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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our Florida Tax Money - Following Judy Woodruff

Maybe Uncle Sam could put a big purple dot on every tax dollar my husband and I paid this year. It would be great to find out how many dotted bills show up in Florida.

Judy Woodruff of PBS Newshour provided superb journalist news by following the tax debate in Florida, a state where lots of our tax money flows to keep the economy vibrant.

Let's count Florida's Military bases. A website www.usmilitary.about.com says there are 7 US Navy Bases, 6 Air Force Bases and 11 Coast Guard bases in Florida. In contrast, there are soon to be zero military bases in Maine but one Coast Guard Station is left standing in South Portland.

Therein is my point. If Uncle Sam put a purple dot on my tax dollars earned here in Maine, it would be interesting to see how many of the bills would wind up at a military base in Florida.

Tea Party activists and the conservative Republican Senatorial Candidate Marco Rubio are angry because they say the state's Governor Charlie Christ is too liberal because he had the graciousness to thank President Obama for the stimulus money.

Florida's stimulus money includes my tax money. I want to thank Governor Christ for thanking President Obama for using my tax money to help Florida.

Now, for Tea Party people who complain about Governor Christ's honesty, please do the American tax payer a favor and raise your hand if you or anyone in your family has a job related to Florida's 24 military installations?

Ahhh, yes, I thought so - thank you for being honest hand raisers. Your hands are too many to count. I suspect there's even a margin of error in the reticence of those who held back their hands. In fact, Florida's economy would sink like an untethered off shore oil refinery if the US military was not evident everywhere.

My husband is a retired US Navy Veteran and we use the military facilities throughout Florida when we vacation. Thank you Florida for making our vacations affordable by using our Maine tax dollars to support your state's military installations.

Tea Party Tax Dunkers should learn how government works before criticizing their governor, who is honest with President Obama about the positive impact of the stimulus money and other tax revenue put to use in Florida.

Following PBS journalist Judy Woodruff's coverage of Florida's tax debate helped to restore my confidence in responsible investigative news reporting. I thought this kind of interview-journalism was loosing ground to "gotcha" news or tabloid headlines. Woodruff'sr coverage was especially impressive when hosting a town hall style Q&A with Christina Romer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers in President Obama's administration. Woodruff ensured that all the questions were validated. Most important, the questions were answered. Audience questions facilitated by Woodruff allowed Romer to debunk some Tea Party myths. For example, Romer politely responded to one question from a lady who asked why the recently passed health care bill was rammed through Congress (a typical Tea Party Urban Legend)? Romer answered with a smile while calmly informing the questioner about how the health care reform bill took a full year to be debated before it was voted on. It was polite discourse, of course, but a dunk for the Tea Party's ill informed rhetoric.

But, about our Florida Tax Money.

Tea Party advocates want to reduce or eliminate government spending. Rather than demonstrate for television with their overwhelmingly white faces, they should, instead, ask Governor Christ to please send me a refund on my tax return.

Meanwhile, these Baggers who fight taxes should be prepared to take our tax dollars by standing in unemployment lines while watching Florida's economy implode like an inflated tea bag bursting inside a cup. In fact, our Florida tax money keeps the state's Tea Party activists economically afloat.

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