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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

An Open Letter To My New Congressman

Congratulations on your election to the United States House of Representatives! I am a moderate independent who, quite honestly, did not vote for you. However, now that the election is settled, I am one of your constituents.

Given that you now represent my interests in Washington, D.C. (and therefore work for me), I would like to suggest to you how I believe you ought to approach your responsibilities and what your first priorities should be.

First, DO NOT spend the next two years exclusively obstructing President Obama. Disagree where you feel obligated to, but make a genuine effort to look for areas where consensus and compromise are possible. I imagine you teach the children you so love that when they are fighting they must find a compromise position to actually solve their problem. Compromise IS NOT a dirty word and was THE key in the foundation of our great nation, for without it the Constitution could not have been written.

Second, recognize that sacrifice is going to be crucial in effectively addressing the challenges that face the United States. However, the people expect their representatives to spread the sacrifice around. If programs for the indigent and poor must be reduced or eliminated, there ought to be corresponding reductions in programs that benefit the wealthy and powerful. Remember that approximately 98.5% of the people you represent earn less than $250,000 a year and about 95% earn less than the $174,000 salary you will earn in Congress. The majority of people you represent are smart enough to understand that our financial problems are so deep that both spending cuts and tax increases will be required of any serious effort to reduce the national debt.

Third, DO NOT prostitute yourself to big business interests. The fact that a business (or individual) has more money available to influence you should not make their interests more important than mine. I am the representative ordinary American, earning right at the 50th percentile, with three children, and a mortgage on a home I can afford. Respect me enough to care enough about my interests at at least the same level as the interests of the millionaires and billionaires that you will begin to see on a daily basis.

The VERY FIRST thing you and your fellow Congressman should do is to quickly and clearly eliminate ALL laws, rules and regulations which allow American businesses to profit from moving jobs overseas! I am not saying that you should prevent them from moving jobs, they have the Constitutional right to do that if they choose. However, they should in no way profit at the expense of hard working Americans or the United States Treasury. It is time to recognize that one of the reasons that small, hometown businesses are suffering so severely in this recession is that large multi-national corporations are destroying local economies by moving jobs out of our nation and pocketing billions of dollars that would previously have flowed through hundreds of thousands of workers into those struggling local enterprises. It will not solve all our economic woes, but it would be a significant first step.

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