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Why can congressmen be jailed for disclosing what's in trade bill?

To The Daily Sun,

On the PoliticoMagazine website is an article by Michael Wessel, who's an adviser to two congressional committees. He read the entire Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement. Very few people have been allowed to read the entire bill, which is up to be voted on by Congress. Individual congressmen have to go to a secret room in the basement of the White House with no aides or anyone else with them to be allowed to read it. And then they can only read parts of it. And they cannot take notes.

But here is the real clincher. Michael Wessel cannot discuss what's in the bill because by law if he does he will be jailed. Any member of Congress who discusses publicly what's in this bill is subject to being jailed. President Obama wrote this bill and presented it to the Congress to vote on and made it a crime for them to discuss it.

But wait a minute. Doesn't Congress make laws in our country? Doesn't Congress hold open hearings on bills up for vote as part of regular procedure? Doesn't Congress represent the people and don't the people have the right to know what's in the bills being discussed? What's going on here?

I have heard commentary that this "trade agreement" is set up so that other countries doing business in our country will be able to dictate laws in our country that pertain to their business. This could cover anything — immigration, the use of energy, the conditions of workers, use of land, etc... and that ultimately the United Nations will be the one making the laws. And that our Congress will not be able to vote on these laws. That in effect, the TPP is the final step in Obama's transformation of America, basically his ending of America as we know it, and making it a protectorate of the New World Order.

Do I sound crazy? Really? Why would the president make it so that members of Congress can only read this bill in secret and be jailed if they disclose any of its provisions? If I'm crazy, answer me that.

I think it's time for our members of Congress to get some guts or this country will disappear under our eyes. What if this guy Wessel refused to obey that injunction and called a meeting of the entire Congress (in some private place so the police won't be called to stop them) and told them everything in this bill? And what if all those members of Congress went out the next day and held town meeting forums for their constituents telling them everything in the bill so that in a span of two or three days the whole country would know what's going on and Obama would be stopped from his dictatorial power grab? What if that happened?

We know it won't happen. But it could. The only thing stopping us from not letting them steal our country is us.

Hillarie Goldstein


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For N.H. to grow & prosper we need to follow lead of Ohio & Wisconsin

To The Daily Sun,

The Wall Street Journal has published recent articles exposing the economic problems in states like Illinois, New York and Connecticut. It claims that one party rule by liberal Democrats has squeezed the middle class through increased spending and taxation, while giving those entrepreneurs and other residents possessing economic alternatives, the ability to relocate elsewhere to friendlier economic circumstances, resulting in low growth economies and tax proceeds for those states.

I grew up in Connecticut and spent 25 years of my career in suburban Chicago. Forty years ago Connecticut offered a tax haven to New York. It had no state income tax and the sales tax was around 5 to 6 percent. Property taxes were considered relatively high. 

Today the Legislature wants to raise the income tax to almost 7 percent, the sales tax rate of 6.35 percent may be expanded to most services and contain provisions for municipalities to add an additional portion. The state levies a "death tax" on estates over $2 million and imposes an occupational tax on many occupations including a $565 fee per year on the opportunity to practice law in the State of Connecticut. It is no wonder that at a recent reunion at the University of Connecticut School of Law, many of my classmates lamented that they were losing clients to lower-tax states like Florida.

Illinois is similar. Forty years ago, Illinois levied a 3 percent flat rate income tax rate and the sales tax was around 5 percent. Over the years, Illinois gave "home rule" taxing authority to various municipal levels of government, with the result that the current 6.25 percent state sales tax rate is over 10 percent in the city of Chicago and around 8.25 percent in surrounding counties, plus additional "sin" taxes on alcohol and gasoline. Meanwhile, the Democratic-controlled Legislature raised the income tax rate to 5 percent two years ago to close the budget deficit, without cutting spending and ran out of money the next year. All the while property taxes in Illinois were considerably higher than the national average and it also has a "death tax".

I'm proud of New Hampshire's motto of "Live Free or Die". It symbolizes and emphasizes individuality, self-reliance and the Golden Rule. I'm sick and tired of many on the left who think that ever-increasing spending on big-government social programs is a legislative imperative, regardless of accountability or effectiveness. They also seem to misunderstand simple economics that when you tax or regulate something, you get less of it.

They also seem to misunderstand the role of individual incentives. When the Democratic Legislature raised the cigarette tax five times in fours years by 350 percent, revenues increased only marginally. Now, Republican legislative proposals to cut business taxes to incentivize business and economic recruitment in New Hampshire in a effort to make the State more economically attractive, are met by complaints of favoritism and class warfare.

I want our state to grow and prosper and we need to follow the examples of John Kasich in Ohio and Scott Walker in Wisconsin, who each cut taxes, raised revenues and balanced budgets without tax increases. Let's take the shackles off small business and the job creators with a pro growth agenda. Otherwise we risk losing our "advantage" and wind up like Connecticut, New York and Illinois.

Richard R. Gerken


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