Sunday, March 16, 2008

My Wife Writes to Congress.

Here is a letter my wife recently sent to our Congressional Representative, David Scott. I wanted to share this letter because I was very impressed with it. I encourage everyone to be vocal with your representatives, and my wife did just that. I have only made the most minor of changes. My wife reads this blog from time to time, so she can call me to task if I have changed the meaning of anything she wrote. My wife also mentions that the recent votes in the U. S. House place us in the "rich" tax bracket. That is because we make more than $30,000 a year combined, so if the House repeals the Bush tax cuts, our taxes will go up. I wonder how many other families out there make more than $30,000?

I am extremely disappointed in your recent votes on FISA and the 2009 budget resolution. My husband and I are doing our best to support our family on quality wages and you have the audacity to support a resolution that will ensure that you not only continue to spend, spend, spend, but that also increases our families taxes by nearly 100% over the next five years.

Your party has been beating the economic hardships into our heads for the past 2 years and yet the only thing that you think to do to help is to RAISE my taxes? How will that help my family and those business that we support? Would it not make more sense to LOWER our taxes so that we can continue to send our daughter to a quality private school (spending money on local business) continue to make repairs on our aging home (again, spending money on local labor forces and small business) and buy goods and services within our community.

My husband and I also spend many hours of our free time choosing to volunteer with our local Habitat for Humanity. This is a program that allows the local community to support those within their community without government involvement. This is the best way to help those in need. Have faith in Americans to see to their own and those that are in need. All of the government programs in the world cannot help those that will not first help themselves.

I urge you to put a stop to all of the wasteful spending that is in evidence in the 2009 house budget resolution and to make the tax cuts permanent. My husband and I are not financially rich, yet we do earn enough in our positions to place us in the "rich" bracket according to the IRS. Your "yes" vote to the 2009 House Budget Resolution will have an immediate adverse impact on my families budget and will only continue to "roll down hill" through the rest of the economy.

You can guarantee that I will do everything that I possibly can to provide as much support to your opposition in the 2008 congressional elections.

If you send a letter to your Congressman or Senator that you are particularly proud of, send me a copy along with who you sent it to and I will be happy to post it.


familyman said...

I heard it was going to be around $30,000 for individuals and about $60,000 for couples. But regardless it's ridiculous. Low and middle income earners should NOT be having their taxes raised. That and they failed to pass a law prohibiting pork barrel/earmarks. Every single one of them who voted for this aught to be thrown out of office.

Wow, agreeing again - scary.

BunGirl said...

Yeah, the Grumpamoose and I are in the "rich" category too... I particularly like what your wife wrote about letting people "see to their own." I've always thought that privately-run charities outweigh government aide programs hands down, and they do it on less money! Might it be because they don't have all the red tape and middlemen to muck up the process? And they wonder why the economy's going down the tank...

Kram said...

Familyman, I think this is the first time I've said this to you but, I couldn't agree with you more on throwing out those that voted for earmark spending! ( I can't believe I typed that!) =)

Very well said, bungirl!

Andy D said...

It's the whole, "Teach a man to fish..." theory in action. Of course, the U. S. House makes it hard to buy the fishing pole to do that with.

Evans said...

Out of curiosity, without raising taxes, how do you propose we get out of debt as a nation? For instance, are you in favor or against the war on Iraq?

The reason raising taxes is good for families in the long-run is that it will combat inflation by bringing us out of national debt. That's good because your dollars are worth more (even more than the dollars you lost to taxes).

By not raising taxes, you feel like you have more money, but commodity prices will continue to rise.

Private charities are nice in theory, but people stop giving to charities in hard economic times. This means their beneficiaries are out of luck every few years, and that's why I favor public charities (although that's not necessarily related to tax increases).

Andy D said...

Increasing a families taxes, especially in a time of "economic crisis" is not a good idea. To answer your questions:

1) I am for the war in Iraq. I believe the reasons we went in were correct, I believe we have a responsibility to stay there. I don't believe in a open commitment, but I do believe we are going to be there for a number of years.

2) People know best how to spend their own money.

3) I do agree that we need to lower our national debt. But let's do it in a serious manner. No one currently purposing to raise our taxes wants to do it out of a desire to pay that money towards the national debt. Congress wants to raise taxes to fund their own pet projects. If they seriously want to lower our debt, prove it. Cut back on spending and use that to pay our debt. If they aren't willing to do that, then why should I believe they are going to take my money to pay the debt?

3) Giving to charities in hard economic times is tough. My wife and I continue to be very active in our charities regardless of the economy. However, if people have more of their own money, they are more likely to give to charities.

The government isn't the solution to our problems, people are.

familyman said...

When you say that you believe the reasons we went to war in Iraq were correct, do you mean you agree with the reasons that were given back in 2003? Because every single argument that was made for our preemptive invasion of Iraq has been discredited.

There were no weapons of mass destruction.

There were no mobile biological weapons labs.

Iraq was not trying to buy yellowcake uranium from Africa.

The aluminum tubes were not usable for nuclear weapons.

Iraq was providing no support for al-Qaeda.

And had nothing to do with the attacks of 9-11.

