Friday, October 22, 2010

LETTER: "Jack" And Fox News

Dear Editor,
I was phone-banking for the Democrats the other night and I spoke with a Socorro resident--whose name and number I did not take note of.  I will call him Jack just for convenience.  Jack was a member of the Tea Party and he had an answer for everything.
He said we need smaller government and government out of our lives; he said government is not for helping people.  He said Richardson and Denish did some terrible stuff and he knows about it.  He said we need to get back to the Constitution and to have our taxes lowered.  He said the current administration (Obama) has ruined our economy and we need to lower our deficit.
He spoke of his children, who were or are in the military--as was he himself--and who complain because they will have to continue working after they retire because it's so hard to get by these days.
It turns out he watches Fox News.  I told him Fox News is very untrustworthy and I asked him if he checks the facts he hears there.  He said yes, that he reads the NY Times.  He cited a recent article in the NY Times that spoke of the Democrats walking away from the job, leaving a bunch of things undone (e.g., the budget, unemployment, the Bush-era tax cuts, etc.).  He said the Democrats want to raise our taxes.  He said he doesn't want Socialism like they have over there in Europe.  He said we need Capitalism.  So he plans to vote for Republicans in November.
I looked at the NY Times article he spoke of.  I certainly agree that the Democrats should not be walking off the job in order to campaign.  However, it says quite clearly there that the Democrats do not want to raise taxes on people with incomes over $250,000.
I am wondering how undoing tax cuts for a very small, rich minority equates with raising taxes. I'm sure you have an answer, Jack. On the issue of small government and whether government is there to help people, I guess that depends on how you interpret those concepts.
I don't think anyone could take issue with the fact that government is the glue that holds everything together:  We need laws, we need police, we need a mechanism whereby every person's needs are taken into account--unless we don't want a democracy.
And, by the way, the military is the government.  You and your children were/are all employed by the government, Jack.  The military is the biggest-spending branch of the government.  Jack, did you know that 15 billion of your tax dollars are unaccounted for by the companies that were supposed to rebuild Iraq?
 One of the main points where Jack and I part ways is the interpretation of history where Obama's 2-year regime is to blame for the economy.  That is just completely untrue.  The economy tanked and Bush's Congress threw money at it and at the businesses that caused it, before Obama was there.  Before Obama, Republicans were in power for 8 years.
Jack is going to get his way.  The reason I believe this is that Jack's already gotten his way for 40 years or more.  He just doesn't know it because he’s been listening to the corporate propaganda machine, which is still feeding him the same story that's worked for so long:  "We want to lower your taxes, reduce the size of government, clamp down on criminals, protect the country, etc."
You are going to be very disappointed in the results after you get what you wanted, Jack.
Of course, it could be said that you will deserve it:  You have the bad taste to watch Fox News, wholly owned by Big Business.  (I myself get annoyed if my newscaster shouts all the time.)

Jan Deininger
Socorro, NM

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