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To the editor:
The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School brought out the usual hypocrisy on Capitol Hill and in the White House.
Politicians pointed fingers at everybody and everything but the contribution their bad examples make to such tragedies.
During their so-called “fiscal cliff” showdown, the juvenile conduct displayed by President Obama, other Democrats and the Republicans was not over a solution. Their childlike haggle was over a tiny fraction of the needed solution.
How small was that fraction? Their fiscal-cliff deal will add $11 trillion to our debt over the next decade. During those 10 years, the cost of interest on our debt will equal half of what is spent on Social Security provided the interest rate we pay does not go up, and, if income tax rates do not increase, Kentuckians will still pay 49.1 percent of every dollar they earn for federal and state taxes, not counting local or indirect taxes.
With some of the old incumbents in Congress, upright and responsible conduct apparently went out of style with pointed-toe shoes. “Such old-fashioned principles are for turkeys, man. Get with the music. Make love, not war.”
Consequently, politicians from the flower-child period appear to have no problem with turning a blind eye to illegal emigrants, thumbing their noses at our Constitution, disregarding sworn oaths, building bridges and highways to nowhere, spending our tax dollars to pander voters, engaging in for-profit wars, covering up tragic consequences spawned by their incompetence in such outrages as “Fast and Furious” and the disgrace at Benghazi.
By any measure, their unsavory, self-serving acts constitute bad examples.
Given their examples, it is no wonder that record-breaking numbers must be used to announce the number of food-stamp recipients, home foreclosures, personal bankruptcies, high school dropouts and inmates in prison. The list of negatives they are partly or wholly responsible for can fill pages, and one item listed among those pages would be the simmering frustration that contributes a lion’s portion of responsibility to such tragedies as Oklahoma, Tucson and Sandy Hook.
To be fair, it isn’t fair to paint the whole of Congress with the same critical brush. Many of our politicians are well-meaning and still retain the ability and will to recognize right from wrong.
Two examples are senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and our own Rand Paul. Their words and deeds are consistent; and honest, candid, and commonsensical fit them like a glove.
It is reasonable to assume that there are many others who share their code of ethics from their seats of anonymity in the back rows of Congress. Only honest and oath-driven leadership can make their presence known and use their knowledge and skills for the betterment of America and Americans.
Imagine all the good our elected politicians could do for America if they would simply present a proper example for youth to emulate, and that good would not cost any lives or a single tax dollar.
Lexington, formerly of Lawrenceburg