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Article published October 9, 2012
Kelly positions flawed
Gino Mariotti Butler
Early in his tenure, Congressman Mike Kelly, R-3rd, blamed Barack Obama for most of the country’s woes. But this Congress has failed miserably. While House Speaker John Boehner sits idly by, we are headed toward the fiscal cliff that is certain to cripple the economic recovery. Kelly supports a presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, who at a fundraiser revealed disdain for the 47 percent of Americans who pay no federal income taxes. After that damaging portrayal, which was captured by a hidden camera, he said he “didn’t mean it.” While admonishing the less-fortunate, Romney takes advantage of tax loopholes and offshore investments that reduce his tax rate to 14 percent. I read a colorful Kelly political insert and respectfully take issue with several positions he holds. He claims to be fighting to restore the $716 billion cut in Medicare. My response: The $716 billion was not taken out of the Medicare program for current beneficiaries, as claimed by a misleading Romney. The $716 billion in savings would be obtained by reducing payments to insurance companies, hospitals and other providers to strengthen the Medicare Trust Fund. Kelly claims he is fighting to stop Obama from a $4 trillion tax increase on the American people. My response: At the end of this year, the decade-long George W. Bush top tax rate of 35 percent will expire and return to the Clinton-era tax rate of 39.6 percent. Kelly claims to be working to protect 710,000 jobs that could be lost if we don’t extend middle-class tax cuts. My response: In November 2011, at a debate in Michigan, Romney pitched his middle-class tax plan. “I’ll cut your taxes by 20 percent,” Romney promised. Last month, at a high school in Ohio, he threw an alternative pitch. “By the way, don’t be expecting a huge cut in taxes, because I’m also going to lower deductions and exemptions,” meaning the tax rate might be lower but taxable income might be higher (experts say $2,000 more for middle-class families). Kelly says he is against Wall Street bailouts and regulations. It was George W. Bush who triggered the first $750 billion Wall Street bailout made necessary by deregulation. It was Obama who successfully bailed out General Motors. Obama’s GM bailout continued to provide Kelly’s dealership with cars to sell, saving jobs there. Romney is a flawed presidential candidate. He changes his positions then insists, “I stand by what I said, whatever it was.”