Archive for Wednesday, July 29, 1998

GOP THE PARTY OF REFORM

July 29, 1998

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This year's elections give voters the opportunity to keep the Clinton White House in check.

Newspaper headlines read "Clinton Signs IRS Overhaul" and pictures show the president seated at a table signing the legislation designed to revamp customer service at the IRS and put the customer, the taxpayer, first.

As usual when Clinton signs a piece of legislation, he and his staff invite in a number of persons, usually individuals representative of those likely to be affected by the new law, to serve as a backdrop for the picture.

Clinton could have signed this particular piece of legislation, as well as many others, in the quiet of his office, witnessed only by a few senior aides. But, he is a master politician and he makes the most of any and every opportunity to try to win votes and support. It is interesting to note Clinton has been opposed to any overhaul of the IRS and has spoken out against such actions. It wasn't until the Senate Finance Committee hearings, chaired by Republican Sen. William Roth, when witness after witness told of serious abuses by IRS agents, that pressure grew so intense some action was needed. Clinton finally agreed to support some kind of corrective actions.

At the signing ceremony Clinton said, "We've all worked hard to give the American people an IRS that reflects America's values and respects America's taxpayers."

Democrats have been in control of both the House and Senate for years and they have had every opportunity to revise and overhaul the IRS. Republicans in Congress have been calling for such action for years. However, it wasn't until the GOP gained control of the House and Senate that they were able to bring about the hearings and subsequent action by Clinton, who realizes the popularity of such a bill in an election year.

Time and time again Clinton has done everything he can to claim credit or act as if he has been responsible for major legislative actions in the past few years when in truth, such laws were brought about due to the GOP majorities in both the House and Senate. This is why the upcoming congressional elections are so important. Do voters want to keep both the House and Senate with Republican majorities where lawmakers can act as a check and balance on the White House and Clinton, or do voters want to give Clinton a majority in the House and Senate, which would give the president the votes to ram through legislation designed to give the federal government increased control over the lives of all Americans?

This has been the difference for years between Democrats and Republicans, with Democrats favoring big government and more government control and Republicans favoring less government. The IRS legislation is a good example. Similar actions could have, and should have, been taken years ago to reduce Washington's grip over the lives of this country's citizens. However, it wasn't until the GOP-controlled House and Senate highlighted IRS abuses that Clinton and fellow Democrats realized pressure was growing for major changes within the IRS. To top it off Clinton signed the IRS revamp, acting as if he were responsible for this much needed overhaul.

It's called politics.

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