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October 18, 2012 8:23 am

The Amend Corner: From the blue side

Written by Don Amend

It’s 2012, and I haven’t had any arguments with anybody about the election.

This is abnormal for me for two reasons: 1) I’m an Obama voter in a very red community and 2) I enjoy a good argument.

Unfortunately, prolonged social interaction and animated discussion are ruled out by my physical condition, so I’ll have to settle for an abbreviated statement of my position.

Undoubtedly, some readers stopped after that second sentence, since I’m one of the guys they want to “take back our country” from.

Still, by writing this, I will give others a chance to respond, so here goes.

When President Obama won the last election, many conservatives, who think they are the “real Americans,” considered the presidency stolen and went into panic mode. They began an immediate campaign to denigrate the president and raise fears about his aims, claiming he was a closet Communist who planned to set himself up as an African emperor or, worse yet, turn the government over to the United Nations. Some went so far as to hint that he was sympathetic to terrorists.

They questioned, and some continue to question, Obama’s birthplace, despite all evidence to the contrary, and questioned every appointment as an attack on freedom. Even appointees to innocuous administrative positions suddenly became threatening “czars.”

Now granted, the Republican leadership didn’t create this nonsense. They left that to the mouthpieces on television and the goofballs who invent all those emails filled with exclamation points and pass them on. But none of them, including our own Congressional delegation, had the backbone to come out and brand this garbage for what it was, and by their silence, they encouraged it. Mitt Romney did make a wimpy statement that he accepted Obama’s citizenship, but at the same time he sucked up to Donald Trump, who continues to deny the truth.

The Congressional Republican leadership also made it plain that their main goal was, not to save the economy or lower the deficit or serve the people, but to destroy Obama’s presidency.

Then, while building or encouraging all the divides, they had the gall to call Obama the “most divisive president in history.”

Because of that behavior, the Republican leadership should take the blame for the current economy.

Instead, they offer Romney as the savior who will ride into Washington on a white horse and save the American Way. This is despite the fact that about half of them don’t really like Romney.

Worse, on the one issue really driving this campaign, the economy and the deficit, they offer a questionable plan resting on a tax cut and the closing of unspecified loopholes in the tax code. This, along with some spending cuts, also unidentified, will end the deficit and give everybody a job.

I don’t think it will work.

Republicans argue that tax cuts resulted in economic growth when they were adopted under John Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, but that’s not the whole story. The reality is that the Kennedy and Reagan tax cuts came with greater government spending on defense, moon landings and other projects. Both cuts were eventually followed by tax increases, including, in Reagan’s case, a significant increase in Social Security taxes. I’m sure I’m not the only one who found his taxes go up after the Reagan “cuts.”

The Bush cuts also were accompanied by increased government spending, especially after 9/11, but produced little in the way of job growth.

Most significantly, the three previous cuts resulted, not in deficit reduction, but in big increases in the national debt.

As for closing loopholes, they probably won’t happen either, because the most lucrative tax loopholes are enjoyed by people like, well, Mitt Romney and those investing big bucks to his campaign. When their tax breaks come up in Congress, those guys will be there to defend them and based on Romney’s record of shifting his positions, I doubt he will oppose keeping the loopholes.

Now, I will freely admit that Obama, who arrived on a white horse similar to Romney’s, hasn’t lived up to his own promises to change the world. Given the depth of the nation’s problems, though, I didn’t vote for him believing he would change it. But I did hope he would provide a fresh perspective on the nation’s problems, and I think he did that.

What I didn’t expect was that Republicans would reject the 53 percent of us who voted for that fresh perspective and mount a campaign to destroy the president.

My hope is that Obama will win another term and wake Republicans to the fact that people like Obama and I are “real Americans,” too, and it’s time both sides realize that they need to work for the common good of the nation, not just for people who think like them.

It’s probably a vain hope, but then, so is hope that Romney’s plan will reduce the deficit.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link October 26, 2012 11:42 am posted by richard jung

    I fail to see why this article is placed as a column instead as an editorial or a letter to the editor. Columns should be used for reporting the news and not be used as a platform for slanting the news or expressing opinion; that is the purpose of the editorial or the letters to the editor.

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