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East County Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009 12 years ago

OUR VIEW: Still time to kill health care bills


Americans don’t want the $1 trillion Obama-Pelosi-Reid health care bill.

Not because they don’t want health care reform. But because they don’t want unaffordable, debt-ridden, government-controlled, health care reform.

U.S. taxpayers cannot carry any more national debt. Next year, our gross public debt as a percentage of gross domestic product will reach 100%. In one year, our annual federal deficit rose from an extraordinary $400 billion to an astronomical $1.6 trillion. And that’s even before Congress approved any new health care spending.

Stop Congress from adopting this national disaster.

Speak out, Sarasotans. Don’t let Congress ruin our and our children and grandchildren’s economic futures any more than it already has.

For a simple explanation of why this legislation must be killed, read the text of a recent political cartoon by Michael Ramirez, of Ramirez drew eight panels with President Obama saying:

“Government can fix health care. Just look at Medicare and Medicaid.

“OK, they’re broke, but look at Social Security.

“OK, it’s broke, but look at the U.S. Post Office.

“OK, it’s broke, but look at Amtrak.

“OK, it’s broke, but look at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“OK, they’re broke, but look at my budget.

“OK, it’s $1.6 trillion in the red, but … ”

Call or write your congressman. Do it today.

• U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson
716 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20510
Phone: 202-224-5274
Fax: 202-228-2183

• U.S. Sen. George Lemieux
356 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C., 20510
Phone: 202-224-3041
Fax: 202-228-5171

• Rep. Vern Buchanan
218 Cannon HOB
Washington, D.C., 20515
Phone: 202-225-5015
Fax: 202-226-0828

+ Crist twists the truth
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist is now trying to paint his opponent, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio, as someone who favored increasing taxes. Said Crist Monday in Pinellas County:

“Let’s make sure the words meet the facts. I don’t believe in raising taxes. I’m running against someone who wanted to.”

Crist apparently is referring to Rubio’s support of Amendment 5 in 2008 — often referred to then as the Tax Swap Amendment.

Like most shifty, sound-bite politicians, Crist is not telling the whole story. In fact, Rubio strongly supported the Tax Swap Amendment because it would have eliminated Florida’s worst tax — the state-imposed school-property tax. This is Florida’s stealth tax, the one state lawmakers raise every year without taxpayers noticing. Local school boards get blamed. From 2001 to 2007, this tax grew three times faster than the combined growth rates of inflation and student enrollment.
In exchange for eliminating the state’s school-property tax, the Tax Swap Amendment would have required lawmakers to adopt legislation to replace the lost school-tax revenue. One of the choices at the time was to increase the state sales tax 1%, which Rubio backed. And the reason he did was sound.

What Crist will never explain to voters about this amendment — which Crist opposed — is that it would have re-ignited Florida’s economy with a vengeance.

Eliminating the state school tax would have cut $8 billion to $9 billion in school property taxes statewide — putting that money back in consumers’ and businesses’ hands and simultaneously increasing the value and net worth of Florida’s property owners by $80 billion! An instant increase in wealth.

When Florida economist Hank Fishkind analyzed swapping the school tax with, say, a two-cent increase in the sales tax, the results, Fishkind said, would be “very stimulative to investment and employment.”

Don’t let Gov. Crist’s words fool you. For Pete’s sake, he’s a career politician!

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