Sen. Isakson saved Delta pensions, led on Fair Tax

Tue, 10/27/2009 - 3:48pm
By: Letters to the ...

In response to Mr. Bryan’s letter, “An apology ...,” that ran on Oct. 14, 2009, I must respectfully, but vehemently, disagree. I don’t believe the facts support the claims made.

Senator Johnny Isakson upheld his promise to voters and cosponsored the Fair Tax as a senator during every Congress. He even developed his own legislation to terminate the current tax code and to force Congress to look at other options for our broken tax system.

Johnny has never supported amnesty but has demanded repeatedly that we secure the border first before we do anything else, and he introduced legislation to back up his words. I believe he even went to the Mexican border and helped weld a piece of the border security fence himself.

On the issue of energy independence, Johnny has been a leader. He has consistently worked for our country to become energy independent by pushing the Bush administration and the Obama administration to develop ANWR and explore our Western oil shale reserves. He has also pressed for responsible exploration all our offshore resources and has urged Congress to embrace nuclear power.

In addition to the items mentioned above, there is one other issue on which I and other Fayette residents owe Sen. Isakson a great debt of gratitude.

My Dad, Buck Spearman, passed away five years ago. He worked for Delta Air Lines for 35 years. My mother, Pat, is the beneficiary of a pension benefit from Delta. While most airlines chose to dump their pension liabilities onto the backs of federal taxpayers after 9/11, Delta chose to try to maintain theirs.

With Delta’s stock value plummeting, the pension plan was severely underfunded, and pension rules required Delta to cover the shortage within a couple of years. Delta wanted to honor their obligation to their employees and retirees, but needed the law changed to give them more time to fund the plan. Without a change, pensions would have been cut, and taxpayers would be funding the shortfall.

Johnny went to work, against the wishes of his own leadership and the threat of veto from President Bush. Johnny worked within his own party and across party lines to get over 70 Senate cosponsors and praise from the same President who had earlier threatened a veto.

Delta pensioners are still receiving their monthly checks, current employees still have a retirement plan to look forward to, and taxpayers are not out a single dime.

Johnny Isakson isn’t the kind of man that seeks out cameras and microphones to trumpet his idealism. He puts it to work, and he gets results. We will be wholeheartedly supporting him for re-election in 2010.

Reid Spearman

Fayetteville, Ga.

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