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Sen. McConnell declares GOP has voter mandate not to raise taxes

Last Tuesday night was anything but a mandate for the Republican Party’s agenda. Yet Sen. Mitch McConnell, minority Senate leader, made the inexplicable comment that has befuddled even the closest political observer: “I am not willing to raise taxes to turn off the sequester. Period,” McConnell reportedly told the Wall Street Journal. “We won’t agree to any tax increases that will hurt the economy.”

OK Senator, but if we go over the fiscal cliff that sequestration is as of Dec. 31, 2012 at midnight, then I guess it won’t matter if taxes are raised or not.

This kind of grandstanding is insane. It’s as insane as saying the only way to get us out of our current fiscal problems is to raise taxes on the rich — those who make $250,000 or more.

Raising taxes when we are faced with a $1.1 trillion annual deficit and a $16.2 trillion debt is imperative. Bush-era tax cuts must be allowed to sunset on all taxpayer brackets. Period.

And, deep cuts across all categories of government spending, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid must be on the table. Defense spending must also face the surgeon’s scalpel.

Sen. McConnell and anyone else on either side of the political great divide in this country better take a sober dose of reality before making provocative statements that only move this country and its citizens toward a point of no return. Reckless rhetoric has no place in this debate. Men and women who’ve been elected to represent the 300 million-plus citizens of this nation had better do their job before this economy slides into an abyss from which there is no return.

Can’t happen? Well, if sequestration is allowed to engage, our nation’s economy will slide, not into recession, but into a depression that might make our last world-wide depression look like a bump in the road.

McConnell and the rest of his high-minded Republican pals had better begin working with Democrats and the president. If these egos go unchecked, we the people will be the losers.

It’s time to solve the problem Senator, not add to the burden you failed to tell the American people about when you were running for re-election. Truth is, your silence during the election cycle could have placed Americans of all levels of the social strata in the bull’s-eye of economic meltdown.

Keith Hansen

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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