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The Parties Key, Tea not on Menu

By       Message Anthony J. Gerst       (Page 1 of 3 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   3 comments

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In the letter "Too many non payers," the writer's point is more elusive than her commentary. "Until handouts stop more legals and illegals will continue to live off those of us who work for a living." She would have the reader believe that the 43.4 percent of Americans who do not pay federal taxes are all living off the government dime. This quite simply is not true, the key lies in the quote from the Tax Policy center, "An astonishing 43.4 percent of Americans now pay zero or negative federal income taxes."

What are negative federal income taxes? Due to the Bush Tax Cuts, millions of Americans who are the working poor pay no federal taxes. Who are these individuals? They are the men and women across this nation working for minimum wages in the service sector, from "may I take your order please' to clerks in all the major department stores. At the end of the year their poverty status qualifies them for extra tax credits. This in turn means they receive income tax returns, hence you have negative federal income tax. While they receive this tax stipend and may be on food stamps, they do work for a living and should not be dismissed so callously. Note that it was W. who installed this policy along with his tax giveaway program to the top 2 percent, a trickle down theory that failed to create jobs expediting our current reality.

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Regrettably at this time we should not consider letting these tax breaks for the needy expire, as is the policy of the Obama administration. If the right, clamoring for fiscal responsibility, cannot understand the need to stop the tax breaks for those making more than 250,000 a year, how do they ever foresee balancing the budget? We need stringent regulations on big business, as they continue to promote the elimination of the minimum wage law and outsourcing. Unless regulations are put in place, the percentage of Americans not earning a taxable income will only grow. The far right's policies will guarantee that good manufacturing jobs will never return to this nation.

Too many students today graduate from college only to obtain jobs working in bars and as gas station clerks. To the young voters in the region change takes time, stay the current course for another two years and give this administration a chance. After all, it took a few decades to create this problem. How can anyone of an enlightened mind expect it to be fixed in two years? After all, with the Senate supermajority rule in play, we are lucky the economy has leveled off and is showing slow signs of recovery.

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On November 2, according to the media, we will see a wave election, that the angry mobs of tea baggers are going to take this country back. Of course, most of them have no idea where they are taking the country back to. Their knowledge of history impedes them from realizing that the policies they endorse would go beyond their bogus fears of unplugging grandma from life support, that their policies would throw grandma and grandpa out into the streets to starve and/or freeze to death. Most of the six senatorial tea party candidates have called Social Security a Ponzi scheme. It is at the top of their list to be eliminated. The tea party crowd, in my opinion, even fails to understand why they are so upset. Their anger is caused by the increasing social economic disparity in this nation, class warfare. Still, they let themselves be manipulated by the very individuals who will profit the most, the oppressive 2 percent of people who control the vast majority of this nation's wealth. This minority extremist crowd is not the key to this election. The key is the base of the Democratic Party.

Granted, the Democrats have done little campaigning to help themselves this election cycle. Therefore, it is up to us, the people to save our own ample posteriors. We must find what our collective representatives lack, a backbone. Between now and the election we must attempt to convince our righteously indignant apathetic Democratic and Independent friends that the battle is not lost, it has only begun.

Now, forgive me for a moment. I have to get up on my soapbox and change gears. I acknowledge the good Senator from Iowa, Senator Tom Harkin, and the legendary documentarian Michael Moore for the following talking points. Remind yourself and your voting associates that the 111 Congress has accomplished more, so far, than their counterparts throughout history, despite Republican obstructionism. Norman Ornstein, a Congressional scholar, is on record saying "This Congress is one of the most productive Congresses in history."

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So, what you ask has this Congress been able to advance?

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Anthony J. Gerst, is an author/columnist and activist. He resides near the confluence of the Iowa and Mississippi Rivers. His favorite author, Mark Twain, was an editor for the Muscatine Journal near where he lives. Mr. Gerst has offered (more...)

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