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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Paul Rawlings: Meet Arkansas' man in the Senate

  • We may as well think of Mitch McConnell as our Arkansas Senator
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  • On November 2, 2010, 451,617 Arkansas voters elected John Boozman their U.S. Senator and to be their voice in the U.S. Senate for the  next 6 years.
     
    The name Mitch McConnell has never been on the ballot in Arkansas.
     
    According to the U.S.  Congress Voters Database for his first two years as Arkansas’s voice in the U.S Senate Boozman said the same thing Mitch McConnell the Republican Senate leader said 91% of the time.
     
    Please meet Arkansas’s man in the Senate--Mitch McConnell
     
     Mitch McConnell entered politics in 1967 as an intern for Republican Senator John Cooper.  Later, he was an assistant to Republican Senator Marlow Cook, Deputy Assistant Attorney General under President Gerald Ford, Jefferson County Judge, of Jefferson County, Kentucky and United States Senator from Kentucky since January 3, 1985. From January 3, 2003 to January 3, 2007 McConnell was the Senate Republican Whip and since January 3, 2007 he has served as Republican Senate Leader and is regarded as one of the most politically powerful men in Washington.
     
    Mitch never worked in the private sector but he has done well financially by maintaining himself on the BIG GOVERNMENT payroll  going from a Senate intern’s salary in 1967 to a net worth of  $9,946,049.00 to $44,667,000. 00. in 2011 according to the financial report he filed as required by law.
     
    When Mitch was elected to the Senate in 1985 a U.S Senator’s salary was $75,100. and  has more than doubled to $193,400. 
     
    Mitch has received $4,146, 400. from U.S taxpayers in salary for his 28 years service in the U.S Senate
     
    Millionaire Mitch has done much better financially than American workers whose pay increased 5.7% from 1978 to 2013.
     
    Millionaire Mitch is opposed to increasing minimum wages for American workers from $7.25 an hour to $9.80 per hour.
     
    While Mitch was leading Republicans the number of millionaires increased 200,000 in 2011 to 8.2 million.
     
    While Mitch was accumulating his millions the number of Americans living in poverty increased to 50 million in 2011
     
    Mitch with a Republican majority in the Senate led the U.S into the second greatest economic disaster in history when corporate profits were the highest in history-- Exxon $82,561.00 per minute  and corporate CEO’S pay skyrocketed --David Simon of Simon Property Group received CEO pay of $137 million.
     
    When Mitch was elected to the Senate the national debt was 4 trillion dollars and has increased more than four times to over 16 trillion dollars during his 28 years as a senator.
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    Mitch if the national debt increased four times on your  28 year watch in the senate what would you do different in the next 6 years that you didn’t do during the last 28 years concerning the national debt?
     
    If government is too big and taxes are too high since you have been and active participant in government in some capacity for all your adult working life--more than 45 years—do you accept some responsibility for government  being too “big” and taxes being too “high?”
     
    What would you do different in the next 6 years from what you did for the last 28 years on taxes and big government?
     
    If taxes are too high: How did you accumulate assets worth $9,946,049.00 to $44,667,000.00 and Congressman Issa accumulate assets worth more than $464 million?
     
    For the first time in history more than half the current members of Congress have assets worth more than 1 million dollars.
     
    How many bills have you sponsored in your 28 years in the U.S Senate that became law—in other words what have you done to earn the $4,146,400.00 salary you received as a U.S. Senator?
     
    Will history record the gridlock you created by filing 137 cloture motions in 2009-2010 and the 88 cloture motions you filed in 2011-2012 as your greatest contributions to Americans for your 28 years of service in the U.S Senate? 
     
    From 1939 to 1960 government operated with 0 cloture motions being invoked and for the 46 year period 1939 to1985 only 69 cloture motions were invoked—about half the number you filed in two years.
     
    In the next 6 years will you continue the gridlock by filing cloture motions?
     
    Did Eric Cantor, Republican House Leader accurately described McConnell’s Republican leadership when he said:  “Look we know we screwed up in the majority.  We fell in love with power. We spent way too much money—especially on earmarks.  There was too much corruption when we ran this place.  We were guilty.” 
     
    Although Mitch calls the shot for Arkansas 9 out of 10 times when there is a vote in the U.S Senate Arkansas voters are not eligible to vote on him in November and must rely on the judgment of the voters in Kentucky.
     
    (Paul Rawlings of Heber Springs contributes each week to the editorial pages of The Sun-Times.  He writes a blog at www.pauls-musings.blogspot.com)

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