Anyone who tracks how lawmakers vote knows Democratic lawmakers fight for fair taxation and elections, a living wage for all workers, sensible gun regulation, affordable health care, clean air and water and student debt relief.

Consider this: Anyone who paid a penny of federal income tax for 2018 paid more than Amazon did. Because, even though Amazon made a profit of $11 billion, it paid none. Thanks mainly to the Donald Trump/GOP 2017 tax plan, neither did 60 other wealthy corporations. But that’s not all. Amazon and others also received millions in tax rebates.

It’s no wonder many rich people are OK with all the lies and corruption. They got theirs and don’t care about the rest of us.

Meanwhile, according to a February report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, a record 7 million Americans were 90 days behind on their auto loan payments. That leads us to the topic of fair wages.

According to the United States Labor Department, “Real average hourly earnings for production and non-supervisory employees decreased 0.2% from February to March, seasonally adjusted. This result stems from a 0.3% increase in average hourly earnings combined with a 0.5% increase in the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers.”

In other words, wages still are not keeping up with inflation.

In the states where Republicans have majorities, they continue to fight against workers’ rights. Here in Wisconsin, they passed the Right-to-Work bill, which says employees in a union shop don’t have to pay union dues even though those unions fight for safe working conditions, fair wages and benefits. That weakened the ability of unions to negotiate wages.

U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., wants to pass the same bill in Congress, which would result in many businesses paying lower wages since they wouldn’t have to compete with union shops.

Wisconsin Republican lawmakers also repealed the prevailing wage law, a law that affected the pay of anyone performing public work. That repeal, and Act 10, which took bargaining power away from most public workers, resulted in stagnant wages and less tax revenue.

That all means non-government businesses no longer have to offer higher wages to compete — exactly the reward Republicans wanted for their big donors. So, if you own a large company and like paying low wages, vote for Republicans. If you’re an ordinary wage-earner and want your wages to keep up with inflation, vote for Democrats.

And, if you like paying more for everything, vote for Trump. His tariffs have resulted in higher prices for food and other goods. They’ve made life worse for the state’s farmers, too. And, by scaring off immigrants, many farmers, as well as packing and processing plants, can’t find enough workers.

As for common-sense regulations on gun purchases, almost everyone agrees we should have universal background checks and a reasonable waiting period. If you agree, vote for Democrats.

Another issue most Americans agree on is taking big money out of political campaigns. I don’t know anyone who would object to paying a small sum as part of their income taxes to equally fund candidates.

Most Americans are for banning all private, corporate and political action campaign donations so lawmakers would be working for the people and not only the special interests that gave them the most money. Democratic candidates want that, too. Republican lawmakers and conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court have proven they do not.

Democratic lawmakers also fight for clean air and water. The president and Republican lawmakers in Congress and GOP-controlled states have shown they do not. According to an April 25 article in the New York Times, “After pressure from the Defense Department, the Environmental Protection Agency significantly weakened a proposed standard for cleaning up groundwater pollution caused by toxic chemicals that contaminate drinking water consumed by millions of Americans and that have been commonly used at military bases.”

Since 2017, many more regulations that protected our water have been eliminated or eased.

In Flint, Michigan, where Republican officials decided to save money by drawing drinking water from the Flint River without treating it properly, residents are suffering and dying from lead poisoning and Legionnaires’ disease. The details are documented in the April 25 Frontline article, “Five Years In, the Flint Water Crisis Continues Its Deadly Toll.”

Thanks to Scott Walker’s choices to head the Department of Natural Resources, many thousands of wells here in Wisconsin also are contaminated with dangerous substances. Relaxing of regulations against phosphorous pollution has caused more fish kills and algae in our lakes.

In addition, if you think health care should be affordable and believe the massive student debt issue should be resolved, vote for Democrats in upcoming elections. The other side has proven repeatedly they don’t care about any of that.

Pat Nash has lived in the Baraboo area, off and on, for more than 35 years. Contact her at patnash5149@gmail.com.

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