Commentary by Hammerle
Look, I clearly know that most of us share the same feeling about our representatives in Washington today. The mindless stance taken by so many of them has resulted in a large percentage of the American people holding them in utter contempt.
However, I can ’t help but feel that Republicans who lead their party have to bring it back from the dead. Thoughtful Republicans here in Indiana truly hated Richard Mourdock ’s defeat of Senator Lugar in the primary, yet what Mr. Mourdock stood for continues to permeate their party across the country.
Look at the silliness involved with all of the sensational front page stories on “Dandy ” Don Marsh here in Indianapolis. However, there is one thing not being addressed, and it goes to the heart of the national Republican financial program.
In sticking to their mantra that we have to reduce government spending and the size of our deficit, Republicans continue to oppose meaningful tax restructuring as well as increasing the taxes of the wealthy of this country. Instead, they simply urge that the middle class pay a price by reductions in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
During the last presidential campaign, every Republican would have argued that they were opposed to raising taxes on wealthy capitalists like Mr. Marsh because it would have hurt the creation of jobs. And yet it is now revealed that Mr. Marsh had paid an ex-lover employed by Marsh $100,000 in a severance package.
Furthermore, no one has looked at Mr. Marsh ’s financial records to see if indeed he deducted as business expenses all of his idiotic travels and dalliances with his multiple paramours. Simply stated, Mr. Marsh is clearly an active man, and it is now clear that he was financially banging the American taxpayers also.
Additionally, the Republican Party has got to come out from hiding behind the NRA concerning meaningful attempts to control gun violence in this country. Since 1960, over 1,000,000 Americans have died as a result of gunshots, and the response of the Republican Party is little more than “so what? ”. Four diplomats died in Benghazi and Republican leadership had a combined political stroke, but they remain silent with 1,000,000 Americans dying on our own shores.
The rights of hunters need to be fully protected, as well as a peaceful way to possess firearms. However, it is time that we drop the nonsense and have mandatory national registration and an elimination of assault rifles with multiple clips. One more gun death is one more too many.
And then there is the Republican opposition to meaningful reform of our immigration laws. The overwhelming large majority of these poor people have come to this country for one reason, namely for a better life. Most are devoted churchgoers who work hard, and to leave them in agony is completely unforgivable.
As an example, we know who works in the housekeeping department taking care of rooms in most hotels. We also know that they can ’t say a word about bad treatment, as the company can simply expose their immigration status in the process. These people are being abused repeatedly by Americans, and that is shameful.
And by the way, what is wrong with granting amnesty? If you will recall, Republican Governor Daniels authorized that very thing for people who were behind in their tax payments and returns when he became Governor, conveniently knowing that most of these people were not only citizens, but white citizens.
Also, amnesty was granted to many members of the Confederacy at the end of the Civil War, including Generals Longstreet and Robert E. Lee, not to mention their former President Jefferson Davis. If we can grant amnesty to those who led an insurrection resulting in well over 500,000 deaths, why don ’t we have the courage to do so when it comes to the blue collar immigrants who are fighting to survive here in this country?
And then there is the subject of global climate change. Excluding right-wing pundits who dominate the air in the persons of Limbaugh, Hannity and O ’Reilly, nearly every recognized scientist is on board concerning the dangers of our climate change. The Arctic ice is melting rapidly, glaciers are disappearing, temperatures rise along with the seas, and the Republican Party again says, “So what? ”.
As with trying to protect the super wealthy when it comes to deficit reduction, the Republican Party also continually takes the side of big oil and big coal when we discuss climate change. In taking this stance, they are absolutely no different than the pundits who criticized Galileo centuries ago, as well as predicting that Columbus would sail off the edge of the earth. They are as wrong now as their ancestors were then.
And we have to talk about abortion, don ’t we? While Republicans largely scream for smaller government, they want big government to tell women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. At the same time, they seek to actively restrict access to contraceptives for women around the country, particularly for those forming the working class.
Since most abortions relate to unplanned pregnancies, how can Republicans and the Right to Life movement not champion the availability of contraceptives to help reduce the medical procedure they abhor?
But the lack of logic is what is so profoundly lacking in Washington today. When have you ever heard the Republican Party aggressively pursue job growth in this country, not to mention increasing the wages paid to the working class? Instead, they praise Governor Daniels here in Indiana for signing the “Right to Work ” legislation, failing to note that the average wage of a working class Hoosier family has decreased during the Governor ’s 8 years in office in comparison to nearly all other states. Doesn ’t that matter?
Finally, the Republicans have created a Trojan horse with their constant focus on our national deficit. If you doubt that, why don ’t they confront the fact that they created a $10 trillion deficit under Republican President Bush, and never uttered a critical word in the process.
Any student of history knows that a government has to be involved in helping the country fight its way through a recession. President Obama has done just that, and this necessarily includes increasing the deficit, something that was not needed under President Bush.
As one final example, think of the Republican attack on our Social Security program. While many urge that we raise the age of eligibility from 65 to 67, they willfully ignore the fact that payroll contributions to the Social Security plan stop after a citizen earns $110,000 a year. That means that if you earn $14 million a year like Governor Romney, you pay no more Social Security Tax annually than someone who makes $110,000 a year.
Thus, if you really feel a need for a minor adjustment in Social Security, why not raise the maximum tax limit to $250,000 to create a fair process? It is monstrous that a person earning $60,000 a year pays a higher percentage of Social Security Tax as it relates to their income than someone making $1 million a year.
In watching the national debate, it is time that we support the politicians who are dedicated to the common good, not some political ideology. Forget being a conservative or a liberal, think of the philosophy of FDR. Facing gigantic difficulties, he just urged Congress to “try something. If it doesn ’t work, try something else. ”;
Anybody in agreement?