Our Country Today

Here is what our country looks like today:

We are the only advanced nation that does not guarantee health care for all. And we spend twice as much on health care to keep it that way.

We jail more people than any other nation.

We could cut defense spending in half and still have by far, the biggest baddest military in the world. Imagine what could be done with an extra $400 billion a year.

And, yes, we are awash in guns and gun deaths in the U.S. like nowhere else.

But, we liberals don’t want to take away your guns. The progressive taxes that built the great American middle class are gone — killed by the Reagan tax cut revolution. Now, every time they get the chance, Republicans reduce taxes on the wealthy some more with a little tax cut for all to help the poison go down. Now, every state tax, as well as the federal tax, is regressive, favoring the wealthy.

And the 75,000 richest American families, the top one-tenth of the top one percent, own nearly half the wealth of the nation.

The U.S. has become the most unequal of advanced countries. While 2,500 Americans were made billionaires, half a million were made homeless. And it’s not over.

We need you to stop shooting yourselves and the rest of us in the foot every time you vote. The GOP is telling you that government is bad, that liberals are coming for your guns and the 70 percent top tax rate suggested by some Democrats is insane.

Fact: Government is all we have against the rich and powerful.

Fact: As shameful a statistic as our gun murders are, it is not among the top priorities for liberals by a long shot.

Fact: American productivity was never so high as when the top tax rate was 90 percent.

Tracy Rupp

Brookings

It’s A Big World

I have often wondered what the effect of living in a small town and never leaving has on one’s view of the world and the events unfolding around us today.

Raised in a smaller town in Oregon — Central Oregon — I knew one black man. Never met his wife; his children. I had my opinions of people, opinions created by my parents’ views, opinions created by the views of others in a town consisting mostly of southerners, deep deep southerners.

Dodged the draft by enlisting in the Air Force; the military in their kind of wisdom created a flight of 30 some rural Oregonians and 30 some not so rural folks from Harlem. There was not an unchanged person in that flight after six weeks of basic. Nearly all of us went on to tech school together, to Okinawa together, Thailand (too damn close to Viet Nam), back to Okinawa and home…

That interaction taught me more about people than any education and prepared me far more for my future professional life than any other job I ever had.

That brings me to what happened here in Brookings a few days back. A couple of young teenagers were riding through town and noticed a sign; we’ve all seen the sign, and it’s varieties, in the media. “In This Home All Lives Are Equal. Science is Real. Black Lives Matter. Women’s Rights are Human Rights. Kindness Is Everything.”

Ignoring that “Women’s Rights are Human Rights” and “Kindness is Everything” these young ladies concentrated on “ewe, did you see that sign, oh my god, black lives matter, oh yuck…”

I would never fault anyone for living here forever, wished I could have. But there is something to be said for getting out for a bit… Spend a year, two, college, military, Job Corp, work abroad (I mean like in California or something).

I guess if you are going to live your entire life here, with no interaction beyond “here,” that “yuck” is to some an acceptable position to take. Not for me. What happens the first time your new boss tells you to help this person from out of town, and that person is anything but straight or white? What do you say then? “Yuck”?

We need to be better. We need our children to be better.

Ben Boorman

Brookings

Defining Crisis

Apparently, Rep. Jerry Nadler, a career politician from New York, has a very suspicious view on what constitutes a “crisis” in this country.

Nadler is the chair of the House Judiciary Committee in Washington, D.C. and recently became upset that Attorney General William Barr refused to sit down to a second partisan grilling about the Mueller Report. Barr had answered questions by Democrats for more than five hours but was objecting to another round of disrespect and name calling.

Nadler now wanted liberal lawyers to grill Barr, which was not what he had been asked to do originally, and Barr declined. Nadler said this constituted a, “Constitutional crisis” and was outraged.

My concern is that instead of doing their jobs, Democrats in Washington seem obsessed with ousting the sitting president along with anyone who, in their view, doesn’t agree with them. Barr had submitted the entire Mueller report, something Democrats said they wanted, and even a restricted and unredacted copy to the Congress but apparently that still wasn’t good enough. I doubt anything would have satisfied Democrats.

With illegals streaming across the southern border, many victimizing lawful citizens and draining millions of tax dollars, it would seem Nadler and other liberals would support border security. That constitutes a real crisis. But Democrats who once all supported the need for a border barrier to protect American citizens, now seem oddly mute.

I think it’s time these lifelong politicians get back to doing what they were hired to do or they should be voted out of office. Unless, of course, enough liberals don’t really care either.

Mike Wiley

Brookings

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