Open Letter to Utah Senators and Representatives, and All Members of the U.S. Congress

Open Letter to Orrin Hatch and Mike Lee (Senators from Utah), Jason Chaffetz (Representative of my district in Utah), Rob Bishop and Jim Matheson (representatives of other House districts in Utah), and all other members of Congress:

I am a middle class American and refuse to stand quietly by and let you destroy this country. The budget debate you have been playing at has gone beyond the point of reason. I join with many, many others in saying that you must stop this irresponsibility. It doesn’t matter which political party you have attached to your name, you are supposedly a representative of the citizens and supposedly put country first. You should be ashamed of the partisan debate that has brought us to the economic brink of default and made “democracy” the laughingstock of the world. No one observing the current debacle would want to have anything to do with our form of government, they must view us as in a downward spiral to nowhere, and they are right.

Many of you (all of the Utahns) claim that this is the result of unchecked spending, budget deficits, etc. (something that almost all of you have been a part of for many years), and that you are now going to be the ones to put a stop to it. Rather than stopping it though, you are opening the trapdoor for the middle and lower classes in this country to fall through. Not one of you has offered a reasonable, balanced approach that includes everyone in this country — and by that I include individuals (rich, poor and everyone in between), small businesses and big corporations. You refuse to consider any kind of tax increase — including closing tax loopholes that benefit large corporations or ending oil and gas subsidies on corporations that just posted multi-billion dollar profits — or even to let the Bush era tax cuts expire. Most of what has been proposed falls on the back of those least able to make adjustments — elderly, poor, lower and middle class, and the environment. Where were your budget concerns in the pre-war debate regarding funding of two wars? Did you express any reservations regarding how those wars were going to be funded? I’ll answer for you because I remember even if you don’t: No, you did not express any concerns, in fact, those of you who were in Washington at that time were in FULL support of the wars as well as the tax cuts. You completely disregarded the voices of warning saying that it could not be done and our nation remain economically sound. You were in a full press forward, following the administration’s advice to increase spending (two wars) and decrease revenues (tax cuts). That, sirs, is why we have a budget crisis; that is why we have a deficit rather than a budget surplus — and you were in full support.

Since you played such an important role in the making of our current deficit, you need to get busy, bury your partisan pom poms, and work out a viable compromise — not a compromise like you think you have agreed upon, not one that requires a constitutional amendment, but a real, viable compromise. A compromise that cuts spending but also increases revenues. The subsidies must go and tax cuts for those with incomes over $200,000 must go. You know that 90-95% of Americans do not fall into that category so unless you are going to be elected by the other 5% you’d better pay attention here!

Now a few personal notes to each of the legislators from Utah:

Mike Lee, your constitutional amendment needs to hit the bottom of the bin. This country had a budget surplus when George W. Bush started his first term and that was without your constitutional amendment. We didn’t need it then, we don’t need it now. You profess to believe that the Constitution of the United States is divinely inspired, so stop trying to mess with it. You are not the one to “save” it from the proverbial “thread” any more than Mr. Hatch.

Orrin Hatch, it’s time for you to retire. You came from Pennsylvania thirty years ago campaigning on term limits and you are still here. It’s time to do something other than petty squabbling with Jason Chaffetz.

Mr. Chaffetz, stop acting like Mr. Hatch. Also, I don’t want to hear you say again that you haven’t heard any disagreement with your budget/deficit position from your constituents. You have and you know it.

Rob Bishop, it’s time to realize that God didn’t say “suck the earth dry and then pave whatever’s left” when he referred to replenishing the Earth.  The dust you are made of will return to the earth but your soul will return to God, and He will require an accounting. That will not be in dollars earned for the oil and gas lobby.

Jim Matheson, I think it would be better if you just switched parties. You vote as a Republican most of the time so you might as well be honest about it.

Now a general note to all serving (yes, serving) in the House/Senate/Administration:

It is time to stop this ridiculous posturing and get some work done. If you went to school in this country you had to take U.S. history and/or civics courses. You should know that governing means compromise. Our country has 300 million people in it — no one will ever get everything they want! I won’t, you won’t, no one will. That is because if I get what I want, someone else gets stepped on. If someone else gets everything they want, the ‘wants’ of another someone else will be squashed. That is why we must compromise. EVERYONE must do their part, the poor, the middle class, the wealthy and the corporations. When you serve only one sector — even if it’s the one that provides bucketloads of campaign cash — you are hurting all others. You cannot do that as an elected official and still claim to be “principled.” You must look at the greater good for the majority. It is time to remember the other 95% of the American population. Unless I am mistaken, they are the ones who will be at the polls in the next election.

Sincerely,

Utah American

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Stop Genocide in Darfur? “No, No, We Won’t Go”

Utah Congressmen Cannon and Bishop, both Republicans, voted against increasing aid to the African Union’s peacekeeping force. To see the House roll call vote (in case you are not from Utah) click here. The purpose of the peacekeeping force is to protect and assist those who have been the victims of more horrendous atrocities than we here in our little self-righteous bubble can imagine. The vote by our representatives is something all Utahns should be ashamed of, yes, including those who profess a belief in The Book of Mormon (see Jacob 2:19). American Progress Action Fund has more.