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November 7, 2012     Sentinel Tribune
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November 7, 2012

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SENTINEL TRIBUNE VIEWPOINT Wednesday, November 7, 2012 Page 4 BETWEEN THE LINES By Tom Merchant - Sentinel Tribune Campaign finally over m Myt.hs and Millionaires By the time you read this for the most part the election will be history. Of course the best part of it is no more commercials, letters, editorials, lawn signs, and tele- phone polls and surveys. Well except for the ones that will immediately start their campaigns for the next election. It's hard to believe that the presidential campaigns of both candidates spent a combined total of over two billion dollars. By government standards that is not a lot of money. In my eyes, it is a huge amount of money. You real- ize that if you bought two billion dollar candy bars and lined them up they would stretch from Mars to earth 10 times! Actually I made that up, but you have to admit that's a lot of candy bars. On the positive side you might say both candidates have created a lot of jobs in the adver- tising field. I feel a lot of the problem lies in the recent supreme court decision to allow individuals and corporations that pose as individ- uals (show me the DNA!) can contribute as much as they want to Super PAC's, to be spent any- way they see fit. I just cannot comprehend how the cream of the crop legal minds could ever come up with the opinion that corpora- tions can be seen as an individual person! It seems that greed and money have been legitimized by those who interpret the laws in our country. While politics is not supposed to influence the deci- sions of this high court, it appears obvious, by how each of them voted, that it does influence their decisions. So much for that, it is what it is, but I don't have to like it! Another matter... Another thing I do not like is the anonymity that folks have in running campaign attack ads. Last week we received an ad support- ing the Marriage amendment through our state wide network. The ad came from something called, Concern for Children, from and address in Almont, North Dakota. The town is a small town less than 200 pop located west of Bismarck about 25 miles. A couple of our readers went on Google earth, and found the address to be a vacant lot. So much for transparency, invisible would be more like it. The same group ran an ad the week before which basically stated their rea- sons for opposing the marriage amendment. I have no problem with that as I am a finn believer in the first amendment. Every one should have the right to express their opinion, even if you or someone else disagrees. However, I do take offense to this groups portrayal of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. But I still defend their right to their opinion, I just don't agree with it. I also consider that these people want to express their opinions, but take a cowardly way of doing it. It is really hard to respond to these people that hide behind anonymity. I feel the supreme court's decision, on allowing corpora- tions to be the same as a person, will definitely widen the gap between the Haves, and Have nots, this has been going on for many years already. When money dictates our future, those who are giving it, whether Republicans, Democrats, or Independents, all expect something in return. I saw a statistic once that showed the increase in personal wealth. I believe it was over the past 40 years. The wealthiest part of the country increased their wealth by 44 Trillion dollars, meanwhile the By Arnold Hiatt As every good businessman knows--including Governor Romney with whom I had been associated as a limited partner at Bain Capital Ventures--the sound- ness of a company and its ability to create jobs does not rest on lower taxes or tax avoidance--for the company or its senior manage- ment. If Governor Romney and Congressional Republicans con- tinue to insist on renewing the special Bush tax cuts that go only to the wealthiest 2% of Americans like me, it will do nothing to cre- ate jobs. It is a fiction, pure and simple, that taxing so-called "job creators" will have an adverse effect on the economy. Just the reverse is true. Instead of spending nearly $1 trillion on tax cuts to make millionaires even richer, those tax dollars can be used more constructively to retain teachers, police officers and fire- fighters and repair roads and bridges. These are all essential services that will rebuild our economy and maintain a civil society. In addition, these tax dol- lars will contribute to deficit reduction. The son of a Lithuanian immi- grant to this land of now diminish- ing equal opportunity, I had the good fortune to start a small com- pany that enjoyed a measure of success that was eventually