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Letter: Citizens paying price because of loopholes

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Sandra Nelson


Received: Feb. 18

I’m responding in part to “Waking Up From The Nightmare” political commentaries that I read on Feb. 5. Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe it was Congress, not Obama, that dragged its feet on help for Hurricane Sandy victims, a fact which infuriated Republican Gov. Christie.The GOP stated that “reasonable” spending cuts by the president had to be agreed upon first.

To be considered is that these same congressmen who are so worried about the national debt did not want to increase taxes on the top 1 percent, pay for our previous “charge it” wars (started during the Bush administration) or decrease tax loopholes for big business.

This is alarming when one considers the corporate welfare our country’s citizens are paying for because of these loopholes.

Consider this: General Electric reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, with $5.1 billion of the total coming from its operations in the United States, and still claimed $3.2 billion in the form of tax refunds. Exxon Mobil, the most profitable of the big five oil companies, made $41.1 billion in profits last year.

Although Exxon’s profit margin increased 35 percent since 2010, its estimated effective tax rate actually dropped. Citizens for Tax Justice reported Exxon paid only 17.6 percent taxes in 2010, lower than the average American, and a Reuters analysis using the same criteria estimates that last year it paid 13 percent in effective taxes. In 2009, Exxon paid zero taxes to the federal government.

Also consider, in the fiscal cliff deal that was reviewed and negotiated by Mitch McConnell, $9 billion was hidden on page 157 in offshore tax loopholes.

Also, in its contents lies a provision in section 632 that delays a federal price control for a kidney dialysis drug, Sensipar, which is manufactured by Amgen (world’s largest biotech firm receiving $15.6 billion in revenues last year).

This delay is at an estimated cost to Medicare of

$500 million over two years. This will be the second two-year delay that Amgen has received for this drug. Is it any wonder why our medical costs are so expensive?

How did they get away with it? They have 74 lobbyists and have contributed more than $5 million to political candidates, including Mitch McConnell. As far as Obama Care is concerned, we are the only democratic nation without affordable health care for the majority of our citizens, and yes I do feel that everyone should have access to medical care.

I personally pay $500 a month with a $10,000 deductible (with no medical problems).

I suspect the vast majority cannot afford those types of payments, particularly if they are trying to cover a whole family.

If one wants to keep harping on Christian values, where is the empathy for those less fortunate?

It could just as well be one of us in the future.

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