, Gloucester, MA

June 19, 2013

Letter: Voting on issues means voting Markey

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

To paraphrase Shakespeare: “That which we call a tax, by any other name would smell as frightening.”

What do I mean by any other name? Is there any such thing as another name for taxes?

Consider this:

The Republicans cry through the halls of Congress “No taxes! No taxes! No taxes!”

By now, many of us have gotten wise to that being a code phrase for continuing the present situation under which billionaire owned U.S. corporations do not pay a cent in taxes since their money is camouflaged in places like the Cayman Islands and Switzerland.

“Cut spending! Cut spending! Cut spending!” the Republicans, goaded by their Tea Party extremists, cry.

By that, they mean no after school programs for public school children, no free lunches for poor kids, no increase in minimum wage above starvation level, cuts in Medicare and Social Security, an end to unemployment benefits, the destruction of unions, the denial of health care …The list goes on. Yet all of those items have something in common. They are a tax on the middle class and the poor. Yes; if a law limits our ability to live with some decency and dignity it can certainly be called an instrument of taxation.

Thus we have “a tax by any other name.” The tax is defined by which class pays it.

When confronted by this, Republicans respond, disingenuously, that their plan will save our economy, when, in fact, the way to start our economy is to more effectively equalize our tax base and invest in job training and start up businesses, with the education to staff them, an end to our wasteful environmental practices, and the return of employment and consumer purchasing power.

Republican “trickle down” strategy is, actually, a design for increasing the gulf between the super rich and every middle class and poor person in this country.

The latest statistics show that, overall, income of the U.S. appears stalled at 1.7 percent. Looking further into this; income of the upper 1 percent of the population rose by 11.2 percent, while that of the other 99 percent declined by 0.4 percent.

The difference was that the income of the 1 percent came from stocks in their corporations, while that of everyone else came from jobs. This huge gulf is predicted, if Republicans get their way, to increase even more drastically. The clearly announced aim of Republicans is, and has been since he was elected for the first time in 2008, to defeat Obama, with the great body of the American people a hostage to the process.

What can you and I do about it? The choice is clear. America can become either a Plutocracy (dictionary: a country governed by a wealthy class) or remain a Democracy (dictionary: a government by the people).

You have a powerful strategy for choosing. It’s in your hands and it’s called a ballot.

A final word: do not be seduced by the Hollywood version of what a leader should look like — model handsomeness, austere carriage, a constant smile, a pat on the back demeanor. See how he or she votes.

Mr. Gomez, the Republican candidate for the U.S., Senate from Massachusetts has the same “handler” as his predecessor, Scott Brown. …and like him, he will likely vote to maintain the glass ceiling for women’s pay scale, to forbid women to make decisions about their bodies, to tax the poor to the benefit of the wealthy, to forbid college loans to the qualified of all classes.

By contrast, read Markey — the Democratic candidate on working families, public safety, women’s health, and jobs, jobs, jobs.

Vote issues; not smiley faces. Or, to consult Shakespeare once more, “A man may smile and smile and be a villain.”