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  • Mark Allen

Warning: political content; but politics affects us all

This has nothing to do with words and everything to do with politics. For that, I apologize, but I hope you read it anyway.

Gov. Romney has said that the election means something at the state, local and personal level, and that we should ask ourselves what kind of America we want for our children. I agree. I think the values of the nation and our economy are much bigger than any president, but I think policy does affect our country today, our personal lives, and our future. I take the election personally.

After 20 years working at newspapers, I lost my job when the economy tanked and businesses panicked and stopped advertising. I was a victim of the biggest downturn in my lifetime, not of the guy who took office three months earlier. I could blame the guy in office the previous eight years, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. The downturn came because of wild speculation based on the continuance of wild speculation, a house of cards — no foundation.

There is a lot of blame to go around, and blame probably doesn’t help. But here’s the thing: I suffered from the downturn. I underwent a lot of stress and hard work because of an economic shift I had very little to do with (we never fell for the line that we could afford a much bigger mortgage). Those that caused the problems suffered only in theory. Yes, they lost a lot of money, but not to the point that they wondered how to pay the mortgage. Not to the point that they looked around the house wondering what to sell to get by.

When President George W. Bush came into office, we had a budget surplus and the opportunity to collectively do some real good after years of cutting back on such things as national security and oversight of the food we eat and the drugs we take. Instead, we said “that’s our money, government, give it back.” Then the economy took a downturn. The surplus was gone, but we were told we had to cut taxes to stimulate the economy. Then Sept. 11 came and the economy got worse. We went to war. Then we went to war again. The deficit was going through the roof. But the tax cuts stayed. We refused to pay our way, pretending that welfare and the EPA were to blame for the imbalance.

Four years ago, we suffered a near economic collapse. Everyone suffered, but the middle class and the poor suffered the most. The deficit climbed higher as we tried to avoid disaster. But we extended the tax cuts so the rich did not have to suffer. Doing so was supposed to keep money flowing. Give the job creators money, and they will create jobs. Where are the jobs? Corporations are sitting on more money than they’ve ever had. The downturn is over for the rich. Now they’re just waiting.

So, that brings us to today, when Gov. Romney is saying he will cut taxes for everyone, whether they need it or not. Frankly, I don’t need it.

More importantly, I’m tired of a philosophy that focuses on keeping the rich rich in the hopes that somehow will make us all better off.

I’m tired of a political party that creates deficits and blames the other party.

I’m tired of a political campaign that insults us all with bald-faced lies, tells us it cares about the middle class while dismissing the middle class, tells us we’ll all be better off it the rich are just a little bit richer.

I suffered under this philosophy. We all suffered because of the policies of the Bush years. I’m voting to reject policies that don’t work and the people who pretend they do.

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