Create economic equality for the holidays: Students should contact Rep. Matheson and tell him to support working Utahns

The U.S. Congress is continually and purposely shifting policy priorities away from average Americans.

Members on both sides of the aisle are preparing to make permanent President Bush’s multibillion-dollar tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Most of these taxes come in the form of capital gains and estate taxes-taxes that only affect the top 2 percent of Americans who have estates of more than $3.5 million.

Rightly so, some on Capitol Hill call this the Paris Hilton tax cut.

All U students need to ask a question when considering these tax cuts: Is it more important to give people like Paris Hilton and Donald Trump more money to buy mini-poodles or to continue to fund programs like Medicaid?

These upcoming votes will be a referendum with which our Utah politicians will stand. They will stand up for the super rich who don’t live in Utah, to the detriment of the hundreds of thousands of Utahns who are suffering from poverty and need.

Rep. Jim Matheson is one of the few Democrats who supports the removal of the estate tax. Not only that, but he and only eight other Democrats also joined Republicans for a crucial tie-breaking vote in support of Central American Free Trade Agreement, or CAFTA. CAFTA will export millions of American jobs to sweatshop factories in South America. Luckily, standing in the way of CAFTA is the resilience of leaders in Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Venezuela in standing up to American companies.

Matheson has already seen a reduction in labor union contributions. The Deseret Morning News reported that Matheson has received a total of $865,000 since his first campaign for Congress in 2000. Clearly, Matheson’s priorities are not with Utah workers.

Matheson is a breath of fresh air on Capitol Hill and does many good things for the people of Utah. But important questions still need to be asked of this representative. Namely, why does he want to move thousands of Utah jobs to Latin America?

Just ask the 30,000 men and women who were recently laid off from high-paying jobs with General Motors if they are in favor of sending their jobs overseas.

The holidays are the one time of year that Americans decide to give to the less fortunate. Indeed, the millions of “Tiny Tims” in this country look forward to Christmas time so they can receive new coats, boots and toys.

However, this year, instead of just giving to those who are in need, give them a real Christmas present and stand up to politicians who vote for policies that perpetuate poverty. “Perpetual Poverty” should not be on the Christmas agenda of any Utah lawmaker.

Make sure to let Matheson know that we at the U care about his votes and care about our brothers and sisters in the streets. ‘Tis the season to be protesting!

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