Kleckner: Democratic candidates believe your voice counts
November 4, 2012
Mitt Romney said in the first debate that he doesn’t like the direction that America is taking. I couldn’t agree more, although our perspectives are completely opposite. Depending upon who gets elected, the United States will be on one of two diverse paths. One path continues to consolidate power and wealth in the hands of a few. The other is a return to a nation where everyone has equal opportunity to grow and thrive.
The consolidation of power started when lobbyists started writing the laws rather than congressmen. Industries hire lobbyists for one reason, to get laws passed that benefit them. A prime example is the petroleum industry which receives billions in subsidies even though they are making record profits. Many tax deductions are written that only the wealthy can access. Ann Romney’s show horse took a $77,000 tax deduction for 2010.
Now that the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can spend unlimited money to influence elections (Citizens United), an individual such as Sheldon Adelson, casino owner, can donate 10 million to a super PAC that will run negative ads, using misleading information to influence the election. Getting elected has become a process of who has more money and who can buy more ad time. Since political donations from businesses outnumber individual donations by a 15-1 margin, it is not surprising that many politicians are deep in the pockets of corporations. Have you noticed that every Republican candidate quotes the same party rhetoric? Not an independent voice in the crowd, because the RNC would stop funding them. Unless we get money out of politics, we will no longer have a democracy, no matter which party gets elected.
Mitt Romney will continue tax cuts for the wealthy, tax shelters that only benefit the rich, subsidies for select corporations, and condone hiding income in offshore accounts. All this will grow the debit exponentially as it did under Republican Presidents Reagan, Bush I, and Bush II. See the debt chart: http://jobsanger.blogspot.com/2011/11/gop-tries-to-blame-obama-for-15.html. Romney’s solution to the deficit is to cut government programs, such as food stamps, that benefit the middle class and poor people, which is effectively a tax increase. He and Ryan want to privatize Medicare through a voucher program which experts say will not cover the same level of care we currently have and ultimately cost anyone under 55 years old $6,000 or more a year. They support subsidies for the oil industry, but oppose for wind and solar. If there is no equal opportunity for all industries, how can we expect equal opportunity for us as individuals?
Republicans believe it is government versus business. During Paul Ryan’s convention speech, he said “We do not need a government to direct us.” Surprising talk from someone who spent the majority his adult life in government positions and seeks to impose his views of abortion and same sex marriage on us through legislation. Ryan wants you to believe he is a fiscal conservative, but apparently it just started once the Democrats took office. Ryan voted for both wars President Bush started, Tarp, Part D Medicare, the 2008 auto bailout, and the $700 billon bank bail out. Never opposing or even speaking out against increasing the deficit during those years, it is hard for me to trust him now.
At the Democratic convention, Bill Clinton said “Democrats believe we are all in this together, is a far better philosophy than you are on your own.” We know that government working with the private sector can build a better, stronger society. Republicans, on the other hand, seem to believe their only way to get their candidates elected is to divide people using religion, rich versus poor, race discrimination, sex inequality, and state versus federal. If that doesn’t work, limit who can vote based on voter registration laws. Republicans got elected in 2010 on the promise of job creation, but instead we got was a consolidated effort to oppose anything President Obama proposed.
Yes, I am worried about the direction America is headed. David Siegel and the Koch Brothers believe they can consolidate their control over America, if they can get Romney elected, even if it takes threatening their employees with layoffs. A vote for Romney is a vote for a society where your voice no longer matters. Have your voice heard. Vote to elect Democratic candidates that believe your voice counts, and that the poor and middle class also deserve representation in our government. A vote for Obama and Biden is a return to civility, partnerships between business and government, and equal opportunity for all.
Bill Kleckner, Silverthorne