09 April 2011

My letter to my Congressman

I sent this to my congressman, Howard Berman.

Dear Congressman Berman,

With the threatened GOP-caused shutdown successfully averted, I'm writing to urge you NOT to be one of the first to vote for it! The reason is that I think the Democrats need to force the Republicans to vote for this bill. Democrats should abstain until the last minute, and vote for it only if it would otherwise be defeated.

This bill actually is really lousy for America. With 22½ million chronically unemployed, we should be doing more public investment, not cutting discretionary spending. Cuts should be made in military spending, the security state, etc., where bang for the buck both in meaningful security for our country and economic stimulus is dubious at best. Politically, we Democrats need to get back the initiative. This whole budget negotiation was on the GOP's terms: not whether, but how much to cut; and where; and how much of their immaterial policy agenda they got to blackmail out of us.

Going forward, we need to do a much better job of putting forward OUR agenda: public investment in renewable energy, cuts only in mandatory spending areas where the value to the American people is dubious, OFFSETTING closing of tax loopholes for corporations and tax breaks for the very rich, INCREASES in income caps for social security and medicare (Rather than eviscerating cuts and privatization) to ensure these programs' fiscal future; and higher taxes on the very rich. Of course with the Rightists in the majority, we will have to negotiate, but our message, and our agenda, must AT LEAST be lain on the table.

Please see: studhalter.blogspot.com.

I support Robert Reich's concepts of a PEOPLE's PARTY to counterbalance the Tea Party, and I hope you do as well. See here: http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/03/10/the_principles_of_the_peoples_party/

I know we, your constituents, can count on you and thank you for the opportunity to express my views.

David Studhalter

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