acquired by The Stride Rite Corporation. Twelve months later I was asked to become president of Stride Rite. Throughout the last ten years of my tenure, the company's return on investment was in the top one percent of all companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange. We created thousands of new jobs. By the time I left, we had over 5,000 employees. Our success rested on the quality of the prod- uct and service provided to con- sumers. It was a reflection on the quality of the workforce as well as the management. My success could not have been possible without the people, who we con- tinued to hire and to train as we grew. I depended on them as much as they depended upon me. In the years we were creating so many jobs, my federal income taxes on the top slice of my income were sometimes as high as 70% -- But these rates never dis- couraged me or anyone else from hiring workers or growing a com- pany. Today we're paying about half that on the top portion of sala- ries and fees, and a meager 15% on the big chunk of our income that comes from investments. That's why Governor Romney and I and many other millionaires, pay a lower income tax rate than many working American families. Many millionaires never create any jobs at all. Those who do will create them regardless of the tax rate, and certainly won't be dis- suaded by the small increase of about five percentage points the President has proposed. The myth of millionaires as job creators being turned off by higher taxes is the creation of some members of the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate who are funded by these same millionaires. They know little about what makes companies successful. Romney rest of us in the same period showed an increase of about 12 trillion. I am sorry folks, but there is something wrong with that pie- ture. Hard working folks on the lower end, teachers, police offi- cers, nurses, truck drivers, store clerks, waitresses, deserve to AI Ba00. . . "Stories from the Batt Cave" knows better. It is a matter of record that during the time tax rates, both corporate and personal, were so much higher, our econo- my was booming. Conversely, the slowest job growth since World War II took place between the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and the 2008 economic meltdown. A few months ago, every Republican in the House and Senate, along with 19 House Democrats and two Senate Democrats, voted against a bill ending the Bush tax breaks for the richest 2 percent, but extend them for 98% of Americans and 97% of small businesses. I hope they will take a fresh look at the facts. That's why I joined with over 100 other millionaires in signing a Voices for Progress letter to all members of Congress, appealing to them not to renew these tax breaks. Allowing the wealthiest 2% to withhold tax dollars robs children of health and education. It is not only immoral, it is bad economics. They are the future of our country, which has begun to fall behind our competitors. It is also destroying the American Dream, which brought my father to this country alone at the age of 15. Both he and the Founding Fathers would agree that the future of this nation should not be compromised by the short- sightedness of those so well offin the present. These are not the val- ues that made this country great. Arnold Hiatt was the CEO of The Stride Rite Corporation. This article previously appeared in The Boston Glob increase their wealth by a similar Boordman percentage. Especially when you consider how many of the wealthy are working from estab- lished family wealth. Don't get me wrong I have Boardman no problem with people making money and getting wealthy. But until we get a tax system that tends not to favor the wealthy, I can not see this changing. The bottom line is, if everyone can make a living wage, our econom- ic woes will be solved. avoid paying real estate taxes next Have J great week and do good! Buy, Sell, or Rent in the Classified ads Sentinel Tribune Ph. 274-6136 1-800-410-1859 Mission Statement The Sentinel Tribune serves the residents and business community of Cottonwood, Redwood, Murray and Lyon County and southwest Minnesota by applying its available resources to accurately and consistently produce a quality newspaper which thoroughly covers the news of the area, stimulates thought and conversation, delivers adver- tising messages in a timely manner, and provides information of general value to its public. In so doing contributes to the overall quality of life and eco- nomic health of its readers, advertisers and com- munity in general while stimulating the professional development of its employees. Boardman, I was talking to myself. Why not? I'm friends. I do that while shopping at the Food Crypt. I overpaid at the self- check aisle. No surprise. I've had no formal training as a cashier. I'd