Republicans Continue To Care About The Rich

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Editor:

If there was any doubt of the GOP (Republicans) favoring the rich, the obvious answer came in recent proposed congressional legislation.

Congress has given itself eight pay raises since the last raise to the minimum wage. Democrats have pushed for an increase in the minimum wage, but the GOP majority in the House and Senate would have none of it. The GOP congressmen argued that those earning minimum wage would have jobs cut if the minimum wage was raised.

Actually, Tom Teepen, from the Atlantic Journal Constitution noted in the Oct. 9 edition of The Arizona Republic that those jobs would still be needed: Dishwashers, hotel maids and workers at food chains.

Also, the GOP argued that an increase would hurt businesses. Bush has been pushing for a deep permanent cut in inheritance tax levied only against the estates of the wealthiest. The GOP attacked the inheritance tax cut to boost the minimum wage so that House and Senate Democrats would be forced to approve 3,200 estates receiving an average of $1.3-million, costing the U.S. Treasury approximately $800 billion in the next ten years, while giving $1,200 yearly increase to the minimum wage earner.

The Republican majority in Congress, including Jon Kyl and Rick Renzi, believed this vote to be a great deal -- for the richest. Tom Teepen noted that the shortfall in the Treasury would have to be made up by cutting programs that benefit the poor, increase the national debt, or eventually tax increases on the rest of us, if history is any indication.

The Republicans forced a Democratic veto because of the inheritance tax. The GOP can now blame the Democrats for not increasing the minimum wage, a boost that the Republicans only voted for as good political fuel when these candidates running for re-election are worried for being linked to Bush and an unpopular Iraqi war.

When will the millions who have to struggle to make a living wake up to the Bush/GOP games hoping to convince you that it is better to give much more wealth to the richest and give very little to the poorest?

Just as the terrorists do not hesitate to use human shields, Tom Teepen concludes, "The GOP leadership used the working poor as human shields and political cannon fodder."

Stop the political games. Vote for change this fall. Your vote is your power for change.

Caroline R. Johnson, Payson

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