The following is my response to the Jan. 12 column by Congressman Luetkemeyer. It will take two parts.
I found the congressman's letter a real slap in the face. Its tone was derogatory, self-serving, and mean spirited. If I am not "conservative" I'm not patriotic? Hmmm ...
Luetkemeyer spent much ink telling us about how, as our representative, he is fighting for "our money." Great. He is not, however, being truly honest in his explanation of the problem.
He does spend much ink telling us about how the Bush tax cuts were so beneficial to us but anyone who has been paying attention knows differently. The Bush tax cuts, along with the two "rebates," two wars, NCLB, Medicare Part D, and more, put what was an economy in surplus into an economy that went into severe deficit.
Then to add insult to injury the Bush administration failed to appropriately monitor Wall Street, which played fast and loose with pension funds and allowed bad deals in the mortgage industry.
Where are these "fair-minded folks" who should be taking responsibility for their actions? Your guess is as good as mine!
Does government have to look at its total budget? Yes. Does it have to balance it on the backs of the poor, raping social programs, or stripping Social Security? No.
First it needs to look at the defense budget - one of the true drivers of U.S. debt. The waste in the defense budget is mind boggling, especially its funding of private contractors which are often overpaid and do things which are not worthy of us. How many generals and their wives need $800-plus-a-night hotel rooms on the public dime? We also need to decide whether or not we are going to be the policemen of the world. If so how?
Why is gutting Medicare the only way Republicans know to balance the budget? How about looking at the subsidies we give private industry? Why not? Republicans won't touch these sacred cows because they are the source of major contributions to their re-election coffers. We need to protect family farms but not large conglomerates nor big oil. Judging by their profit margins, it's time to greatly reduce, if not discontinue, the amount we give them. And we give them plenty!
Think if a good portion of that money was back in our budget.
It's time to be honest.