Agree with him or not, Voinovich stands firm

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 22, 2005

Every politician talks idealistically about standing up for what they believe and making the tough decisions even against party lines.

U.S. Sen. George Voinovich not only talks the talk but he walks the walk - even if that means he is at odds with his fellow Republicans.

The Cleveland senator who grabbed headlines earlier this year when he opposed President George Bush's nomination of U.N. ambassador John Bolton is battling with the GOP again. This time the outspoken Voinovich is opposing the White House's plans for permanent tax cuts that the administration hopes will finance the war in Iraq and help the Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Katrina.

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Voinovich also began attacking Bush's plans to privatize Social Security, a move the Senator says has gone nowhere. Voinovich has proposed legislation that would keep Congress from borrowing Social Security surpluses to fund government programs or to fool the public into thinking the federal deficit is smaller than it truly is.

Voinovich's plan would require the government to invest the surpluses in bonds and securities, but not stocks or federal debt.

But the real focus of Voinovich's dissent centers on the president's plan to make the $70 billion tax cuts permanent and to repeal the estate tax. The President says the spending cuts can finance rebuilding the Gulf Coast.

Voinovich said on Monday that some federal spending should be restrained but

other areas exist in which the government should spend more.

Both sides make some valid points. The future of the Gulf Coast and how the nation is able to rebuild this vital part of America will likely be key topics for months, and even years, to come.

Right or wrong, we are impressed that Voinovich has stood his ground and fought for what he believes. We are proud of the fact that he is from Ohio and is not afraid to take a stand, even if it could cost him support.

It is refreshing to see a politician stand firm on his principles instead of walking on eggshells in fear of losing votes.

We'll take principles over votes any day.