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Tim Myers: SCV Republican activists are gifts that keep on giving

Myers' Musings

Posted: March 28, 2009 11:06 p.m.
Updated: March 28, 2009 10:12 p.m.

When I meet people for the first time who know me only through this column, I initially must clarify that I have received no money for these weekly ramblings over the past 12-some years.

Then they wonder how I can come up with a tome of some 750 words each and every week. With typical Iowa humility (Iowans are ostentatious about their humility!) I reply the quirkiness of local goings-on in the SCV provide me with more than enough fodder, except perhaps in the odd summer months when the City Council and local school boards go dark.

But on that issue of fodder, local Republicans during the week ending March 21 provided the equivalent of an exiled Nigerian general actually coming across with a few million dollars upon the payment of a few hundred dollars in service fees. A cornucopia of material!

First off, on March 20 Lynn Vakay, local Republican activist, fired off a missive taking issue with my "teasing" concerning what looked like a caffeine-stoked hysterical e-mail to rally the local Republican faithful to outman local Obama activists at a City Council meeting.

The column mainly criticized fellow columnist Gary Horton for pointing out the cognitive dissonance of many local Republican activists when they constantly spew venom for the evils of government and taxation, but unapologetically consume the benefits of public goods including roads, fire and police.

Some even work directly or indirectly for some level of the government, earning their living from the fulfillment of contracts for government acquisition of public goods from the private sector.

Well, Ms. Vakay took issue with this characterization of hypocrisy, stating that she and her family do not consume the services of the wildly dysfunctional public school system, instead sending her daughter to a private school because the public schools, to paraphrase, suck, and she knows because she works in the capacity of teacher in the public school system.

I don't need to further explore Ms. Vakay's arguments, like the incredible efficiency and low cost of the private school, primarily because they do not provide the health care and pension benefits of the union-negotiated contract of the public school system, amounting to a 20 percent to 25 percent load on base salary.

In the words of our tennis-playing son: Game, set and match!

Who knew that on March 19, a day earlier, Congressmen Howard P. "Buck" McKeon would provide a second Christmas present when he voted "no" on the cobbled-together confiscatory tax to effectively claw back the "retention" bonuses paid to AIG financial products executives; the same executives who engineered the credit default swaps that brought that large company to its knees, forcing a government bailout the congressmen ratified with his vote on the TARP plan; a vote I supported.

Now in the industry some call these types of bonuses "breathing" and "sitting" bonuses; if the individual draws breath and sits in the chair in the office at the end of the year, he or she "earns" the bonus.

When I heard about these bonuses I felt normal contract avenues existed to abrogate the bonuses due to the ultimate poor financial performance of the credit default swaps and the division that engineered them, and frankly found myself troubled by the populist confiscatory income tax rammed through the house by the majority. (Be careful of confiscatory taxes because they might levy them on you some day.)

I felt that McKeon stuck close to Republican dogma, voting against a tax increase, until I saw that 85 Republican representatives, just two less than half of all Republican congressmen, voted "yes" on the confiscatory tax.

Shockingly, Eric Cantor, the House Republican Whip and second in command to Minority Leader John Boehner, voted "yes" while his leader voted "no."

Also, a majority of the California Republican caucus voted "yes" on the confiscatory tax, including conservative icons Tom McClintock and Jerry Lewis. Does Congressmen McKeon now belong to a "super-rump" party?

And then on March 20, the hits just kept on coming - when our congressmen issued a virulent press release cut and pasted from John Boehner's talking points not mentioning his "no" vote on the confiscatory tax - but stating his support for a full-on constitutionally dodgy abrogation of the contracts and Hugo Chavez-like expropriation of the bonuses from their recipients.

So to all those folks who wonder about column topics, this should provide your answer. And I would suggest the Republican activists give the Democrats a chance to say some crazy things that I can write about.

Tim Myers is a Valencia resident. His column represents his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.



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