Rep. Bill Shuster’s “Beware the Ides of March” column (March 24) brings to mind another Shakespearean quote: “Talking isn’t doing ... words are not deeds.” Rep. Shuster’s words are not unique. It’s the usual Republican rhetoric: By magic they will cut taxes, cut spending (on programs for the middle class), cut the deficit, create jobs and all will be well.
As chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, what deeds has Rep. Shuster accomplished? How many jobs bills has he come up with to address the deteriorating infrastructure? The voters should know the answer is “None,” unless they are fooled into believing that tax-cuts-for-the-rich is a jobs bill. Historically, government investment in the infrastructure (Obama’s American Jobs Bill, which Congress won’t vote for) creates jobs, spurs business, especially now that the interest rates on government borrowing are near zero percent!
Rep. Shuster, are you and Congress waiting until the end of the president’s second term, and will you wait through two terms of Hillary Clinton to 2024 and beyond before you and your party address infrastructure?
Will you let our dangerously crumbling infrastructure wait until Republicans are in power and can take credit for the economic boom that always comes from investment in the infrastructure?
You could lead by pushing for infrastructure investment, Rep. Shuster, without worrying about your job. As long as you vote no on all reasonable gun safety bills, your job will be safe. This is, after all, rural western Pennsylvania.
Rep. Shuster deliberately misrepresented President Obama’s budget plan by throwing out numbers without explaining that the $923 billion in increased revenue would not come from taxing the middle class. Rather, the revenue would come from making cuts that target wasteful practices and eliminating overspending (Pentagon, for example) while increasing revenue. It would also come from closing tax loopholes, such as huge giveaways to the gas and oil industry and a 15 percent cap on taxes for hedge fund managers.
The majority of voters look at this as fairness and not a tax increase for those of us who pay our fair share. Before we even look at Medicare, shouldn’t we first calculate the savings from making the tax code fairer? Social Security is solvent and self-supporting into the 2030s and has nothing to do with the debt or the deficit; yet Rep. Shuster’s party is the true alarmist on this issue.