Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Billy "Boss" Thomas retires

Congressman Bill Thomas (the House of Representative’s Ways and Means chairman) has finally announced his retirement. Thomas has represented Kern and sections of the AV since 1979; and his economic policies—and his policy mistakes—still impact the region.

Kern has for years had an unemployment rate more than double the national average and an economic infrastructure known in some quarters as “Appalachia West.” Violent crime as well as police corruption are among the worst in the nation. Pollution stemming from oil refineries, stockyards, and agriculture—more or less sanctioned by Thomas’ aggressively pro-business policies—has also contributed to a decline in the standard of living in Bakersfield and surrounding areas.

IN 2002, Thomas, working for Bush, helped put in place a $550+ billion tax cut which did little to nothing to help working or middle class citizens; the slashing of estate and capital gains taxes was a windfall for the very wealthy of the US, and also increased the national deficit, led to hikes in interest rates, and had a negative impact on Social Security.

Thomas may be remembered as a hero to a few management guys and executives or perhaps to any “conservatives” or liberals who think greed, cronyism, and sedition are inherently good principles.

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