An open letter to the Republican Leadership
By Charles Bloomer
From: Charles Bloomer
Remind me again why I should vote Republican.
The Washington Times ran a story on April 13, 2000 with the headline "Low-flow toilet law appears here to stay". The story reports "A House panel rejected a bill...that would have eliminated 1992 federal water conservation regulations for toilets, urinals, shower heads and faucets." Two Republicans joined 11 Democrats in voting to keep the regulations.
An isolated aberration? I don't think so.
The Washington Times again, same day, same page (A4): "House says no to new tax amendment." Republicans, as well as Democrats think that this is some kind of "political theater". Fourteen Republicans voted against a proposed amendment to the Constitution that might have brought some sanity to taxation and some protection for American taxpayers. Evidently, Republicans agree with Democrats that the ability to forcibly confiscate money from Americans to finance ever-larger government is more important than letting taxpayers keep their own money.
Yes, it was political theater. No, it was not very entertaining.
This week, the Republican controlled Senate decided not to roll back, even temporarily, the 4.5 cent per gallon Clinton/Gore gas tax. The Republican opposition, led by Senator John Warner argued that the difference to the taxpaying public would be insignificant, while the damage to transportation projects (political pork) would be devastating. Senator Warner's argument loses steam when one points out that the Highway Trust Fund carries a surplus so that politicians can "balance" the federal budget.
Remind me again that we aren't overtaxed and don't deserve to keep our own money.
George W. Bush announced a tax relief plan for the "working poor". The plan was pandering at its finest. It was socialist wealth redistribution, pure and simple. Bush would provide tax credits of up to $2000 to the "working poor" for health care, lump sum rent vouchers to be used as down payments on houses, and government subsidies to banks for matching the savings of these poor people. Lost in all the "compassionate conservatism" being displayed was the fact that the bottom 50 per cent of income earners in this country pay only 5 per cent of the income taxes collected.
Tell me again why I should vote for George W. Bush.
The Republican controlled Congress failed to kill the marriage penalty in the income tax code this week. The Republican controlled Congress quietly acquiesces as the President continues to use Executive Orders blatantly to legislate unilaterally. The Clinton Justice department continues in its attempt to destroy the gun industry in this country, while the Republican controlled Congress sits on its hands. The Republican controlled Congress is pushing hard to provide permanent "Normal Trade Relations" with China, obviously because Republicans think that trade and profits are more important than human rights in China or American national security. The Republican controlled Congress failed to remove the President despite his obvious criminal activity.
The Republicans are in retreat. Why should I vote Republican? Because you aren't Democrats?
Telling the two major parties apart is becoming more and more difficult. The Democratic party remains openly in favor of big government and nanny-state policies. Republicans appear to be following along, mimicking the Democrats. The only difference seems to be the magnitude of the size of big government and the speed at which we move in that direction.
A review of political websites is instructive. Al Gore's campaign (www.algore2000.com) website is a veritable gold mine for special interests. Gore's site lists his agenda containing 12 major categories subdivided into 56 subheadings. Gore has something for everyone, and is specifically 'fighting for' women, African-Americans, the Jewish Community, the Hispanic Community, Asian Pacific Americans, Arab Americans, and Native Americans. This agenda has something to say about education, the economy, health and health care, families, seniors, crime, the environment, technology, foreign policy and rural communities. Hard to see that he left anything out. Defense? That's under foreign policy. Taxes? That issue is under Economy. Campaign Finance Reform? Under Government.
Al Gore's campaign website provides no surprises. The agenda posted there is what any reasonable observer would expect from a big government socialist.
Compare Al Gore's site to George W. Bush's campaign website (www.georgewbush.com). While Bush's campaign issues are not as obviously pandering to special interests, most of the issues are the same - education, health care, technology, farm policy, the environment. Take a look at the National Republican Congressional Committee website (www.nrcc.org) -- more big government. The National Republican Senatorial Committee website (www.nrsc.org) doesn't show any agenda. Maybe that's an improvement.
Education, health care, technology - none of these is a federal government responsibility. What becomes apparent to me is that the Republicans are letting the Democrats set the agenda. The Republicans have lost their backbone and are afraid to stand up to the name-calling and bad-mouthing dished out by Democrats and the liberal mainstream press.
The Republicans have given up any attempt at leadership and have succumbed to the polls and focus-groups. Gone are any references to the issues and principles that in 1994 got Republicans voted into the majority in Congress for the first time in 40 years. Nowhere is there any mention of "smaller, less intrusive government". Nowhere is there to be found any indication of leadership to change the way the federal government micromanages our lives, our businesses, our land. Nowhere is there any evidence that Republicans are willing to roll back the regulations that are suffocating our economy and our freedoms. Nowhere to be found is any platform, policy, or philosophy that tells me that the Republicans are much different from the Democrats. What is to be found is more big government, more government spending on programs that are without Constitutional grounding, that pander to special interest groups, that press emotional buttons, and that do nothing but harm.
If I wanted more socialism, more big government, more nanny-state nonsense, I would vote for a Democrat.
So, why should I vote Republican?
© 2000 Charles Bloomer. Mr. Bloomer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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