes."  Even I can't argue with him on this point.  No one wants to pay more taxes than required.  However, I do think it is questionable that we tax capital gains at 15% while taxing earned income at higher rates.  I've paid a bit of capital gains tax in the past and will pay more in the future, but even still, I have to say it's only fair to pay the same rate for income that I didn't have to work for as for that which I did have to work.  Would paying a 25% or so tax rate really hurt Mr. Romney and other millionaires?  When you have $20 million dollars (and savings I'm sure!), are you really going to feel the pinch if you pay the government $5 million, instead of $3 million, to pay for the needs of the country?  I think it's time to raise the capital gains tax rate.

And with that, I'll let you all be.

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