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Wednesday, 25 July 2012 13:32

Why Obama is not the rich man’s candidate

Written by 

To the Editor:

It’s hard to understand why working people would ever vote Republican. The Republican Party is the party of the rich … the Donald Trumps, the Sheldon Adelsons, the 1 percent. Since 1997, when the Republican congress slashed taxes for the rich, the income of the 400 richest Americans has risen to $345 million on average. The taxes paid by them, however, stayed nearly flat.

This is not to say that there are no rich Democrats. There are. But the ranks of the Democrat Party are mostly filled with people who have driven a truck, pounded a nail, painted a house, installed a telephone, fixed a leaky roof, or operated a metal press. There is a good reason for this, and it stems from a tradition that started back in Franklin Roosevelt’s day. We had tough times then, tougher than now. People were desperate for work or just for something to eat. Roosevelt stepped in and created hundreds of thousands of jobs that helped people who had their backs to the wall. He was — and still is — called a socialist by many, but not by the people who learned a trade and sent money home from the camps of the Civilian Conservation Corps. (Remember? We had one on Deep Creek.)

With Obama, the tradition continues. With an eye toward folks who with less money than they can count, he has supported the following programs:

• Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) – $20 billion.

• Community Services Block Grant (help for low-income communities) – $1 billion.

• Neighborhood Stabilization Funds (help for ailing neighborhoods – $2 billion.

• Homeless Prevention Funds – $1.5 billion.

• Weatherization Assistance Program (help for low-income families to save on heat) – $5 billion.

• Healthy, Hunger-free Kids Act of 2010 (school meals) – $4 billion.

• Expanded eligibility for Medicaid.

• Health care reform (in spite of all the objections, this will help people who need it most).

This is just the short list, but the record of the president’s administration is one of tending to lower-income folks … urging that the bill giving tax cuts for the rich be allowed to expire … backing grants to enable low-income students to stay in college … stabilizing the auto industry (and making a capitalistic profit for the government in the process).

Come November, when you get ready to mark your ballot, remember that it was Republicans who said that corporations were people, not Democrats. Democrats take care of real people.

Lisa Weeks

Chair,

Democratic Women of Swain County

Bryson City

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