Brian Barry | Smith Will Put US First

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

I come from a U.S. Army family and as the son of a World War II veteran, the brother of a Vietnam veteran and Vietnam-era veteran (Germany), and I served over six years. I had two uncles who served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and their sons were U.S. Navy men, and one had a grandson who was a Marine enlisted man and later became a Marine aviator flying F-18’s. I come from a family who understands duty to one’s country and the honor of serving in the military and honoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. 

I just received my fighter pilot Mike Garcia mailer from the California GOP touting his fighter pilot credentials and saying he is “ready to fight for us.” And I must ask myself, “Really?” 

In a 2015 interview with Trump, Republican pollster Frank Luntz interjected, “But he’s a war hero!” referring to Trump’s previous comment calling John McCain a loser. 

Trump responded, “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.” 

John McCain comes from a multigenerational military family. McCain’s grandfather, father and sons have served in the Navy and Army. He was subsequently shot down, captured and spent five and a half years as a POW where he was tortured. His injuries from this torture left him unable to lift his arms above his head. 

Former President George H. W. Bush was shot down by the Japanese as a Navy pilot in World War II. Bush escaped capture and was rescued, but eight other men shot down during the same mission were caught, tortured and executed by Japanese soldiers. 

Mike Garcia has made a career on being a Navy fighter pilot. But when it comes to supporting and defending fellow Navy fighter pilots, Sen. McCain and those shot down with President Bush, Gold Star families, past and present veterans from a president who disparages their honor and sacrifice, he remains silent. 

Now Mike Garcia wants you to send him back to Congress to defend and support a president who has no honor for our veterans, Gold Star families, past and present veterans and the real working people of the 25th Congressional District. 

His idea of “US” means giving more tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations who pay little or no taxes. In 2018, 60 of the Fortune 500 companies paid no taxes on $79 billion in profits and received $4.3 billion in rebates. For Raytheon, the company Mike Garcia worked for after his Navy career, the federal tax rate declined to 6.91% in 2018 from 34.92% the prior year, 2017, from these tax cuts. Raytheon’s state tax rate was a mere 0.1% in 2018. He supported the GOP’s and Trump’s tax breaks that created $2 trillion in additional deficits. The average American “US” got the table scraps of these tax cuts while the rich and corporations received the majority of these tax breaks. Mike Garcia wants that to continue, and more. 

In this time of COVID it is time to send a real fighter to Washington for our veterans, our families, small and medium businesses and the people of the 25th District. Christy Smith is that fighter. She will put the needs of the 25th District first and foremost, representing “US” with honor and dignity working across the aisle as she has done in the past to put “US” first. 

Brian Barry


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