Posted January 8, 2013 at 8:00 am, in From the USW International President
Last week, as Congress opened its new session, two regular Joes – Sen. Manchin of West Virginia and Vice President Biden of Delaware – gave a hand to Sen. Mark Kirk, a Republican from Illinois, who’d suffered a stroke a year earlier.
Joe and Joe assisted Sen. Kirk in climbing the 45 Capitol steps to take his seat once again in the Senate chamber. It’s what every regular Joe in America does. They help their co-workers, family, friends and neighbors.
Similarly, Americans believe their government should help when necessary. When the task is too big for a couple of Joes to achieve, Americans want their government to step up. Disaster relief is such a task. Republicans just don’t get this. The GOP uses government to hurt Americans, not to lend a helping hand.
That’s what the GOP did last week. The majority of Republicans in the U.S. House – 64 percent – voted against extending tax breaks for working Americans.
Those Republicans voted to raise taxes on – to hurt – 99 percent of Americans, most of whom badly need the tax break as a result of the Great Recession, the decline in housing values and the decade-long stagnation in wages. Those Republicans also voted to wound the American financial system, which needs workers to have money so they can spend it and revive the economy.
But that’s just the beginning. Those Republicans in the House, who constantly claim to be so very worried about deficits, also voted to spend more money – that is, more than the $1.5 million already wasted – defending discrimination against gay people. (more…)