Responding To The State Of The Union



Compassionate conservatism -- so Bush described his policies to be when first running for president. Bush's policies while in office have been neither compassionate nor conservative.

Statistics released this month show a 5 percent growth in families with yearly incomes of $15,790; that is below poverty level in the states, with Arizona being No. 1.

Recent polls in the Arizona Republic show Arizona's preference for state surpluses to be spent on education and state needs, while they oppose federal tax cuts, as well, with preference to cut the federal deficit.

Yet Bush's preference is to make the tax cuts for 2006 permanent that benefit the top 19 percent wealthiest, with 70 percent of the returns. Isn't there some responsibility for the "haves" to pay their share of reducing the deficit?

Legislation passed in late 2005 made budget cuts on the backs of the middle class and poor, cutting student loans and Medicaid. Our mushrooming deficit is due to a war of choice, not necessity, and the lack of funds due to magnanimous tax cuts to millionaires. Economics 101 taught most of us that a deficit will grow out of bounds if you spend trillions on war and cut billions in taxable income. How can the middle class be expected to balance the budget when GM, Ford, Kraft, and other mega-businesses, cut tens of thousands of good-paying jobs and benefits which are replaced by low-paying, or minimum, wage jobs?

Meanwhile, Exxon-Mobil records billions in profits for 2005, the greatest profits recorded in history, and they were given a tax break! The drug companies receive full price for the new Medicare prescription plan (that all poor must sign up for, or be penalized). The CEOs get millions in bonuses, and huge tax cuts. Halliburton overcharges the U.S. government for incompetent service in Iraq, and fails to provide water and electricity for millions of Iraqis.

Isn't there an obvious imbalance here? Are the rich the morally righteous, blessed by God, and the poor, not the true believers, who deserve to be poor?

Bush is morally righteous "legally" breaking the 1987 wiretapping law because of "security." Didn't Nixon get impeached for Watergate wiretapping? Isn't there a double standard here? Is security and political gain morally correct while the poor go hungry and Katrina victims go homeless?

Call, or e-mail, Senators McCain and Kyl and Representative Rick Renzi and tell them to oppose making the tax cuts permanent -- that is if you are compassionate and conservative.

Caroline R. Johnson, Payson

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