Standing In The Gap Of The Real And Perceived
Below is a letter I sent to my congressional representatives, Heath Shuler, House Representative for the North Carolina Congressional District 11, and North Carolina Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan. I have edited it a bit in places, and expanded it slightly in others, but the gist is essentially the same as the actual letters I sent. Any feedback is appreciated.
I am sorely disappointed in all of my representatives in North Carolina, including you, for voting for the budget compromise that passed on August 1st, 2011.
We indeed must pay our obligations. But that needed to be done through budget cuts alone, not by raising the debt ceiling or by raising taxes. By the way, according to a 2007 analysis of income taxes by the Journal of the American Enterprise Institute, using numbers from the IRS and the Treasury Department, the wealthiest 10% of taxpayers pay almost 70% of all income taxes. and 80% of that 10% makes under $250,000, thank you very much. If that’s not their fair share, may I ask, what in the hell is? If 1% paid 99%, would that be their fair share, or would President Obama still be giving stump speeches asking “the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share?”
Cuts could come from Social Security, Medicare, the defense budget, or any other of a myriad of choices in the federal government. There is plenty enough waste and fraud amounting, I’m sure, to hundreds of billions of dollars a year, to pay all of our yearly debt obligations without depriving any Medicare or Social Security recipient of a check they have earned, or without putting our men and women in uniform, or their household budgets or benefits, in harm’s way. Any half-baked financial guru will tell you emphatically that you can’t borrow your way out of debt, and that the first step to becoming free of debt is to not incur any more. Why can’t Congress understand this?
I’m extremely tired of being told that budget cuts are the same thing as reduced future projected increases. Asking me to believe that and accept it is an insult to my intelligence. Budget cuts are one thing: spending less money than we did before. Period. You didn’t champion budget cuts, and you didn’t actively oppose attempts to do otherwise.
You did not stand up for the Constitution you swore to defend, nor did you provide hope for a financially solvent United States for my children and grandchildren to inherit. Neither Social Security nor Medicare was bolstered in the long-term by your vote. All you did was pass the burden to our descendants. What would it profit a man to gain his benefits temporarily and lose his country forever? You have betrayed your oath to office and your country. You are a politician so far, and not much more, apparently. I was hoping for more.
There are workable solutions to the fiscal challenges before our nation. With Social Security and Medicare, for instance, we could institute a graduated increase of the eligibility age for benefits according to the current age of the worker, guaranteeing benefits to those to are out of time to make other plans, and providing time and opportunity for younger workers to make adjustments to their retirement plans. This is just one suggestion of many that could strengthen our future financial outlook and honor those who have been forced to contribute to a system that promised them some semblance of financial security in their old age.
You could stand up for this kind of commitment to fiscal sanity. There are millions out there waiting to see some courage in you, damn the political consequences, and their numbers are growing. You could leave Washington a hero (or heroine) here in North Carolina, even if you didn’t have a lobbyist position waiting for you afterwards. Would that be so bad? And who knows? You could have your courage rewarded with another term in the Senate, giving you even more courage to act in the interests of your constituents, instead of the interests of the two-party system that is strangling Washington right now.
Americans are waking up to the rumblings of catastrophe ahead, and they are getting ready to act to prevent it and secure the blessings of liberty again. They need representation. You could distinguish yourself as their champion. You could do your job. Do you have it in you? That is my prayer today.