Conrad Burns, "hero" to the American Taxpayer?

Tuesday, October 10, 2006 at 05:55 PM

So Grover Norquist's grubby little group dedicated to the death of all taxes, "Americans for Tax Reform" (ATR) has given Montana Senator Conrad Burns one if its "Hero of the Taxpayer" awards.

Conrad Burns an American Hero?  Of the taxpayer?  Only in the sense that Ronald Reagan was an American Hero.

Can you be a hero to the taxpayer while being just a little bit racist?

Well, where I live, "the taxpayer" means mostly working stiffs.  Of all races.

Lets see what else this gruff American hero to the taxpayer has been voting for and against.  

Compare his hero status to these Burns positions on corporate subsidies and bankruptcy laws, from On the Issues:

  1. Burns voted NO on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore.

  2. Burns voted YES on reforming bankruptcy to include means-testing & restrictions, and requiring personal bankruptcy filers to repay $10,000 or 25 percent of their debts over five years in order to file under Chapter 13 bankruptcy (reorganization and repayment) rather than Chapter 7.

OR, compare it to these Burns positions on health care, from On the Issues:

  1. Burns voted NO on negotiating bulk purchases for Medicare prescription drug.

  2. Burns voted YES on limiting health care deductions for the self-employed.

  3. Burns voted NO on increasing restrictions on tobacco.

OR , compare it to these Burns positions on jobs & employment, from On the Issues:

  1. Burns Voted NO on raising the minimum wage to $7.25

  2. Vurns voted YES on killing an increase in the minimum wage.

  3. Burns voted YES on allowing workers to choose between overtime & comp-time (a policy regularly abused by corporate employers to force overtime work without overtime pay, by "suggesting" that comp time be used and then making it hard or impossible to use the comp time).

If all that still isn't heroic enough for you, try this out. from Forbes:

Montana Sen. Conrad Burns, a Republican in a tight re-election race, flew on a private plane chartered by Vonage Holdings Corp. just days after he pushed legislation that the company has advocated for more than a year.

Still not sufficiently heroic?  Here:

Given the lack of real need for huge amounts of Homeland Security spending to protect the internationally-recognized assets of Montana, what's Conrad Burns to do? For those people who are familiar with Senator Burns, the answer will be all too familiar. When a real need for federal spending does not exist, Senator Burns figures that he can just make something up.

So it was that Senator Conrad Burns declared this week, during a speech aimed to appeal for Homeland Security funds for Montana, that "We've got to remember that the people who first hit us in 9-11 entered this country through Canada". Montana has a long border with Canada, see, and so if people believe that Al Quaida has a long history of waltzing into the United States of America through the Canadian border, well then, they'll demand increased spending for Homeland Security in Montana, which Senator Burns can direct, and solicit donations in return.

There was just one problem with the plan Senator Burns had hatched. It was based on a complete lie. The hijackers that flew planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001 did not enter the United States through Canada. Not a single one of them. Being muslims, it's not even likely that the hijackers even had canadian bacon.

It seems that Canadian ambassador Frank McKenna heard about Senator Burns's rambling speech, and in response, demanded an apology. How did Senator Burns respond? Burns admitted that his statement was absolutely false, but said that it didn't matter, and suggested that Montana ought to get a big check from the federal government for Homeland Security anyhow.

And, no, I haven't forgotten about Burns and his odd affection for things Abramoff.  From NPR:

Now an earmark linked to lobbyist Jack Abramoff is threatening the political career of Republican Sen. Conrad Burns of Montana.

The earmark was slipped into a 2004 appropriations bill at the last possible moment. It gave the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe $3 million for a new school. One reason it's causing the senator heartburn is that the Saginaw Chippewa aren't from Montana, the state Burns represents -- they're from Michigan.

"When I first [saw] that, I thought, well, why not Montana?" says Carol Juneau, who represents the Blackfeet Reservation in the Montana State Legislature. She notes that, unlike her tribe and others in Montana, the Sanginaw Chippewas are wealthy from their gambling interests. "I thought Sen. Burns forget where he came from," she says.

Conrad Burns.  Big.  From the mountains.  Big Sky.  Big hero.  Big friend of "the taxpayer."  As long as "the taxpayer" is rich, a corporation, or Jack Abramoff.

Burns and Norquist.  Burns and Norquist and Abramoff.  A hell-bound trio if there ever was one.  Hero's for the "new" American century, in which America rolls back everything that made it a fair and decent nation, admirable to the rest of the world, and returns to its unadulterated worship of wealth, power, and scum.