Too little, too late
This post is my response to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday challenge for the letter “T”.
Too little, too late…that’s the title of the e-mail I sent to my state’s Senators and Congressmen as well as to the leadership of the Senate and House of Representatives this evening. I doubt it will have any effect on their actions in the days and weeks ahead, but I feel a little bit better for having added my own 2¢ to the discussion. I have a feeling the only thing I will get for my trouble is lots more e-mails since I will likely be added to their campaign mailing lists. That said, I’m sharing my letter to them with you for this week’s Alphabe-Thursday:
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Too little, too late ~ that’s my indictment of you and your Senate and House colleagues.
Because of your partisan wrangling, you delayed action on raising the debt ceiling until the very last moment and, in the process, tried the nerves and patience of the American public and undermined our confidence in the legislative arm of our government. What’s worse is that you didn’t accomplish the objective. The final bill was just sufficient to avoid immediate default but, as usual, you simply put off meaningful action to some undetermined point in the future. Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade the U.S.’s credit rating may have been misguided, but their assessment of Congress’s lack of commitment to credible change was right on the mark.
Then, as if that wasn’t bad enough, you and your colleagues left on a 5-week break without taking care of funding requirements for the FAA. As a result, thousands of FAA employees were furloughed and many thousands of construction workers were laid off because the FAA was broke. Once again, your failure to deal with our country’s legislative issues in a timely and effective way penalized ordinary citizens, the very people you are sworn to serve.
Republicans would have us believe that the only way to resolve our budget deficit is to cut programs. Budget cuts are probably necessary, even advisable, in some areas, but you must also remember that such cuts will inevitably result in job losses in both the public and private sectors. Where will people who lose jobs as a result of budget cuts find new jobs, especially given our currently high unemployment rate? Further, programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc., provide services that many people depend on. What will happen to people whose benefits are cut or eliminated?
Democrats think the answer is to raise taxes, especially on wealthier Americans. Republicans oppose that because they believe that free market forces at work in a tax-advantaged corporate America will provide jobs and create economic growth that will eventually allow prosperity to trickle down to the middle and lower classes. That sounds like a good theoretical argument but is unconvincing in an economy with nearly 10% unemployment.
As you return to work next week, I ask you: Please, just do your job. Work with people on both sides of the aisle to find a workable middle ground between drastic budget cuts and extreme tax increases. Embrace the art of compromise rather than continuing to insist on party line absolutes that are probably not only unattainable but also not wise. You are in Congress to work for the American people, not to advance your party’s political agenda. Finally, as you go about your work, please remember that every action you take affects real people in very real ways.