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I sent this letter to my Senators and Representative earlier this week (so some of the numbers I quoted have changed in some news reports).  It is so nice to not live in the Deep South anymore, so I can actually write 'Democrats'.  I just wanted to share my letter as GeorgeXVIII has - and this certainly is not my 1st diary.  

I do think it is important to write you Democratic Senators and Congresspersons.  GeorgeXVIII summarized his key point near the end of his letter.  I think it's a good idea to have an executive summary at the beginning of the letter which I did.

If you are so inclined feel free to use any part of this letter if you are going to write your reps.    

Dear:

Summary:  I will not vote for you if you vote to cut Social Security, Medicare, or key parts of the social safety net.

I am alarmed at the direction the deficit reduction talks are taking in Washington.  

It is not about the intransigent, lunatic Republican Party’s position.  In threatening to cause the United States to default on its debt they have proved they are financial terrorists.  If there is a government default it is the Republicans who will be the ones that caused it.    

I am alarmed the President’s negotiating efforts seem to think that what’s reported as asking for 85% to 90% cuts and 15% to 10% revenue increases is a good deal.  That such a deal would be fair.

I do not think this is a good deal.  I’ve seen reports that the White House is even talking about $4 trillion in cuts and $400 billion in revenue increases.  This is unacceptable.  

I expect a very bad deal is likely to be negotiated by the President without much input from the Congressional Democrats and dumped into your lap with very little time to push back against.  I empathize with the difficulty this might cause you, but I want you to know that I will not vote for you in future elections if you vote for a heinous bill that guts middle class and working people’s programs and further shreds the tattered social safety net.

My wife will not vote for you.  I will encourage all Democrats I meet not to vote for you.    

AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka succinctly said what I am thinking when he said this about Democrats last month, "It doesn't matter if candidates and parties are controlling the wrecking ball or simply standing aside to let it happen," Trumka said. "The outcome is the same either way. If leaders aren't blocking the wrecking ball and advancing working families' interests, then working people will not support them."

I am tired of Democrats being enablers for the radical, rightwing Republican agenda.  A social contract stretching back more than 80 years is at risk, and I expect you to defend it.  The baby boom generation has been paying into Social Security Fund for as long as 50 years, and to change to rules of the game now would be a betrayal by any Democratic politician that votes to make this change.  

I suppose there is some wiggle room in the 85% cuts 15% revenue increase because one could say at this time it is not know what the final ‘deal’ will be, but it is unacceptable to me as Democratic voter if social program cuts are greater than the revenue increases.  

Specifically, I will not vote for you if you vote for a bill that:

Cuts Social Security changes the COLA of Social Security so the result is lower benefits for retirees.

Cuts Medicare or raises the age of retirement.

Cuts Medicaid.

Cuts student aid programs.

Programs of the New Deal are at stake.  Programs of the Great Society are at state.  As a Democrat I expect you to fiercely defend the social safety nets created by past Democratic Presidents and Congresses.  If you assist in the shredding of those safety nets, and breaking the social contract between the government and the people, then I will not vote for you.

Most economists believe that significant reductions of federal expenditures at this time will lead to additional economic contraction at a time when further economic stimulus is needed.  Cutting spending in hard times is not what the Democratic Party has done in the past.  It is not what Democrats should do.      

I am chagrined at how fierce Democrats at the state level are pushing back against radical Republican policies, while far too many DC Democrats continue to suffer from the political equivalent of being Stockholm Syndrome victims when it comes to standing up to Republicans.  I am thoroughly perplexed that after witnessing the citizen outcry Republicans got after voting for the Ryan budget that you or any Democrat could vote to cut Medicare.    

As a Minnesota politician I would hope you can see Governor Dayton has done a great job of standing up to radical Republicans in Minnesota concerning the state shutdown.  I would hope you could exhibit the same kind of political courage when it comes to this issue of gutting the social safety net to raise the debt limit.  

I would hope you are talking to you leadership and saying that the outline of what is being negotiated is unacceptable to you, and that as a Democrat you can’t vote for such a bill.  I hope you are communicating these concerns to the White House and that you won’t vote for such a radical bill.  I encourage you to speak up and contact the media clearly stating that you will not support drastic cuts.  Let the Republicans be saddled with the blame of causing the government to default if they choose to push the government over a cliff.    

I have never voted for a Republican in any election and I never will.  The President may choose to embrace Republicanism, Voodoo Economics, and ‘Stupid Hooverism’, but if you elect to vote like a Republican on a deficit reduction bill that shreds the social safety net I will not vote for you in future elections.    

I vote for Democrats.  Democrats won’t vote to shred the already tattered social safety net.  

Sincerely,

I'm pretty sure Senator Franken will not cut these programs.  I'm not so sure about Senator Klobuchar and Rep. Walz.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? William Butler Yeats

    by deepsouthdoug on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 05:57:32 PM PDT

  •  Great letter (5+ / 0-)

    I am firmly in this camp right now.  I do not see any difference between Republicans and Democrats who enable them.

    Here in Florida, and in my own Congressional district, I have not choice.  I wish I could hope that Bill Nelson (D?) would stand with us, but probably not.  

    Great letter.  Thanks for sharing it.

    More tax cuts would be gluttony in a time of starvation. That is not America. That is a nation about to be plundered, and a people laid to waste. - Charles Blow

    by gulfgal98 on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 06:07:45 PM PDT

    •  For the love of whatever, they are not going to (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      falina

      cut the social safety net. The two things Obama IS hot to change is closing the donut hole, bargaining for drugs like the miltary and cutting out double payment to hospitals when rooms turn over. Those are good changes. Writing them uninformed letters accomplishes nothing. All the information you need is available just not here and in the MSM. Try whitehouse.gov. Poor Bernie Sanders has said on every cable news channel at least a dozen times he isn't for any cuts to SS, Medicare, Medicaid etc. You want to seriously rank on someone write the Republicans, they are the problem.

