We average people vote but we don't get much respect from our government these days nor from some of our representatives. The government gives our taxpayer money and tax breaks to big companies and corporations that don't pay taxes and often don't pay their share of local government costs. Remember the companies with large water bills or the developers who get vacant property at bargain prices while ordinary people are losing their homes.
Our representatives often do not allow ordinary people like us to know how they voted on certain issues. These votes used to be published in my town's newspaper. We had a congressman running for reelection at a small public meeting. He was questioned about his voting and became uncomfortable. He didn't win reelection and the newspaper stopped running voting information shortly thereafter.
Further, average people should know the names of the large political donors and the amounts of money given to named representatives. Let's have it in the newspaper. Our government spends billions, maybe trillions of dollars, on behalf of big, non-taxpaying corporations such as Amgen, Dupont, and Disney. It gives tax breaks to Goldman Sachs and off-shore companies. Let's have these proposed changes printed in the newspaper and amounts given by the government or saved by the corporations.
I'm for small government — a government devoted to the people. I'm against GE and other big companies borrowing from the Federal Reserve or the U.S. Treasury at little or no cost. GE makes billions of dollars a year and it doesn't have to borrow from the government to increase its bottom line. It can sell more products to make more money. Let's print these borrowings and the company name and amount. I can then choose whether to buy their products.
I'm for the U.S. Postal Service and government services. The postal service is being forced to pay for 75 years of federal employee benefits. If the private mail services succeed in running the USPS out of business, a private company will get the benefit and we average people will pay at least twice as much or more to mail a letter or a package. Employees at the new private company will get less benefits. The big shots at the private company will get more money including the money the federal employees put into their retirement funds. We average taxpayers pay twice as much for government contractors than for federal government employees. The top positions in these companies with large federal contracts get over $500,000 in salary each year. The employees get much less — perhaps with no retirement benefit at all.
Perhaps we should follow the practices of these top companies. Do you think the government would pay me $1 million if I don't pay my taxes next year? Surely, the more likely result is that the government will prosecute me and penalize me.
B. Swanson, PikesvilleCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun