Sunday, May 27, 2018

Opinion

Voice of the People 02/02/18

U.S. on wrong path

The Jan. 22 edition of the Leader-Telegram and some internet stories of the same day were a telling portrait of today’s America. Or I should say today’s two different Americas.

The Leader-Telegram reported that two agencies in our area are losing $269,000 from their budgets starting July 1. The money helped 26 families and some individuals afford rent.

Meanwhile, two internet sources reported that Charles Koch and his wife gave nearly $500,000 to the campaign of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wis. The donation came after Ryan pushed through the GOP tax revision which slashed taxes, especially benefitting corporations and the wealthiest Americans. Reportedly at least five other grateful millionaires or billionaires also sent Ryan at least $100,000 each.

While not connected with each other in a direct cause and effect manner, these snapshots of wealth distribution nevertheless are a stark and disturbing picture of the way our country is headed in two drastically different directions.

As this year wears on, we will begin to be bombarded with political ads, many of them paid by “dark money” political action committees and often full of half-truths, misleading facts, scare tactics and things which can most charitably be called speculative fiction.

But when I vote, I’ll mostly be remembering the numbers which were revealed in January.

Koch brothers, families and businesses: A gain of millions or billions of dollars.

Rep. Paul Ryan’s campaign: A gain of at least $1 million.

Twenty-six low-income Chippewa Valley families: A loss of $269,000.

I’m not comfortable living in a country like that. I’d like to think that America can do better.

And I hope that most voters will agree with me.

BILL MILLS

Eau Claire


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