Saturday, July 30, 2011

What to do, what to do!

Dear Madame L,

What do you do if your congressperson responds to emails with a Grover Norquist Tea Party policy statement? The same one no matter what you send, or what category you classify it as on his/her web-form page?

What can you do if his/her voice-mail inbox will not accept any messages?

I've taken to commenting on the Washington Post - listing her name and state, and saying s/he doesn't respond to constituents.

I'm so frustrated right now that I could spit. It's transparently obvious that each side is trying to get the advantage in the next election... and some of the members of Congress are quite prepared to see damage to our whole country if they don't get what they want: the presidency in 2012.

Sincerely,

Frustrated


Dear Frustrated,

Madame L has just the solution for you, which she got from Aunt Louise, who has written the following message to her Member of Congress, who appears to be playing the same games with his/her constituents that yours is playing with you:

Dear Rep. Insert Name Here:

I have just received your standard response to my email message regarding taxes and the U.S. budget and the issue of raising the debt ceiling.

And I am very disappointed that you thought so little of my intelligence, and the intelligence of all your constituents here in My State, that you assume we will believe the lies the Republican Party is disseminating from Capitol Hill.

I am very disappointed that you didn't really address the issues I wrote to you in a personal way but instead had a staffer send your standard e-mail response which is full of boilerplate language and Republican talking points, without any truths, without any acknowledgment of the issues you are supposed to be addressing in Washington.

The election is over, you have been there for 6 months now, and you should be GOVERNING, acting like a grown-up, not still playing these little political games.

With regard to your talking points: You are WRONG on EVERY count! We HAVE TO raise taxes to take care of our people, our neighbors and friends, the citizens of This State. Taxes pay for YOUR JOB IN CONGRESS. If you own a home in This State, you probably got your mortgage through some U.S. government program which is supported by tax dollars. If you own a car that was made in America, it was probably produced with help from U.S. taxes. If you ever had a job before becoming a politician, taxes were deducted from your salary to pay for social welfare programs to help the poor, the elderly, the sick, children, school children, teachers, nurses and doctors, and so on. Taxes provide a social safety net which makes us a functional society.

BUT OBVIOUSLY NO ONE IS PROPOSING TO RAISE TAXES ON THE POOR PEOPLE AND THE MIDDLE CLASS! --- DUH! --- TAXES on the WEALTHY INDIVIDUALS AND CORPORATIONS who are not contributing.

OR are you in favor of giving these people a free ride?

Maybe you're planning on having your own corporate jet someday that you'll get a tax break on, while ordinary middle class people like me and my husband are paying higher taxes than you are, to support your wealthy habits?

A constitutional amendment to force a balanced budget is a mistake. The American economy and budget are not like some household budget.

Where did you go to school? Why do you not know the first thing about economics?

Or are you misled by these rich people, these liars and hypocrites? Do you really believe anyone is asking for taxes on REAL people? No! The real people are being taxed to the limit, while the rich people get all the benefits.

Also, have you not read any recent history? Do you not recall that Pres. George H.W. Bush rightly accused Ronald Reagan of practicing "voodoo economics" when he suggested that wealth would "trickle down" from the wealthy to the ordinary folk, that by giving the wealthy more tax breaks they would magically decide to create jobs and help the rest of us? And do you not recall that our problems with balancing the budget began when Reagan gave those tax breaks to the wealthy? Jobs were not created. On the other hand, do you not recall that when Pres. Bill Clinton raised the taxes even very slightly on the wealthy, the budget was balanced, jobs were created, and the middle class and working poor actually had money to spend, which created more jobs, which brought in more money for federal and state social programs? Do you not recall that during the 8 years before Pres. Obama took office, the Bush II years, when the wealthy got all the breaks again, the economy went straight downhill?

Come on, Representative. You are not facing the issues squarely. You are either misled yourself, or you are in a very cynical and hypocritical fashion hoping to mislead the people you're supposed to be representing.

I am asking, and thousands of your constituents in This State are asking, that you represent US, the people who live here, not the Republican Party or the Tea Party or Grover Norquist.

Don't tell us about all those ridiculous bills you've co-sponsored. Tell us what you're going to do to create jobs, tax the wealthy, and make sure the hard-working people of your district get the benefits they have been paying for during their entire working lives.

I would appreciate your answering my specific questions and addressing these specific issues instead of sending me another can of Republican talking points.

Sincerely,

Your Name Here

P.S. I have sent a copy of this message to the Chair of My State Democratic Party, and/or the Washington Post, so he/they will be aware of the kinds of issues I'm imploring you to address honestly and forthrightly.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

Are you saying most freshman GOP congresspersons - including our own - are willfully ignorant of economics and also ignorant of history?

Are you also saying that the WHOLE Congress is more interested in winning and controlling - to pay off their funding supporters - than they are interested in helping America?

There is an interesting cure suggested in the latest Atlantic magazine. It starts with stopping the vitriolic competition in the primaries that exclude all decent people from running for Congress in the first place.
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