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Womack talks with his friends, critics in district

Posted: February 25, 2011 at 6:08 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Steve Womack, R.-Ark., speaks Thursday about the federal budget during a town hall meeting at the Northwest Arkansas Convention Center in Springdale.

Freshman U.S. Rep. Steve Womack fielded questions from both ends of the political spectrum about last weekend’s House vote to slash $60 billion in spending during a “town hall” meeting Thursday night with about 80 constituents from his 3rd Congressional District.

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Northwest Arkansas, Pages 7 on 02/25/2011

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I appreciate the need to balance the budget, but the financial deficit is only one piece of our nation's prosperity index.

In addition to all those graphs Congressman Womack used to make his pitch for financing an extended tax holiday for the rich on the backs of the elderly and infirm, we need to take a good hard look at our assets. What is the condition of our nation’s infrastructure? How do we measure up against other first world nations in terms of the health, happiness, and security of our citizens?

As an American taxpayer, I want to see the return on investment for eliminating jobs for an entire generation of educated hard-working Americans. What are the long-term ramifications of cutting funding for and access to education? Are we really doing American industry any favors by allowing them to continue making products that other countries won't buy, like gas-guzzling vehicles, or prohibit the sale of, like genetically modified foods and toxic cosmetics?

Which is better economic policy, diversifying our nation’s transporation infrastructure now to include rails and trails, or waiting until gas prices are through the roof and businesses like Wal-Mart and Tyson that rely heavily on shipping goods long distances can no shoulder the cost of getting their products to market? Are we waiting in hopes of buying some cheap bullet trains from China?

Is it in our country's best interest to keep relying on dirty energy sources until our environment is completely polluted or to develop our clean domestic renewable energy resources now? Is it better for our economy to invest trillions in using our military to secure oil reserves for import or invest billions in developing efficient technologies for export? Show me the numbers.

There is a difference between spending and investing. I want to know what Congressman Womack and the Republicans are investing in our country, how they are safeguarding our assets such as our environment, and what they are doing to promote liberty and justice for ALL in our nation.

Posted by: SarahMarsh

February 25, 2011 at 8:59 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

semilm....As I read through your comment I felt you are a well read person and you know and understand government. Good questions, very good! But in your closure you went after Womack and the republicans, not that the republicans are little angles, however your questions, as I said are good and I would like to see you answer your questions. That way I can get a better understanding of where you are coming from and it would give me some insight as to how to view actions of Congress. Also it just might give some guidance to our leaders. It is so easy to point out issues without ones solution to the problem. Up to now I am impressed with Womack. But I am impressed with your questions, love to see the answers.

Posted by: DNC

February 25, 2011 at 10:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

.

Womack is simply place-holding. He's too smart not to realize that taxes must go up. They could double the size of budget cuts and do little to the deficit.
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My parents didn't think we would have it so good. They had their home paid for by their early 40s. They paid cash for all vehicles.
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During my early working years and all of my parent's working years government took 37 cents of every dollar GDP produced. It build the largest highway system ever built, more schools, shopping centers, bridges and the largest military the world had seen. The largest middle class ever witnessed came from government policies from 1948-1968.
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Then Richard Nixon wiped out Bretton-Woods Agreement (72) and before you knew it two workers were required to maintain a family. Add to devaluing our currency the need to import oil and we've been downhill since then.
.

Posted by: cdawg

February 25, 2011 at 2:37 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Once again THE ARROGANT STEVE WOMACK has shown his true colors!

Posted by: theboss

February 25, 2011 at 2:42 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

semilm...I had to stop reading your post at the point where you claim that the rich are enjoying an extended tax holiday. The rich pay the overwhelming bulk of the taxes this country collects. How you can believe that they are not paying boggles the mind.

Posted by: RDodger

February 25, 2011 at 7:18 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Womack is oblivious to the harrowing gap in income between the very rich and the working class. This nation was very prosperous during the Eisenhower era when marginal tax rates on the rich were 91%. You know what? There were still plenty of rich people, but the working class actually got to keep part of the wealth that their work created. It was the most upwardly mobile time for a vast cross-section of people in this country. Under the policies that Womack supports, only the very richest are doing better and everyone else is worse off than they were before.

Posted by: Goner

February 25, 2011 at 7:41 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

RDodger--

When you look at the percentages of total revenue from federal individual income taxes paid by the upper echelons of taxpayers, it appears to be a grotesque-- even unfair-- amount of money. But the picture changes when you look at the effective tax rate for those echelons. 2008 figures from the Tax Foundation, based on IRS data:
The top 0.1% of earners were taxed at an average 22.70% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI);
Top 1% at 23.27%;
Top 5% at 20.70%;
Second 5% at 12.44%;
Top 10% at 18.71%;
Between 10% and 25% (next 15%) at 9.29%;
Top 25% at 15.68%;
Second 25% at 6.75%;
Top 50% at 13.65% (composite average);
Bottom 50% at 2.59%

While the proportion of tax paid the top 10% of earners (69.94%) is about 26 times the tax paid by the bottom 50% (2.70%), the average tax rate for the top 10% is 7.22 times the average tax rate for the bottom 50%. (The average tax rate for the top 5% is 8 times that for the bottom 50%; the average rate for the second 5% is 4.8 times that for the bottom 50%.) The income thresholds for these groups are:
Top 5% -- AGI of $159,619 or more;
Top 10% -- AGI of $113,799 or more;
Bottom 50% -- AGI of $33,047 or less

Note that "All tax returns that have a positive AGI are included, even those that do not have a positive income tax liability." This would tend to skew the tax rate lower for the bottom 50%.

See http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/sho...

Of course the wealthy pay a lot more money-- they make a lot more money. But the progression of the tax burden is not nearly as astonishing when the rate is looked at rather than the amount of money paid.

Posted by: AlphaCat

February 25, 2011 at 11:45 p.m. ( | suggest removal )