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Letter to the Editor

A different perspective on conservatism

I don’t mean to be disrespectful on anyone’s view of conservatism, but I certainly don’t agree with the definition I read in our local papers. How can some of us say, “we support lower taxes and a smaller government” when we elect Republicans who expand government by spending enormous amounts on our military and engaging us in winless wars all over the globe? Wars which leave us worse off when they are finished. Our military takes up well over half our tax dollars. Why?

Eisenhower, a Republican I voted for, warned us many years ago to be careful about the military/industrial complex. Now we have our tax dollars being spent on numerous defense contractors with their CEOs drawing down multimillion dollar salaries. These same defense corporations take our tax dollars and dole it out to Republicans for election campaigns, the result being that politicians like Senator Dean Heller and Representative Joe Heck are sucking up to these defense corporations to get our tax dollars to finance their campaigns. In return, Nevada get almost nothing back from the federal government while states like Virginia have fat cat military contractors, supported by taxpayers, all over the place. Eric Cantor, the former number 2 man in the House, was making around $200K per year as a congressman. Since he has been defeated he has now become a lobbyist for the defense contractors in Virginia and now earns 4 million per year to have our tax dollars spent on military contractors. Is this supporting “small government?”

Now getting back to our pot holes. Regrettably, I voted for Ronald Reagan both times. Reagan said that he could lower taxes, increase military spending and balance the budget, all at the same time. When George H. W. Bush was running for the nomination in 1980, he, Bush, told Reagan, “That’s voodoo economics.” He, Bush, later denied he said it, but I saw and heard him say it. Reagan’s own budget director, David Stockman, referred to Reagan’s economics as “trickle-down economics.” The theory was that if the rich paid less in taxes they would spend the savings and generate more economic growth, except it didn’t work. We had one of our greatest recessions in the first 2 years under Reagan. We did have a great economy in the last 5 years under Reagan because he tripled our national debt from 1 trillion to 3 trillion and put those borrowed dollars to work in our economy. Under Reagan’s so-called tax cut, my taxes were increased because Reagan eliminated many deductions for real estate investors like myself, while cutting taxes on the rich from 70% down to just slightly higher than the rate the average person pays.

You may be asking, “What does this have to do with pot holes?” Simply when money is sucked from our government and letting the bulk of what is left being spent on the military, something has to be cut, money to repair our roads being only one cut. Senator Birney Sanders said the “Republicans want to give the billionaires and fat cats another huge tax cut and pay for it by taking away social security from the poor and needy.”

This year I expect to pay about $27,000 in federal taxes, about $20,000 more than I pay in local taxes. I am pretty well satisfied with what I get from the local government. Police protection, fire protection, education, plus other benefits. It burns me that we have to go to our local government and raise our local taxes to fix our roads. I pay taxes for Cliven Bundy’s welfare because he won’t pay his rent and the Republicans defend him. Why is asking for some of our money back referred to by some as “expecting government handouts?” It appears that many who vote for Republicans are incapable of finding the truth. Many prefer to get the propaganda from angry commentators at Fox News, an organization known for false reporting.

God help us all. Ignorance is such a terrible enemy.

Jim Ferrell

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