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November 6, 2012

By Dale Lucht

I am not telling you who to vote for, or who to vote against. I try to keep an open mind, but I lean to the left. That is what makes sense to me. This may shock you, but I am endorsing Barack Obama for President. I have been critical of him in the past; I didn’t like some of his advisors; he hasn’t reinstated habeas corpus and he didn’t get rid of the Bush Tax Cuts. These are a few of the ways Obama has disappointed me and our elections should be about me. My view of me includes us; our nation and our whole society. Despite all of this, President Obama deserves four more years.

Look at what the Republicans are offering us. Romney and Ryan are saying, “Trust us, we know what we are doing.” No specifics, just tired old promises that don’t work. The job providers need tax incentives so they can hire more people. They won’t hire more people unless it increases their profits. Tax incentives will just increase their profits without the need to hire anyone. President Obama has proposed different jobs bills, needed bills to repair the infrastructure of America, bills which would have repaired our roads, bridges, schools. These bills would not just have employed construction workers, but would trickle down to gas stations, supermarkets and hardware stores. Local taxes would be paid that would enable teachers, police and firemen to be rehired. This is called broadening the tax base. The republican congress voted against the jobs bill.

What caused the recession in the first place? First of all, by shipping so many jobs overseas many of our good paying jobs were gone, shrinking our tax base. You know what I mean by good paying jobs, those whose tax rate is 28% or higher. That should be a bumper sticker or sign at political rallies: “I pay 28%,” or “I know where Switzerland is, but where the hell is the Caymans’ – Ask Mitt.”

The republicans also implemented “No Child Left Behind” which was not funded. Medicare Part D, which forbade the government from negotiating for cheaper drugs. The unfunded Bush Tax Cuts, the unfunded war in Afghanistan and an unneeded and unfunded war in Iraq. Add in “Vulture Capitalism,” is there any surprise the economy failed?

The Republican Party wants to take us back to those days. Evidently they must not have made enough money. They also want to take women back to the 50’s, not the 1950’s but the 1850’s. They don’t think women deserve the same pay as men. Incidentally the UAW negotiated equal pay in their contracts long ago.

The republicans also don’t think women should make decisions about their own bodies. Todd Akin, a Missouri representative, is running for the Senate. Earlier this summer Akin said a woman would not get pregnant if she were “legitimately raped.” He believed that a woman released some strange hormone that could prevent a pregnancy. In 2011, Akin and Paul Ryan co-sponsored “The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.” They weren’t alone: 171 other representatives voted for this House Resolution 3. So far the Senate has not voted on it. The current Republican Party also wants to cut money for mammograms and other cancer screenings for poor women. Another bumper sticker could be “Republicanism could be Hazardous to your Health.”

This is not the Republican Party that I remember from my youth. I voted for Richard Nixon — twice. I’ve met Paul Ryan; he seems like a nice man and a good family man. He seems sincere in his beliefs, but his beliefs are from the 19th century. You’ll remember the 1800’s included the Civil War, Indian Wars, opening the West, Robber Barons and land grabbers. The frontiers have closed; the world’s population has topped 7 billion souls. I seldom bring up the Bible, but in the first book Cain asks God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” In the 21st century the answer is yes.

Vote early if you can, avoid the crowds. Voting begins 2 weeks prior to election day at City Hall.

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