Dear Mr. Hannity,
Tuesday, I had the opportunity to call your radio show and, fortunately, I got through!
I started off by telling you that I would be sitting out the coming election. I wanted to give the reasons why I have taken this position but you immediately interrupted me by, first, accusing me of being a liberal and that you didn't believe me. You then launched into a series of questions designed, I presume, to determine whether I was, indeed, a true conservative (and you would only allow me to respond to, you said, with either a "yes" or "no"). Your 6 or 7 questions included: did I agreed with Bush tax cuts, Republican Enemy Intercept programs, border fences, etc.
When you were finished with your litany, I started to give my reasons but you cut me off. Yes, I understand it was the end of the hour and it was time for news. But you asked me to "hold on" with the promise that you'd get back to me later in the show.
I waited on line for two hours and you never did get back to me. And then you hung up on me.
By the good graces of LewRockwell.com, I have the opportunity for equal time. Now I can tell you why I believe it is in the interests of conservatives and free-marketers to, at the most, sit out this election, and, at the least, not vote Republican.
I also want to tell you why youre not the Great American that you claim to be:
1) $2.6 trillion federal budget
We have a Republican Senate, Republican House, and a Republican President. This has been the situation for the past 6 years.
Yet this year the federal budget is projected at more than $2.6 trillion. In the last year of the Clinton Administration, the budget was just under $2 trillion; that's a 30% increase under the party that is supposed to stand for less government. He also balanced the budget…without any $400 billion deficits, either.
Sean, if I wanted to live in Sweden, I'd move to Sweden.
Conservatives shouldn't vote for tax-and-spend-Republicans.
2) Tax cuts
On a daily basis, Sean, you blather on and on about how great the Bush/Republican tax cut has been and how this is a reason why we should get out the vote so that we don't lose this great benefit.
I'm a single, self-employed taxpayer in the state of Arizona. Under Bush and the Republican Congress, I've seen my marginal tax rate go down from 47% to 44%: a measly 3 points.
The breakdown for a single, self-employed taxpayer at $30,650 in taxable income in the state of Arizona for the year 2006:
.250 Federal marginal rate .153 FICA federal tax .033 Arizona marginal rate _________ .436 TOTAL
Arizona is not a big income tax state. If you live in California or New York, you can see the rate being much closer to 50%.
I think youll agree, Sean, that $30,650 in taxable income is not a lot of money…yet at this level I am paying 44 cents out of every dollar I earn to various governments. Under Clinton I was paying 47 cents.
And you expect me to cheer for the Republicans for a lousy 3-cent reduction?
Sean, where's the flat tax rate that you and your Republican brothers have been promising me for 6 years?
Conservatives shouldn't vote for Republicans who can't keep their promises about significantly reducing taxes.
3) Privatization of Social Security
Approximately 80% – 12.4 cents of the 15.3 cents – I pay in FICA taxes (see above) are Social Security contributions. Money I'll never see. A rip-off if I've ever seen one.
Bush and the Republicans have been promising us real, fair changes to the Social Security system; they ran on a promise of privatization.
Yet the Republican/Bush privatization plan for Social Security reform proposed that less than 30% of those 12.4 cents in contributions could be put into a private account…and that, even with this meager amount, there would be great restrictions on the kind of investments they could be put in: only blue-chip bonds, government bonds, etc.
This was the most wimpy, weak-kneed set of proposals that one could possibly put forth, short of supporting the status quo. After the first week of its introduction and the chorus of protests against it (much of it from Republicans, by the way, who thought it went too far!), we've never heard of privatization since.
Bush never, ever intended to privatize Social Security and the Republication Congress never intended to push him on it. What Bush and the Republican Congress intended was to pay lip service to a campaign promise so they could say: "well, we tried!"
What your party does intend on doing, Sean, is to continue to tax and spend me to my grave. And this is the party you want to get out the vote for?
4) Sean Hannity's Buy American program
Sean, you are fond of saying "you're a great American". Most callers tell you that and you inevitably respond to them in kind. You repeat this phrase, day in and day out, to celebrity guests and politicians who are fellow travelers that come on your show. It has become your tagline, your motto.
Several weeks ago, you came out with the Sean Hannity You're a Great American Car Giveaway contest in which lucky listeners can register to win an American-made car from GM. This contest is an obvious extension of your oft-repeated mantra in which you encourage your listeners to only buy American cars made by the Detroit Big Three. You've told us you've only bought American cars throughout your life and are proud of it.
Sean, I can't think of anything less American and less patriotic.
To me, being a great American means being a practitioner and supporter of the free market. That means that you don't buy products and services based upon the racial, ethnic or national origin of the owners of a company or where a corporation's head office may be situated.
No, being a great American means practicing what you yourself, Sean, preach on a daily basis on your show: the free market. And that means buying products and services based upon quality and price.
And if bloated SUV-manufacturing, Hummer-producing gas-guzzling Detroit can't compete with the more efficient, less expensive Japanese and Korean models, then so be it.
Being a great American means putting your money where your mouth is.
Indeed, your buy-only-American-cars diatribe puts you in the same camp as he who is most reviled by Sean Hannity listeners: the much-hated Michael Moore, whose first film Roger and me put forward that very same premise. Moore, too, is against the free market. Like you, he also wants inefficient American plants ear-marked for closure to stay open so that they can continue to churn out more expensive, lower-quality models that Americans should be required to purchase under a misguided obligation to reward inefficient enterprises simply because of their nationality.
In protest of your un-Americanism, Sean, I encourage all conservative and free-marketers to sit out this election.
Sean, you have betrayed the conservative cause. After 6 years of a Republican Congress and a Republican President, a long line of conservative policies have been abandoned and spat upon. Instead of being a shill for Republicans, you should join those of us who refuse to vote, once again, for candidates from a party that have abandoned the very values upon which they ran.
Why reward Republicans with your vote when doing so would be interpreted – and rightly so – as tacit approval of their voting record?
Six years of Clinton's presidency were coupled with a Republican House and Senate. In those six years, we witnessed a hat-trick of free market ideals becoming law: Free-Trade (NAFTA), Welfare Reform, and a balance budget. It took a so-called liberal – Bill Clinton – in order to see this come to pass.
I suggest it was this creative tension – this diversified balance between a Democratic Executive and a Republican Congress – that was responsible. A Republican Congress and Republican President has only resulted in more and more spending.
An election that gives us a Democratic majority in both the Senate and House will result in a lot of hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing on the part of Republican operatives. Studies will be done and demographic polls taken as to the cause of the defeat.
And what they will discover is that the Democrats won because a lot of disgruntled conservatives and Republicans stayed home. And that will result in Republicans taking stock of their voting record and the conclusion that the base can't be taken advantage of.
What better message, Sean, to send during a non-Presidential election year?
Tony Kondaks Mesa, Arizona
October 27, 2006