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We have talked before about writers feeling forced by readers’ reactions to keep their opinions on politics, religion and other sensitive topics to themselves.

As figures in the public eye to a degree, but not involved in political or public service positions, it only makes sense to be careful not to offend large segments of one’s potential readership, right?

However, we have also seen how many an author manages to express herself very definitely and clearly on a number of sensitive topics without coming across as offensive, overbearing, insulting, or batshit crazy. (Here I tend to point to Nora Roberts, Shiloh Walker and a few others–consider yourselves mentioned)

This time I’m reposting (with permission) a message from one of my top favorite must buy authors, Suzanne Brockmann. Originally posted on her scrolling board, here it is in its entirety:

I’m “Suz the Writer,” and I support Barack Obama

I’m “Suz the Writer,” and I support Barack Obama (or why, as a small business owner who WILL pay higher taxes, I’m endorsing and have voted (early!) for Obama)

I am “Suz the Writer,” the owner of several small businesses, employing two other Americans on an average day, more than that on a good day. I WILL pay higher taxes under Obama’s tax plan, and I’ll pay them with a smile on my face and a song in my heart.

See, I believe that paying taxes is patriotic. Some people see taxes as a burden, but I see it as a way to serve my country. I want my taxes to go for educational opportunities, for research into new green technology, for libraries, for equipment and supplies for our men and women serving in the military, for the education and medical care for servicemen past, present and future, and for the repair of the American infrastructure — our roads and bridges and schools and other important buildings.

I’m never going to enlist (too old), and I’m not going to help by teaching (I’d go mad), and I’m no kind of scientist (can’t add or subtract) or engineer (ditto). I don’t have a college degree, so the librarian thing wouldn’t fly. But I can dig a mean ditch when given written instructions. Yet paying taxes permits me to participate in ALL of those worthwhile American needs without getting blisters.

Frankly, I cannot believe that Americans who earn over $200,000/year complain about paying slightly higher taxes, KNOWING that our troops overseas are under-equipped and poorly outfitted. How much extra would you pay to ensure that the brave men and women who serve our country have body armor and the best possible equipment. Ten dollars? A hundred? Five hundred? How much is that worth? Can we really put a price tag on the life of another mother’s son or daughter?

And what is it worth to ensure that bridges don’t fall down? That roads are repaired? That our electrical grid doesn’t fail? That medical research can be done to find a cure for cancer?

Personally, I think it’s worth a lot, and I’m willing to help pay for it.

Don’t get me wrong — I’ve worked unbelievably hard to get where I am in my career. Early on, there were books that I wrote where I figured out that my salary was 49 cents an HOUR. But I worked twelve, fourteen, sixteen hour days because I was following the American dream. I worked while my friends and family were watching movies in my living room, without me. I worked and I worked and my hard work paid off, financially. I’m pretty proud of that.

I sweated and bled for every penny that I’ve ever earned, but I will be glad to invest more of it in America — because I know my investments will make this a better country for all of us.

I still remember what it was like to worry about how I was going to feed my kids. I remember living in a one-bathroom house with my family and two other adult friends, because we couldn’t afford the rent without them. I remember going without, for years on end. I remember deciding which bills to pay and which to put off for another month. I remember endless worry, frustration and fear. (In the early 1990s, we bought a house and within a month, recession hit. Ed lost his job, and our house was worth $50,000 less than we’d paid for it, all within one awful week. Sound familiar? It sucked. But I’m a writer today because of it. I needed a job that I could do as a stay at home mom!)

My tax investments in America will mean all the more to me if it means that someone who is struggling (the way we struggled) will catch a break.

I think of every dollar of the taxes that I pay as an INVESTMENT in an America where the infant mortality rate won’t rival that of a third world nation. Where our wounded veterans are cared for with love and respect in bright, clean facilities. Where the government doesn’t make up reasons why NOT to help servicemen and women with PTSD and mental health problems. Where all Americans can get the health care they need. Where bridges DON’T fall and kill someone’s mother or father or daughter or son as they drive to their second or third job. Where IMPORTANT jobs are created to help unemployed people feel pride in providing for their families AND making the world a better, cleaner, healthier place for our children. Where honesty and honor prevail over greed.

