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Voice: Bush and fellow Republicans are simply unreal and terribly political

March 16, 2002

Since 9/11 I have tried to keep my comments about the current administration to myself, but the last straw was something I read about the steel industry.

How we allow President Bush to get away with this is beyond me! As most know, the steel industry is hurting because of cheap imported steel. Well, the steelworkers' union and the industry petitioned President Bush to put a 40 percent tariff on imported steel.

Knowing that this is a very important midyear election, and unions tend to vote Democratic, he went against one of the Republican free trade "principles" and put a 30 percent tariff on the imported steel to try to make points with the unions.

Sounds good, doesn't it? But when you look at the fine print you find out he really did nothing. For instance, last year we (the U.S.) imported 5.7 million tons of steel. Now this is the good part. Let's say we import another 5.7 million tons this year. The way the tariff is written, 5.4 million tons will be completely exempt from the tariff!

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That means only 300,000 tons or 5.26 percent of the total amount of steel being imported into this country will be assessed the 30 percent tariff! Nearly 95 percent of the steel will be exempt from the tariff!

If I were a steelworker I would be highly P.O.! Someone please tell what good is a tariff if you are going to exempt nearly 95 percent of it?

How does this help? It doesn't! It only gives the illusion of help in order for the Republicans to be able to say, "Look steelworkers, we are on your side," for the election. UNREAL!

The second thing that just ate at me was the reaction by Sen. Trent Lott and Rep. Tom Delay to Sen. Daschle asking questions about the "war" effort. They said by him and the Democrats asking these questions, they give aid and comfort to our enemies and betray our troops, that any Democrat (or anyone else) who questions the president's foreign policy while our troops are in harms way, they are somehow un-American.

What a crock of bovine fecal matter! That is exactly what makes them (us) Americans. We are allowed to question, disagree and criticize our leaders! George Bush is the president of the UNITED STATES, not the president of Cuba! Not only did Sen. Daschle have every right to question the president, he had and has a CONSTITUTIONAL duty to do so. That's what a democracy is, Mr. Lott and Delay!

By the way, correct me if I'm wrong but weren't these two the same ones who, while President Clinton was in office and our troops were in (and over) the Balkans, Somalia and Iraq, not only questioned the president but openly and gleefully criticized him?

It is unbelievable how hypocritical these people are. It just goes to show how Republican "principles" only seem to show up when it suits their purposes, namely the November elections!

Again, UNREAL!

RAMAS "MO" MORRISON

El Centro

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