Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Serving in Congress Changes People, Removes their Brain & Connections to Real People

(AP) My Representative in the House is Mike Conaway. Prior to serving Rep. Conaway worked as a certified public accountant. For some reason he lost his financial acumen post swearing in for duty. With the federal government already running massive deficits, the good Rep. recently voted to gut estate taxes. His e-mail had this to say:

On Thursday, the House passed the Permanent Estate Tax Relief of 2006, which would permanently reduce the Estate Tax, often referred to as the 'Death Tax'. While I would prefer a full repeal of the Death Tax, this bill is a good first step toward lowering the excessive tax burden that Americans face in life and in death. Taxing death is not good public policy. Too many small businesses and family farms have gone out of business due to the forceful, outstretched hand of the federal government. Americans are taxed in every aspect of their lives and it is past time to draw the line. This new legislation will increase the exemption amount to $5 million per person and would reduce the rate of tax on estates up to $25 million to the much lower capital gains tax rate. The compromise bill became necessary after the Senate failed to garner enough votes to bring a full repeal of the Death Tax to a vote.

Nowhere did my elected Representative say how much revenue would be cut, nor did he say how the government would replace that funding source. I expected more from a CPA, after all my grandfather was one! I have been disappointed by other elected officials seemingly abandoning their prior training. From physicians to judges to certified public accountants, it seems like once elected they become one thing, followers of the party line. Unfortunately neither party today is worth much as the Democrats race to imitate the Republicans who are racing after corporate dollars.

His e-mail also had a testimonial to oil company largess, the Fuel Consumption Education Act will provide public service announcements to citizens encouraging us to reduce demand by driving differently. Who thinks spending our hard earned tax money on such a campaign is useful. I already am driving differently. This year I am not driving to Virginia and the Outer Banks of North Carolina for vacation due to high gas prices. I am not paying for an exorbitantly high airline ticket due to high jet fuel prices. I cashed in a frequent flyer award, my last one on American Airlines. Next trip what will I do? Consult the PSA I shall …fully expecting it to say “if you can’t afford the trip, don’t go!”

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