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As usual, Dobbs is wrong

Date: 6/27/2011

Editor Michael Dobbs takes a number of shots at Mitt Romney in his Opinion piece in June 20th’s Reminder. While Mitt was no Bill Weld, does he really deserve vitriol like Dobbs’ assertion “Where was [Romney] when President Bush started a war against a country that was totally wrong . . .”? Huh? I’m pretty sure Mitt was not in the federal government at the time, and certainly had no influence with Bush. But Dobbs’ beloved liberal Democrats were in Congress and they did approve the war.

Dobbs attacks Romney personally by accusing him of being “a multimillionaire who has his, and could care less about you.” And he asks, while offering no evidence “Has he offered any aid or made a contribution?” to the tornado victims. “Where are you, Mitt?” he taunts. Well, Mitt’s not the Governor any more, Mike. Personal attacks don’t raise the tone of political conversation.

Dobbs’ disappointment with Romney reflects Dobbs’ belief that federal disaster relief should be a critical, key, federal government role. But neither the Constitution nor our long history supports that view. Relief is supposed to be a state and local issue, as Dobbs’ own words prove: “Does [Romney] understand . . . that non-profits and private businesses have helped tremendously . . . and that ordinary people are giving their time and money . . .?”

As President Grover Cleveland pointed out when he vetoed a bill proposing aid for Texas farmers struggling through a drought: “I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution; and I do not believe that the power and duty of the [federal] Government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit . . . Though the people support the Government, the Government should not support the people . . . The friendliness and charity of our countrymen can always be relied upon to relieve their fellow-citizens in misfortune.”

Ask yourself, how much does FEMA have to skim off from your taxes to support its huge bureaucracy before any money actually gets paid to victims?

Then the old class-warfare attack. Dobbs asks “Is [Romney] interested in revising the tax code so all Americans pay their fair share?” The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that 51 percent of households paid zero in federal income tax in 2009. So they’re certainly not paying their fair share. The top 2 percent pay over 20 percent of the entire federal income tax receipts, so they’re obviously paying more than a fair share. How much more should they pay to be “fair”? And who does editor Dobbs want to empower to decide what’s fair to take from you each year — our corrupt free-spending Congress?

Mitt may not have been our greatest governor, and may not be the right man for president. But he is 100% right about our out-of-control government spending, and that cuts need to be made across the board — maybe even in relief funds. If we are borrowing money from China to pay FEMA relief, aren’t our children going to have to foot the bill, anyway, plus compound interest? We have become fat and lazy thinking that Uncle Sam will foot all our bills, but he’s almost bankrupt.

Editor Dobbs ignores the fiscal mess we’re in, and blames the messenger.

R. Patrick Henry Jr.

East Longmeadow

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