Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Senator McCaskill

by Pa Rock
Concerned Citizen

Dear Senator McCaskill,

I received your self-laudatory email today in which you paint Congress with the broad brush of wastefulness and then go on to make it seem as though you are are going to tame the spending beast. The entire content and tone of your email puts me in mind of Ronald Reagan who arrived in Washington, DC, in 1981 and promptly proclaimed that the federal government was our enemy. He was still singing that same basic song eight years later, even though he had been the head of the federal government all of that time.

Your communication boasted of new legislation which you were sponsoring that would solve a lot of our fiscal problems. You referred to it as pay-as-you-go legislation, and stated that it would require Congress to find a way to pay for all new entitlement spending or tax cuts, rather than adding to the national deficit. Okay, I understand the politics of the legislation: hindering the ability to cut taxes would be taking a strong swipe at the Republicans, but you give them something by messing with future entitlement programs - giving some credence to their unending braying about entitlement programs being giveaways to lazy people. Shame, Claire, shame!

Your "PAYGO" legislation adroitly ignores the biggest government waste of money - the war industry. Obviously the entitlement program for Blackwateer (excuse me, "Xe") is going to be left in place and allowed to flourish. We will fund murdering thugs like Erik Prince's evil cabal, but hungry kids can just suck it up! Smooth move, Claire!

But that isn't what really got me going about your silly email. You state in the missive that you will only vote for a health care reform bill if it's deficit-neutral. Got an election on the horizon, Claire? Got a sugar daddy in the insurance industry? Everyone knows, me and you included, that you are going to do the right thing and support good health care legislation. Everyone knows, including the two of us, that Congress will find a way to make it deficit neutral. So why all of this tough guy posturing if not to play to the hillbillies in the Ozarks and the morons in St. Louis County. Claire, you're better than that.

If you are intent on changing Congress, how about beginning with straightforward, honest communication. If you want to role play, join a Little Theatre!

And here is something else about Congress that needs immediate attention:

The Congressional email service is lousy. It is intentionally lousy. It was designed to deliver messages en masse from members of Congress to their constituents - and to prevent input from citizens. I hit the reply button on your email tonight, typed in a few cogent remarks, and sent it. It was immediately bounced back. I knew that would happen because I have tried previously to answer Congressional junk email with the same disappointing results.

That's shameful, but it gets worse...

If a person goes to any Congressional homepage, your's included, and sends an email through the access there, the email won't go unless a myriad of questions are answered about the sender and the message. The sender has to select a topic that best relates to the comment being sent. Then, an immediate reply is fired back automatically relating to the subject that was checked. If you send the email at night, the comment comes back the same night - even though the Congressional office that should have responded to the email was closed. The citizen sending the email has no way of knowing whether any human read the message, let alone the member of Congress to whom it was addressed.

If Congress doesn't want public input, they should just say so.

Get a grip Claire. If you want to save the public's money - go to where the money is - in the wallets of the old white boys running the military-industrial complex. It is not un-American to expect accountability in defense spending. Seems like I remember George Bush saying that this war would soon be paying for itself. Why hasn't that happened? Enquiring minds want to know!

How about a good, thorough audit of the defense contractors? You are a fan of audits, aren't you, Claire? If you want to save money - go to where it is!

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