Let candidates know, we need real change

October 30, 2013 

I am not sure what to make of this government budget situation. I know we are going to face the same problems in January, but not sure how to make it stop.

What drives me crazy is that the Republicans keep screaming how Social Security, Medicare and various “entitlement” – I hate that word – is going to bankrupt this country.

I cannot help but believe this is totally untrue. Here is why. The deal that was made between the House, Senate and president contains an additional $410 billion in new spending. Nothing of which is going to any of those programs.

These are what is known as pork barrel spending or earmarks. Do no get me wrong, both political parties got some of these goodies. I started reading about these different earmarks and got a migraine headache.

However they all had the same theme, nonsense spending on projects that showed very little or no value. Many of these dollars are going to states where the representative or senators are facing a very difficult reelection. The president does not have to worry about that, but I am sure he is protecting the party.

One of the ones that prove this point most effectively is the one by Mitch McConnell, Republican leader in the Senate. I am not picking on the Republican but I cannot make sense out of the statements by him and even the president about why they need to spend $2.9 billion on a dam project on the Ohio River.

They stated the it would cost the taxpayers $160 million if they canceled the project, which is already over the budget amount as it stands right now. So their argument is that we must spend $2.9 billion so the taxpayers are not charged $160 MILLION in contract cancellations.

I consider myself a reasonably intelligent person, but this does not make sense to me. Spend $2.9 billion to save $160 million. If anyone out there can explain this to me, please I would love to know the answer.

I am in South Carolina and our governor recently said she is proud she did not take help from the federal government. One of her first acts was to give all her staff large raises and cut education spending. South Carolina is ranked 40th in household income, median household income is approximately $24,000. Unemployment is 11 percent. The governor gave many corporations tax incentive to create jobs, but does not have any idea if these jobs were created because the corporation police themselves. She currently is trying to put the control of the school in the governors hands. She refused to work with the federal government to help get people signed up for health care and expand Medicaid which would help children receive medical care. Yes, governor, be proud of how you treated the people in your state your fit right into what the Republicans believe America should be.

Since 2005, S.C. have received over $1 trillion in various earmarks, most went to military installations and energy and water projects. Did any of these create jobs in S.C., I doubt it, since our unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country.

North Carolina is passing laws to make it harder to vote for minorities and younger people. Again, Education and teaching positions were eliminated. The Governor in N.C. gave two 24-year-old members of his staff a $60,000 raises each and now wants $19,000 to remodel his bathroom, down from the original amount of $120,000. Amazing how they continue to spend money and say the American people feel entitle to Social Security and Medicare.

Here is a novel idea. Remove all earmarks from now until the federal debt is paid off. American families are told to remove all unnecessary spending, get rid of their expensive phone services, no dinners out, cancel their cable and other expenses, why not the government? Do we really need another statue in front of a government building or a road going nowhere for $250 million?

The government shutdown has cost the taxpayers $24 billion, Mr. Cruz feels he did a good thing and wants to do it again in January. Money that could have been used to reduce the debt. Our own M. Mulvaney agrees with Cruz positions on this and will continue to try to defund the health care act. He has never said he would fight again earmarks or pork barrel spending, just against Social Security, Medicare and Obamacare.

The worst part of this is the slap in the face to the American people, they are going to give back pay to all the workers that were furloughed. Now, I was laid off a few times, and my husband was laid of for over a year. We collected unemployment for 26 weeks, lost our health insurance. Not the federal employees. They got a paid vacation on taxpayer dollars. The only ones that should have received pay were the ones still working, including all military personnel. Everyone else should have applied for unemployment just like the rest of us. Oh wait, they are exempt from that requirement.

No one should be exempted for any any law or any benefits.

Next time there is an elections instead of asking about tax reform or defunding programs, let us ask our candidates about earmark reform. Let us ask about their exemptions from laws that should never have been allowed in the first place.

This country was built upon the belief that all men are created equal. These are the real things that are going to destroy our country, when one group is allowed rights and privileges and not anyone else. These are the real issues that are facing us now, do not let them get lost in political rhetoric about health care.

That is not the America I grew up in and hopefully my grandchildren will not have to endure. Send a message to your candidates that you want real change.

Laura L. Lillie is a Lake Wylie resident.

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