By Dick Patten, president, American Family Business Institute - 04/07/08 05:08 PM EDT
It seems that Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is finally facing up to the consequences of her opposition to death tax repeal (article, “Landrieu’s reelection bid made difficult by Vitter,” April 2). I want to point out an important piece of this drama that your article overlooked: Landrieu was the Louisiana senator who broke her word and voted against the H.R. 8 death tax repeal in June 2006.
She had previously committed to support permanent repeal, and up to the day of the vote, we were counting on her. Apparently, the good policy of death tax repeal mattered less than giving in to the demands of the Democratic leadership that she vote against the bill. Her defection was the cause of that bill’s failure.
Her 2008 opponent, John Kennedy, seems to understand the importance of this issue for Bayou State residents, and has signed the “Death Tax Repeal” pledge. We have repeatedly offered Sen. Landrieu the opportunity to support repeal by signing the pledge, but it seems she is ever more closely tied to the expectations of her leadership. It should be no surprise that she is in hot water now with her constituents, many of whom don’t appreciate why party politics should come ahead of good policy.
‘Sorry, sir — but have a nice day’
From Rex A. Wood
Last year, The Hill published a letter to the editor I wrote (“As disabled vets get the shaft, lawmakers’ kin may get perk,” June 19). Once again, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is in the news for demanding perks for politicians.
Nancy Pelosi must have Defense Secretary Robert Gates on speed dial when it comes to demanding special privileges for those in need of a lift on military aircraft. First it was politicians’ children; now, it’s Rep Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and her domestic partner Lauren Azar. This issue is not about domestic partnerships. However, it is all about Nancy Pelosi’s willingness to demand privileges for politicians, and to ignore those that I consider to be more deserving and would benefit the most. I’m talking about our nation’s veterans, and in particular, our disabled veterans. In my last letter, I challenged the media to look at whom the U.S. military is already flying on space-available travel. The short answer is, everybody but disabled veterans.
I’m talking about those men and women who fought and became disabled as a result of defending the United States of America. They are not entitled or afforded the same privilege that Nancy Pelosi demands for politicians and cronies.
I wish I could call Secretary Gates and say, “Look, ‘Bob,’ I’ve got some disabled veterans here from past and present wars and they would love to take their spouse and children on a vacation; nothing fancy, Mr. Secretary, just somewhere that up until now they have not been able to go, because their disability payments are not enough to afford such a flight. Do you think that would be possible, Mr. Secretary?”
What answer do you think I would get? Here is probably what I might hear:
“I’m sorry, sir. We realize that you put your life on the line for your country, and became disabled and disfigured, but right now, The Madam Speaker has all seats reserved for her and a few friends that are on a political junket to test what type of military aircraft would be best suited to fly politicians, well, basically anywhere they would like. You have a nice day, sir.”