  •  my letter to mine was simpler (4+ / 0-)

    along the lines of:

    I've just read that the President is negotiating cuts to Social Security and other major entitlement programs as part of the debt limit deal.  Please do not vote for any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid.  Regular Americans cannot afford cuts to these vital programs.

    "every time we start a pie fight a wingnut gets his wings"- MinistryofTruth -6.38, -4.15

    by James Allen on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 06:16:26 PM PDT

  •  Good for you. My senators are same , but Keith (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deepsouthdoug, gulfgal98

    Ellison is my rep. I don't necessarily think Gov. Dayton fought that well - he didn't use his bully pulpit that well. But agree with lots of what you said.  I am very suspicious of Amy Klo who spouts "bipartisanshit" in almost all answers she gives in an interview. I sent this email to her way back in Jan :

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Caution : I heard Al Franken on a segment in All things Considered yesterday on MPR. While he said he opposes cuts to key social programs, he said he might "hold his nose" after all and vote for a deal. Remember he voted for the Bush-Obama tax cuts extension? I think Obama might add a crumb or 2 with some sweeteners like a paltry jobs bill, unemployment benefit extensions while axing social programs with fake S&P downgrade threat in the background (remember all the fear mongering 9/11 style reg TARP, Bush-Obama tax cut/ billionaires bail out deal? ) . And Dems like Franken will cave in. Obama is very good at bait & switch with progressives.

    NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

    by Funkygal on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 06:30:09 PM PDT

    •  Letter was sent b4 Gov. Dayton 'compromised' :-( (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wbgonne, Funkygal

      I do remember Franken voted for the cuts.  I think he signed a letter saying he was going to lead the fight against the cuts - or something like that.  

      Amy was on the Mankato TV station last weekend saying, 'Well we've got something like $2 to $4 trillion in cuts coming,' so I think she's already prepared to vote to gut.  

      Obama will lay that 'save my presidency' shit on the line if a deal is stuck.  Plus those that vote against it will be blamed for the default - you can see that coming.  

      The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? William Butler Yeats

      by deepsouthdoug on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 06:42:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No Democrat is going to vote to gut the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        falina

        social safety net and if any are foolish enough to do that, Obama will veto it. GET A FREAKING GRIP!

      •  Honestly, I do not care (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Funkygal, deepsouthdoug, falina, maryabein

        that whether or not this deal will determine if Obama is re-elected.  What I care about is the people who will be affected by these cuts to our social safety net.  It is not about politics for me.  It is about policy.

        We spend one million dollars just to send one soldier to Afghanistan and yet we cannot find money to care for our own.  Something is terribly wrong with constantly supporting the lesser of two evils.  At this point, I can no longer support those who think that our poor and our seniors should sacrifice to support tax cuts for the rich and wars that have drained our national treasury.

        More tax cuts would be gluttony in a time of starvation. That is not America. That is a nation about to be plundered, and a people laid to waste. - Charles Blow

        by gulfgal98 on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 06:59:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Amen. There is too much focus on how this will (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gulfgal98

          affect Obama's re-election. I don't give a squat about that. I care more about what are all getting axed and their effects.

          I am also flabbergasted about people (with good intentions, no doubt) getting spooked about how Obama will loose. As if he doesn't know about it. Point is, whatever happens, he will be OK. His net worth is 5 million $. He already has a book deal waiting and sure he will make millions speaking on "get motivated " or "how to get things done"  and all that nonsense. We have to live with the train wreck of his policies.

          NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

          by Funkygal on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 07:09:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  This was written by Dean Baker (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Funkygal, gulfgal98, falina
          The New York Times Doesn't Like Medicare   
          Thursday, 14 July 2011 05:46

          That's what readers of the NYT's box on "issues holding up debt ceiling agreement" would conclude. The box tells readers that:

          "Officials have said that the program, which provides health care to people 65 and older, is not sustainable in its current form."

          This is not true. There is no, as in zero, none, official document that says the program is not sustainable in its current form. There are official documents that show the program will need additional revenue at some point. The ACA passed by Congress last year reduced the projected shortfall in the program by more than 75 percent.

          As it stands, the projected shortfall over the program's 75-year planning horizon is less than 0.4 percent of GDP. This is less than one quarter of the cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

          The darkness drops again but now I know That twenty centuries of stony sleep Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle, And what rough beast, its hour come round at last, Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? William Butler Yeats

          by deepsouthdoug on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 07:19:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Love Dean Baker. I learnt basics of various issues (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gulfgal98

            by reading his books and these days I follow his blog.

            NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

            by Funkygal on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 07:24:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You know what - reg your bolded text, that is (0+ / 0-)

            exactly why Medicare will be attacked. Upside down - screw programs in good shape and continue programs which are bad - keep digging deeper & deeper into the shithole - the D.C way.

            NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

            by Funkygal on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 07:26:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I can't stand Amy. Just another Obama in the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        deepsouthdoug

        making.

        NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

        by Funkygal on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 07:10:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Her answers to interview questions will always (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          deepsouthdoug

          have "Bipartisanshit" and/or "Minnesota, Minnesota, Oh my Minnesota". Nice trick.

          NYT reader comment (via Susan Ohanian) : Arne Duncan great example of peter Principle. Failed in Chicago; then promoted so he could repeat failure on national scale.

          by Funkygal on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 07:12:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Good Letter (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gulfgal98, pale cold

    It's important that we speak our voices. ^

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 06:33:53 PM PDT

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