You hear Tom Crawford's sarcastic view of Georgians in the opening line of his Nov. 13 column, as he notes that the state's voters "... aren't about to be swayed by any of those newfangled ideas and trends you might see having an influence on other states."
Crawford doesn't specify which "newfangled ideas" he's talking about. However, anyone following the presidential campaign over the past year could reasonably assume he refers to taxing rich individuals sill more, however "rich" is defined; taxing businesses still more; and protectionism.
New ideas? What's new about any of those from the Democrats?
Taxing the rich more heavily has been a standard for Democrats since the New Deal. In most cases it doesn't work. The poorest countries in the world often remain that way because they tax the rich heavily, thereby discouraging the investment needed to create jobs. Many of them detest capital and capitalists and discourage individuals from making a reasonable profit.
Raising taxes on business has been another staple of Democrats. Interestingly, earlier this decade when the American economy was booming, unemployment in high-tax Germany and France stayed around 8 to 10 percent. Americans would not tolerate this situation. In France with higher unemployment, which seemed a permanent state, it was destroying hope. The French and German governments decided they had to move to create more jobs, hope and opportunity so they cut taxes on capital to encourage investment.
Protectionism is another old idea, a bankrupt one. America has a number of tariffs and other protectionist measures. But we pretty much gave up tariffs as the centerpiece of trade after Smoot-Hawley deepened and extended the Great Depression.
A recent example of how protectionism damages consumers and other industries was when President Bush caved in to the steel industry and granted protection against foreign competitors. The first victims of the resulting higher steel prices were the American auto industry and right along with the industry, American consumers. Higher steel prices meant higher prices for cars and other products built with steel.
New ideas, Mr. Crawford? Hardly!
These are old ideas; they've been tried and found wanting; raising taxes on the perceived eve of economic disaster could guarantee a disaster. Georgia voters, based on experience in the real world rather than theory and wishful thinking, prudently shun the old ideas Crawford confuses with new ones.
Stopping these old ideas are a strong reason for sending Saxby Chambliss back to the U.S. Senate.
James R. Pilgrim
Chambliss earns vote, if he's learned a lesson
Yes, I am a Republican who recognizes the great need our country has in getting Sens. Chambliss and Coleman elected in Georgia and Minnesota.
Yes, I'll probably make it a priority to go vote for Chambliss on Dec. 2. However, my attitude is one of disgust. I'll go so far as to say that I am starting to understand why so many Republicans stayed home on Nov. 4.
I've heard the laughter from conservative leaders about the idea of our honorable senator taking responsibility for his actions. I know the senator's handlers have been pushing him to continue on as though he bears no blame for the situation. But as I clerked the Nov. 4 election, I knew there would be a December runoff. And as I heard the muffled conversation about it in the almost empty polling room, I knew which Georgian was to blame.
Jim Martin doesn't offer most Georgians anything they're interested in, other than an opportunity to show Sens. Chambliss and Isakson their displeasure with pork-barrel spending, the favorable nod towards illegal immigrants, the work with Senate Democrats on limits to use our own energy resources, and the votes in favor of the massive bailouts. Unfortunately for Chambliss, it is his turn in the limelight, and I hope that a little sweat is trickling down his brow.
I don't want him back in Washington, D.C., for his sake. I want him to go back as a senator who has finally learned an American history lesson. One who takes responsibility for his past errors. One who sees his political consultants have led him astray, and starts using the good sense he was raised with to make decisions for the best of our country and not his political career. One who's not going to fill our trash cans, airwaves and voicemail boxes with expensive garbage about Martin. One who will find a way to pay Georgia's counties back for the cost of the runoff election.
One who doesn't offer fake apologies ("I'm sorry you misunderstood ...") but who actually sees the issues as a true conservative and who isn't afraid to take an unpopular stand on Capitol Hill.