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