Sen. Mark Dayton used his last Senate speech to rail against the policies of President Bush and congressional Republicans Thursday, saying he was leaving with “strong feelings of frustration and disappointment.”
Dayton, a Minnesota Democrat who is leaving after one term, said he began his career here hopeful with the country enjoying peace and relative prosperity.
“Just six years later, our country’s condition has changed drastically, and mostly for the worse,” he said, citing a “disastrous” war in Iraq, high budget deficits, and tax cuts that he said will burden future generations.
“The Congressional Record will show that I opposed those failed policies and supported other, better alternatives,” he said. “I was one of 23 senators to vote against the Iraq War Resolution. I opposed the large tax giveaways to the rich and super-rich.
“In fact, during my six years in the Senate, I have voted 29 times to raise my own taxes. Why? Because our country needs those tax revenues, and I can darn well afford to pay my fair share of them, as can all other Americans with my good fortune.” Dayton is a multimillionaire.
White House spokesman Alex Conant responded that Bush’s tax cuts have created millions of new jobs, and fueled an economy that has led to a lower deficit in the budget year that ended Sept. 30.
On Iraq, Bush said Thursday: “We will stand firm again in this first war of the 21st century. We will defeat the extremists and the radicals. We will help a young democracy prevail in Iraq.”
Dayton railed against GOP rule in the Senate, as well as policies he said were designed to help the “the people who already have the most.”
“The excessive influences of their money and political power on the federal government are serious threats to our democracy,” he said. “They skew decisions and laws in favor of the rich and powerful, often at the expense of other Americans, the hardworking people, who pay their taxes, and hope that their elected representatives will look out for them in Washington.”
Interesting, especially from a rich Republican.