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Today's Opinions

  • Congress has enacted more than $800 billion of tax cuts

    One of my top priorities in Congress has been reducing financial burden on middle- and working-class families during these tough economic times. Last week, USA TODAY reported that Americans paid their lowest level of taxes in 2009 since Harry Truman’s presidency. The news story reported: “Federal, state and local taxes — including income, property, sales and other taxes — consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009, the lowest rate since 1950, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reports.

  • Congress needs a budget

    Traditionally, Congress is expected to agree on a budget for the upcoming fiscal year by April 15th.  It is this budget process at the beginning of each year where the decision is made regarding total federal spending for the year.  It is the budget that sets the stage for how fiscally responsible government spending will be.  Since the passage of the Budget Act of 1974, the House of Representatives has never failed to pass an initial budget to set the spending priorities for the following fiscal year.

  • Lessons from Kennedy’s ‘True Compass’

    Ted Kennedy‘s “True Compass” would be poignant for one fact alone if there wasn’t so much else to recommend it. This Kennedy brother, after all, was the only one who lived long enough to write a memoir.

        Pathos and tragedy accompanied every step of success his family ever recorded. For the prominent role they achieved in American history, they paid a very bloody and very sad price.

  • Financial reform is needed

        The oil spill in the Gulf has been consuming the news, and possibly Congress’ attention, so I haven’t seen much lately on the Senate’s efforts on a financial reform bill. Prior to that, a lot of news consisted of “Democrats” accusing Republicans of being in Wall Street’s pocket. Of course, “Democrats” are in Wall Street’s pocket, so maybe they know who their neighbors are.

  • Leaving his mark

    The fact that President Obama selected Solicitor General Elena Kagan — a liberal reflecting his political stance — to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens should come as no surprise. For all the handwringing over legislation that has been introduced over the past 18 months, the President’s opportunity to appoint SC justices provides the opportunity for him to leave his greatest legacy.

  • Letters

    Trail should be handicap

    accessible

        This year at Liberty High School the Agriculture Department developed a nature trail. I believe that the nature trail is a good idea because it allows students to learn outside the  classroom. However, when building the trail they did not take into consideration that individuals with physical disabilities cannot access the nature trail.

  • Automatic pay raises for Congress blocked

    I am committed to increased accountability and transparency in government, and pleased to report that we took two important steps forward in this direction last week in Congress.

  • Ensuring the safety of our citizens

    Over the weekend a man with ties to the Taliban drove an SUV loaded with home-made bombs into Times Square in the heart of New York City.  Thanks in large part to two very observant street vendors, the local authorities rushed to the scene where they found the smoking car that contained two five-gallon containers of gasoline, three twenty-gallon propane tanks, 152 M-88 fireworks, two alarm clocks connected to wires and a metal gun locker filled with 250 pounds of fertilizer.  Authorities were able to dismantle the contents of the SUV, preventing what had the potential to be a very