July 23 06:24 PM
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Too many hogs, too much pork in Washington

Dear Editor,

This was one of the longest and toughest presidential campaigns that I can recall.

I found John McCain's concession speech was right from the heart and showed his love for this country. I think if he had talked more about America and its problems during the campaign with such heart and conviction instead of the wind-up rhetoric about President-elect Obama and Joe the plumber he may have won the election.

John had a resistance to redistributing some of the wealth. When 90% of the country's wealth is controlled by 1% of the population, a little redistribution may be in order. To redistribute wealth you don't have to take from the wealthy and give to the middle class. Just bring back the jobs we lost, and the American workers will earn their share of the wealth.

President-elect Obama's acceptance speech was equally as moving as John McCain's, and full of promise for a better America. He's promising change but he is still saddled with the same "Do Nothing Congress" he was part of. To make matters worse the voters just added more Democrats to a bunch of Democrats who have the lowest approval rating in history. We could have voted in a few Independents or Green Party candidates just to stir things up.

We should make it clear to the new president and Congress through letters and emails what changes we are expecting. One immediate concern is the talk on Wall Street, of banks hoarding some of the first $150 billion bailout money and using it to pay dividends to shareholders. The banks are flat broke! Dividends are paid based on profits; they have no profits! Most have very little in the way of assets now! The big three quit paying dividends because they had no profits. If Congress lets the banks pay dividends to stockholders with our tax dollars, we voters made a huge mistake last week.

The second immediate concern I would like Congress to act on is the line item veto. Abraham Lincoln had line item veto power and it served him well. If President Obama intends to keep all his promises, he will have to curtail wasteful spending and appropriations to pay for them. The line item veto will save taxpayers billions of dollars and make life more intense for Washington lobbyists.

When the Democrats took control of Congress two years ago, they said they would curtail lobbying. Guess what, they haven't done a thing about it. They really worked their tails off to get a 7% approval rating. There is an average of 65 registered lobbyists for each representative and senator in Washington. Can you imagine having 65 people outside your office door every day wanting to buy your vote with trips, gifts, home additions and best of all cash? It takes a strong person to resist the temptation, with a 7% approval rating how many strong people do you think we have in Washington?

I think we have to make it clear to this Congress: If they don't take care of the hogs on Wall Street and the pork producers on Pennsylvania Ave., we will slaughter them at the voting booth in 2 years. After all, term limits start with us.

Tom Janicki, Almont
November 12, 2008

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