By Arlys Mills
Several people have told me they do not vote because the information they receive through the media is so confusing. They have a point.
Political advertising takes words out of context, plays with statistics to make proposed tax increases sound much larger than they are, connects behavior of former candidates with current candidates, and uses many more techniques to confuse and mislead voters.
Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, introduced the principles of the Republican Party. I cannot imagine any normal voter would disagree with the principles. However, there is a difference between parties about how to achieve the goals described by these principles. I believe in those principles, too, but will never again vote for a Republican.
Many citizens are so busy living their lives; working, raising families and volunteering, that they do not have the time or skills needed to dig out the truth.
Since retiring, I have had time to follow politics in depth. This is what I have learned. It costs money to run a government. This money comes from taxpayers.
Many of us are taxed on money we earn by physically working for someone else or a corporation. Business owners and corporations are taxed on the profit they make from their work and the work of their employees.
Authentic small businesses are taxed at a higher rate than large corporations because large companies have fleets of lawyers and lobbyists finding ways to avoid paying taxes.
A lucky few live totally off the investments they have inherited or been able to make in the stock markets. Tax rates vary for each of these groups.
The Republicans believe we must cut taxes for the corporations and big investors to grow our economy. They believe a few CEOs are so much smarter than average people that we need to pander to them. These beliefs, when put into action, lead to a decrease in the amount of money available to spend on public education, health care (including research and environmental protection), Social Security, replacing aging infrastructure, the ability to extend unemployment insurance, and many other programs on the federal, state and local levels that benefit all of us.
The Democrats believe in the power of community. They believe ordinary people working together can solve problems by pooling their resources to fund public schools, build roads, and protect our world from environmental hazards caused by corporations finding new ways to make money for their investors. However, all of this takes money. If corporations, bankers and investors continue to convince the Republicans their taxes should be decreased, the ordinary people must pay higher taxes or do without needed services. Democrats believe in taxing the wealthy as well as the rest of us. It has worked in the past. Read The Crash of 2016 by Thom Hartman for more information.
I believe in public education.
I believe in universal health care.
I believe in the intelligence, initiative and ability of American citizens.
I will vote for Pat Quinn, Richard Durbin, Randall Olsen and the rest of the Democrats on the ballot in November.
Arlys Mills is a resident of Machesney Park.
From the Oct. 22-28, 2014, issue