Letter writers were simply off the mark

To the Editor:

A pair of letters in this (last) week’s Smoky Mountain News made me check the calendar to see if it was April Fool’s Day. One of them asserted that Republicans want everyone to work and aren’t the rich man’s party. The other was headlined “Democrats never met a tax they didn’t like.” Please, let’s be real.

Taking them in reverse order, Lynn Riggsbee’s letter did not quote that trite “Democrats never ...” line, so it must have been the inspiration of the headline writer. Even so, her ire at the Democrats for threatening to let all the Bush tax cuts expire in January is somewhat late and a tad hypocritical.

Remember December 2010? That was the Republican strategy: hold the middle class hostage in order to force President Obama to accept two more years of Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Maybe it was only a bluff, but the Democrats blinked. Now it’s their turn. Will the Republicans blink?

As for the Loretta Hastings letter, the claim that Republicans are the party of those who want to work is undercut by some of the “accomplishments” of Republican rule in Washington and virtually every state capital they control, where the strategy has been to add more than 500,000 public employees to the unemployment rolls. This year’s North Carolina budget alone eliminated the equivalent of 3,400 teaching positions.

This is not just about saving money; it’s about destroying the public employee unions that usually favor Democrats. President Obama’s jobs bill was DOA in the Republican House, where the tactic has been to enact nothing that would help any American if it might help him get re-elected.

There is a good reason why unions lean Democratic. It’s the Democrats who have been the party of workers. The Republicans, on the other hand, historically have favored investors, who supposedly will use their savings to create more jobs. Too much of that money, unfortunately, seems to wind up in foreign banks. Their presidential nominee is an expert at that.

The nominee of the so-called party of workers proposes a tax “reform” that would necessarily cut or eliminate exemptions wholesale. Charitable contributions? Mortgage interest? The Brookings Institution calculated that Romney’s plan would likely raise taxes for most families while cutting them sharply for people in Romney’s exalted income group — more money to sequester in Swiss banks. His proposal to completely exempt the foreign earnings of American corporations is a direct incentive to ship more jobs overseas along with the money.

Let’s not forget which party’s presidential candidate saved the auto industry and which one was willing to let it go bankrupt. Venture capitalists seem to think corporate bankruptcies are beneficial, something like the annual flooding of the Nile in ancient Egypt. The last thing American working people need is that kind of mentality in the White House.

Martin A. Dyckman


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