Letters: Banking industry owns the Senateby Tucson Citizen on May. 11, 2009, under Opinion
Congress members do what’s right – for selves
In a moment of truth-telling, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin from Illinois said the banking industry owns the Senate.
He should have acknowledged the influence of the rest of corporate America as well.
The banks’ lobbyists are as powerful as ever, but now, since most received federal bailout money, their lobbyists are being paid by We the People to work against our interests.
Like all Republicans and 12 Democrats, our Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain voted for the banks and against giving bankruptcy judges the ability to renegotiate loans of homeowners facing repossession.
Arizona has been particularly hard hit by foreclosures, but that hasn’t caused our senators to stand with their constituents over the banks.
Obama has said he wants to close the tax loopholes on offshore accounts that allow almost all large American companies to avoid paying billions in taxes.
This would add $200 billion to the nation’s coffers and allow tax breaks for companies that create American jobs.
Will Republicans and even some Democrats side with the companies that fill their campaign war chests, or will they do what is right?
What argument will Kyl and McCain use to vote against closing the loopholes?
Oh wait, I’ve got it: Closing tax loopholes is really raising taxes.
Likewise, get ready for Republicans and some Democrats to protect the health insurance industry over the need for universal care and real reform.
Conservative Democrat Ben Nelson, who has taken more than $2 million from the private health care industry, said he will fight a government option similar to Medicare, because it would be so superior to the private care option it would harm the health care insurance industry.
We need to fight this corporate stranglehold on our political process.
We need to write our members of Congress and remind them that we elected them.
They work for us, not the corporations that are trying to sabotage the change we need.
2 senators try to mend health care system
I was really proud to watch Sens. Max Baucus, D-Mont., and Chuck Grassley, R-Idaho, working together on the health care bill we need to take for-profit health care off Wall Street and put it on Main Street as nonprofit organizations.
My dad brought health insurance from Blue Cross nonprofit in the 1950s for $1 per kid. My sons were born preemies, and I was in debt more than $100,000 overnight.
Find respectable work . . . as a local volunteer
I am part of President Obama’s Neighbor to Neighbor program, and was relieved that the budget passed.
I know that it is not a perfect budget. Not much is perfect in these times. But I am continually amazed by the “get out, get up and move” initiative of many Arizonans.
I see senior reading volunteers work lovingly with kids from the Pascua Yaqui Reservation. I hear unemployed individuals talk about “showing their motivation to get a new job” by volunteering at the Community Food Bank.
It is easy to sit back and complain about how hard things are and what bad jobs CEOs and Congress are doing. But it is a wonderful and inspiring thing to see neighbors getting up in the morning to go out and help others in whatever way they can.
Being involved in community efforts will get the country back on track. Sitting back will not.
No, we are not “The Greatest Generation,” but I would be proud to be mistaken for any of them in my most unselfish moments.
Paper’s support helped put arts on the charts
I want to thank the Tucson Citizen for its support of arts groups through the years.
Without the media bringing attention to concerts, drama and art shows, many of us would be unemployed. Many of us are still unemployed, but not because you didn’t try.
Special thanks to Calendar Editor Rogelio Olivas and the Calendar staff for producing previews and listings and being so lovely to work with.
I also want to thank Dan Buckley. In one of his columns, he urged groups to perform during the summer so that Tucson audiences could have access to the arts year-round and not just during the regular season.
His suggestion is the reason that the St. Andrew’s Bach Society Summer Concert Series exists in its present form. He gave us a big preview before the first concert and the series has gone from strength to strength, now under the artistic direction of Dr. Lindabeth Binkley.
Dan Buckley also gave my early music group, Musica Sonora, a great review and put a video clip up on the Web, which meant a heck of a lot to me.
I hope the Citizen will carry on, but in case you end up at the Great Printing Press in the Sky, I couldn’t have lived with myself if I hadn’t thanked you. I can’t thank you enough.
May you survive and thrive.
former artistic director, St. Andrew’s Bach Society;
artistic director, Musica Sonora;
music director, Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church