My name is Suzanne Brockmann and I approve this message of hope.

Please note that while don’t necessarily agree with everything Ms Brockmann has said here (I would much rather have Hillary Clinton as Democratic candidate) I admire her willingness to put her career, her reputation, and her money, where her beliefs are.

Hats off to you, Suz.

11 Comments »

  • Suz has spunk, and my utmost respect for posting her beliefs for all to view. Cheers.

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  • Amen sister!

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  • Lynette
    November 3
    1:58 am

    Never been a big Suz fan but this post (and other things I’ve heard about the woman behind the books) actually makes me want to go out and give her books another try!

    Lynette

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  • Nice to see another “fake” American, just like me.

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  • Lleeo
    November 3
    7:38 am

    Ah, I adore Suz. She’s my favourite author and she’s also smart, funny and witty to boot. I started with Over the Edge and was addicted from there.

    Go, Obama!

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  • Anon76
    November 3
    10:01 pm

    You know, I agree with her on many points. As I was sitting contemplating about my vote on Tuesday, I remembered way back when:

    When I was near the end of my teens and making (what was for me) a hefty amount of money because I had the stamina to work two jobs, often working 40 hours out of 48 on the weekends, not including the weekly hours.

    When I bought my house with my not yet husband with my own name on the mortgage, just by sure will and determination.

    When every time I moved up in the tax brackets I didn’t blink. Granted, we never even broke the 100K ceiling, nor the 80K, but we were darn happy and giving a bit more out of pocket was A Okay.

    Hell, if we were now having a 200K plus year, I’d be more than willing to pay up more tax money. But that is not the case. This year will be a 26K year at best, and no matter how we try, we’ll be listed as those dead beats who want your federal funds. Ha, no, actually, we can’t even qualify for that help.

    Why is it that those that normally make very little are more willing to extend a hand to others? Or, in Suz’s case, remember when….?

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  • I don’t know, Anon76, but having felt sick over a lot of the campaign shenanigans recently (not to mention crime or the situation in Somalia, etc), reading Suz’s message or this story, these things… well, they give me hope.

    Here’s praying!

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  • I’ll tell you one of the reasons I voted for Obama…

    My boss just got fired this last week. One minute he was there and the next minute he was gone.

    I am an IT security expert for Wells Fargo.

    Seems he was adamantly against Wells Fargo allowing foreign nationals access to work on our highly secure banking systems at the level I work at.

    Well, the new boss is now pressuring us to train a couple of these guys from India to do our security work in order to alleviate our current work load.

    I got a bad feeling about this.

    I spent 10 years as a US Navy submariner with very high clearances handling military satellite communications. I am highly trained in data security but I also have a long track record of holding government clearances.

    Not only are they gonna ship my job overseas but in the process expose every one of their unsuspecting American customers from mom and pop to you to the biggest companies in America to this madness.

    In their greed they are outsourcing bank network and internet security to underpaid India workers who will be trusted to protect America’s banking data.

    Does this make sense to anyone?

    We not only need new Federal Banking Regulations we need them fast and we need strict enforceable controls. You think the only bad decisions the banks are making was selling bad loans?

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  • TeddyPig, you and I have had our differences in the past, but on this–first generation immigrant here–we agree wholeheartedly.

    And I’ll go one better: does it make sense for the US to depend for its FOOD on third world nations to the degree that it does?

    Seriously, forget the borders–think about the level of vulnerability THAT implies.

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  • SusanL
    November 4
    12:08 am

    Teddypig, I find the information in your post very disturbing.

    The federal government outsourced some things (thank you Mr. President). That hasn’t worked out so well and they are in the process of returning some of the jobs to the government. Do YOU like the idea of having your records in the hands of someone NOT employed by the federal government?

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  • I pay high taxes and have never yet complained. I figure it’s the price I pay to live in a civilized society. If it meant health care and good education for everyone, I’d pay even higher taxes and gladly.

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