Please Andy tell me what reason was given BEFORE the invasion that you agree with.

Evans said...

"I am for the war in Iraq. I believe the reasons we went in were correct, I believe we have a responsibility to stay there. I don't believe in a open commitment, but I do believe we are going to be there for a number of years."

We'll have to agree to disagree about most of this, but I can't even agree to that for this first point. Our own government admits all the original justification for the war (all of it) was not, in fact, correct. I suggest you at least admit the same.

Now what we hear from George W. is the exact same rhetoric about why we can't leave. That's right, he's said (like McCain) that Al Qaeda (sunni) will team up with Iran (shia) to develop WMDs and cause instability in Iraq. I would say it's absolutely foolish to fall for the same gag twice, especially when it involves the ridiculous union of sunni and shia.

We owe Iraq no more than we owed Vietnam, and we stand nothing more to gain now than we stood to gain halfway through that waste. Continued occupation of Iraq will wreck our economy (as Vietnam did, remember lines at the gas station?), and lead to the end of any and all programs that are at least doing some good in America (as you pointed out, they're the other option that we can cut from the budget).

I'm glad you still give to charity, but tell me, if we hit an actual recession and you couldn't feed your family, would you still? Of course not. We need a governmental backstop for the downtrodden. But again, we'll agree to disagree about this.

Andy D said...

I don't want to go into this here because it is a very different direction from the post. I believe our reasons were accurate because we were acting under a UN mandate because Saddam had ignored many, many others. The only nations that fought against us going into Iraq turned out to be on the take from Saddam. Saddam's own generals thought he had WMD's, and there is nothing that says they won't show up down the road in Syria. I know both of you are going to disagree with me on this, and that is fine. And double check your history. The long gas lines weren't because of Vietnam, they were because of President Jimmy Carter.

Evans, I have to disagree with most of your final paragraph. "If we hit an actual recession..", which points out we aren't really in one right now. 95% of people in the U.S can make their house payments. Around 95% of Americans have jobs. That is a pretty good environment and many previous president's (both Democrat and Republican) would have given their right arm for it.

Would I still give to charity in a real recession? Yes. My biggest gift to charity is my time. I don't expect everyone to do it, but I would continue to contribute my time even if I had no money to contribute. We don't need the Government backstop. We need the Government to stay out of our way so we can provide for ourselves, and so our economy can grow. We need the government to leave our wallets alone so we can take care of our families and help those who are less fortunate. The only thing the Government is going to do with an increase in taxes is to continue to increase their earmarks.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the $3 trillion dollars that we've spent on Iraq could do for our economy right about now?

That's about $40,000 for my family of four...

But I'm sure W figured out a better way to spend that money for us. Don't you agree, Andy?

Andy D said...

If you think this Congress would have sent that money back you are kidding yourselves. They would have spent it on more earmarks.

Andy D said...

Here is an article by Amity Shlaes that includes the effects of raising taxes in a economic downturn.

Evans said...

No, that article speaks about the effects of more than tripling taxes in the great depression. That was just dumb. We don't have to triple taxes, just raise them a little and cut excess policing a completely irrelevant country (Iraq, no funding in Israel, etc.).

One interesting point is what happened to end the depression: was there a big government there to help people through it? Did we emerge from that debacle in good financial shape? Did we fund large government projects in science? Did that help at all? Perhaps someone will recall the end of WW2?

familyman said...

If you want to be outraged about government mismanagement of our money, take a look at this article in The Boston Globe.

While KBR has received 16 Billion dollars in government contracts in Iraq they have avoided paying more than 500 Million dollars in federal Medicare and Social Security taxes by hiring workers through shell companies based in the Cayman Islands.

While we regular folks are straining to pay our fair share, our government is knowingly looking the other way so their cronies can get away with this crap.

Corporate greed and political complicity strike again.

pack04 said...

There are people who believe that FDR made the depression last longer by doing the things that he did. Other countries that did not make as radical economic moves made it out of the depression faster.

I have a very minor understanding of economic principals but an okay understanding of history. Depressions or recessions seem to be about lack of faith in the economic system. Cutting taxes and cutting spending is one way to get the trust back. Raising taxes and having a strong public face to tell you it is alright, FDR and Reagan, is another way.
Right now with a woman (still a pretty sexist country), a black man (still a racist country) and McCain (who is just kind of scary looking) are not people to instill the kind of confidence needed to raise taxes and get us out of the current economic trend.
People are scared of what will happen in the long and short term world wide and there is not a leader in this country right now that will stand up and tell us it will be okay. And I do not expect things to get better until that happens.

Andy D said...

Good comment Pack. There are many who now argue that the Great Depression wouldn't have lasted as long as it did if FDR had made different choices. We will never know for sure, but it did take the US a lot longer to recover from that Depression than it has taken other countries to recover from similar depressions.

familyman said...


I really don't think it is fair to castigate Democrats for raising taxes, but give the republicans a free pass on the amount of money spent on the war in Iraq.

I suggest you watch this video.

It is a very well researched peace that outlines the effect the war has had and will have on our economy.

The costs of this war will be felt by the American tax payer for DECADES to come.