been busier than an octopus with itchy skin. Earlier, I'd paid my respects to the two gravesites of Alice Goodnight. She was the assistant for Lame-O the Magician whose big trick was sawing Alice in half. Hence, the two graves. I know many of those who are now occu- pants of the cemetery. I was born in the area because I wanted to be close to my mother. I stopped to ask a man if he was all fight. He was sitting by himself on a graveyard bench and not using a cellphone. That's odd behavior. He was repeating the words, "Jean- Claude Van Damme." That way he could sound like he was cussing without actually cussing. He stood up while holding a small bottle and began jumping up and down. I asked again if he was OK. He replied, "I didn't notice until atter I took this medicine that I was supposed to shake it well. I had lunch at the Eat Around It Cafe with someone from a large city. She said, "There are more churches than stoplights here." I suspect that was her definition of a small town. For the record, there are two churches and no stop- lights in this small town. Fuel's three times, I was supposed to year. I explained that this was a law from back in the days when things existed that were tax-free. The Boardman brothers were the first settlers in Hartland Township. They took up residence along the shores of Mule Lake in 1857. I didn't have my taxes forgiven. I guess the Boardman name no lon- ger carries much influence here. The old legend didn't work. I expected that. I'd invented the old legend. So I gave the chipbuck count that I do each year. The chipbuck isn't a myth. We have so many deer here that they're breeding with chipmunks. The result is a little rodent with a large white tail and huge antlers. The sad part is that the antlers make it impossible for the chipbucks to get back into their burrows, as the entrance holes are too small. They become wedged in the holes and fall prey to coyotes. I arrived home atter shopping. It'd been a good day. I'd rid myself of the irritating electrical charge I'd been carrying. I was ex-static until I lost the house key. I was on a journey of discovery. I searched the lawn for it. I'd lost the keys in the car, but the light was better on the lawn. I said, "Boardman, Boardman, Boardman," in the hopes that'd help me find it. My Momma didn't raise no dum- mies. The lady next door raised me. A1Batt 2012 71622 325 St. 1-1, MN 56042 Paradise could advertise at it has the lowest gas prices in town. It's the only gas station in town. Weasel begs for money outside Fuel's Paradise each day. He's try- ing to raise enough money to go on a cruise by proving that beggars can be cruisers. He's not allowed into Fuel's Paradise since the big giveaway fiasco. He told everyone that he'd won a motorhome after buying a slice of pizza at Fuel's Paradise. That angered the owner, as the most anyone could win was a free breakfast. Weasel's winning slip had read, "Win a bagel." Another diner told me that he'd had all his teeth taken out and a new stove put in. I know that those two things weren't related, but I couldn't get the odd pictures out of my head. The Silly Com Valley where I live was settled by people and con- trary to popular belief, there were no UFOs involved. Most of those near me are here because they're part of the Federal Witness Protection Program. Have you ever wondered what happened to Dan Quayle and Billy Ray Cyrus? I can't say more. I've already said too much. People wear "You don't know me" T-shirts to church. Whispering Walt, who always yells, claims to have moved here because of his beliefs. He believes that it's OK to cheat at cards. I'd come to town for the Town Board meeting, held at the Bureau of Tourism and Com. I burst in like a rich uncle saying, "Boardman, Boardman, Boardman!" Everyone gave me an odd look. I'm used to that. Before they could ask, I told them that by saying "Boardman" Subscribe to the Sentinel Tribune i,l,llliTtltlr IIIH nnMr " iryiv-]vTiT]lrltltlrn r Sentinel Tribune Thomas Merchant Junette Merchant Joan Spielman (ISSN 8750-3905) Managing Editor Office & Production Office & Production Published every Wednesday at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 Periodicals Postage Paid at Westbrook, Minnesota 56183 SUBSCRIPTION PRICE FOR THE SENTINEL TRIBUNE WILL BE: In the following counties: Cottonwood, Redwood, and Murray $42.00 per year. Elsewhere in Minnesota $46.00 per year. Out of the state $52.00 per year. Canada and foreign countries inquire at the Sentinel Tribune Office. If wrong amount is submitted subscrip- lion will be pro rated accordingly. "Snowbirds" may put their paper on hold at no extra charge while they are gone, or pay $5.00 extra to have it mailed out of state. Missed copies cannot be furnished because the cost of mailing single copies is about $2.00. 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