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Your Opinion: An open letter to Rep. Luetkemeyer

Your Opinion: An open letter to Rep. Luetkemeyer

November 14th, 2017 by News Tribune in Opinion

Dear Editor:

I was one of probably a majority of citizens in your district who was impacted by the Equifax security breach. I was surprised to find out that federal regulations governing operation of these credit-reporting service entities impose few cyber-security requirements for the vital citizen information these government monopolies hold. At a constituent services meeting that your staff held in Jefferson City last month, I asked about your thoughts on this security breach and what action was in the works to require the credit reporting bureaus to improve cyber-security measures. As I understand you are on the House Banking and Finance Committee. Consequently, I was surprised at your staff treating my inquiry as some kind of "gotcha question." Toward the end of the meeting I raised the issue again and was assured I would hear from your office on this matter — I am still waiting for a response.

I understand that you support the president's tax reform proposal. Most probably agree that tax simplification and reform should happen. For example, reducing the corporate tax rate to something more competitive with other nations' rates while eliminating corporate tax loopholes makes sense as does constructing incentives to corporations to bring their headquarters back to the U.S. However, the proposal tilts too far in benefiting the wealthiest. At the same time this proposal increases the deficit while reducing future funding for critical Medicare and Medicaid services — benefits desperately needed by the most vulnerable among those you are supposed to represent.

Trust is important for successfully achieving changes that directly impact peoples' pocketbooks. I think you and your colleagues seriously damaged citizen trust when Congress recently overturned the rules drafted by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to prevent banks and other financial institutions from requiring (in the impossible-to-read-fine-print) that consumers commit to mandatory arbitration rather than having an option to sue over corporate malfeasance. This action was on the heels of the Wells Fargo fraudulent sign-up of customers without their knowledge for credit card and other services and the Equifax data security breach. You seem to consistently give aid and comfort to the well-to-do (perhaps your friends and patrons) rather than mid-Missouri middle-class citizens — the constituents whom you were elected to represent. Can you help me understand why you think these legislative actions best serve the interests of those who elected you?