Email letters, Sept. 28, 2012

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Tuesday’s mail—which included a colorful item from Americans for Tax Reform (“ATR”), Grover Norquist’s extremist anti-tax group that sponsors the Taxpayers Protection Pledge and advocates for regressive “flat taxes”, Paul Didier’s letter in Thursday’s Sentinel – “Signing Taxpayer Protection Pledge verges on sedition”, and R.M. Sherman’s inanely simplistic on-line response—“Why is it easy to produce IDs for food stamps, but not to vote”, all aptly focus attention what’s wrong with Republicans.
By signing the “pledge”, Tea Party Republicans (including Paul Ryan and Scott Tipton) subordinated their constitutional oath of office to fiscal irresponsibility.  It was Norquist who equated “closing tax loopholes” to “tax increases”, thereby scuttling the Simpson-Bowles Commission—the last bipartisan effort to responsibly address the national debt.

Having deliberately prolonged the debt crisis for partisan gain, ATR (and, apparently,  Sherman) falsely blames President Obama for its own handiwork.

Republicans (Ronald Reagan and both Bushes) “served their constituents” by preaching “fiscal conservatism”, but “neglected the common sense elements of” fiscal responsibility and handed President Obama a $10+ trillion national debt plus “structural deficits” (two wars, two tax cuts, TARP, Medicare Part D, and an urgent need for a “stimulus” to preclude total economic collapse) that have increased it to $16 trillion.

Sherman’s dubious “common sense” is also revealed in his distortion of the “voter ID” issue.  Voting is a constitutional right guaranteed to all citizens – and the Constitution makes no reference to “identification”.  While the Constitution empowers states to “prescribe” the time, place, and manner of elections, they are also expressly subject to regulation by Congress – which has prohibited discriminatory barriers to voting.

Thus, even if it is a “no brainer” for most of us to produce the required identification, the right to vote is guaranteed to all citizens equally – including those who can’t.

                Bill Hugenberg

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