Senate Republicans voted unanimously to block President Barack Obama's jobs bill, which would have spent about $400 billion to repair bridges, roads and schools and put hundreds of thousands of people back to work .

I asked a Republican friend to explain why they are opposed to this. He said "because the bill also raised taxes." I said, "Yes, it raises taxes, but only for two-tenths of 1 percent of all Americans, and by only seven-tenths of 1 percent."

He said: "But it is counterproductive to raise taxes on our job producers!"

I said: "Even granting the doubtful point that these two-tenths of 1 percent of Americans are 'job producers,' are you telling me that raising taxes by seven-tenths of one percent on two tenths of one percent of the people will really affect job creation and the economy — as compared to actually putting people to work repairing failing bridges, roads and schools?"

I suggest people write their member of Congress, particularly if he or she is a Republican, and ask the same question.

Mel Mintz, Pikesville