- Northern Illinois to get $8.3 million for state construction projects
- Tree-lighting festival kicks off holiday season in Machesney Park
- Roscoe Boy Scout Troop’s tree stand at new location
- Tips for selecting safe toys for kids this holiday season
- Prayer service for World AIDS Day Nov. 30
- Food Bank joins national #GivingTuesday movement
- Lee Hamilton: What lies ahead for Congress
- Rockford Public Schools faces $8.8 deficit, board OKs flat tax, HR chief
- Literary Hook: A holiday tradition: ‘This Thanksgiving, Remember’
- Cold snap does not negate global warming
Agitate, America!: An open letter to U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger
By Nancy Churchill
A Progressive Visionary
Following is an open letter to U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill.:
Thank you for your e-mail of Aug. 4, 2013, offering to send me your e-mail newsletter. Here’s why I must respectfully decline.
You are right to say that our nation is at a critical juncture, and that the decisions made today are important in determining what kind of country we will leave to our kids and grandkids.
You are right to say that Illinoisans like me have a lot at stake based on decisions that are made in Washington, D.C.
And you are right to question whether Congress is acting to rebuild our middle class. The answer to that is, Congress has shown a persistent unwillingness to do anything like what it will take to rebuild the middle class.
You say that our debt is skyrocketing and that we are spending too much under Obama, but I beg to differ.
What is true is that my Social Security is constantly under assault, along with Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps (known as SNAP), unemployment and every other safety net set up long ago to bring a modicum of security to Americans when they retire or fall on hard times.
And yet, it was not recipients of these social protections, people like myself, who brought about the economic crisis we are in. It was big banks now deemed “Too Big To Fail” (and apparently, “Too Big To Prosecute” for their misdeeds), that now Congress fights tooth and nail to protect from oversight.
Furthermore, Congress has never been concerned about federal debt prior to Barack Obama taking office. In fact, contrary to what many claim, deficits have been shrinking under Obama: Our deficit for 2013 is projected to be almost $500 billion lower than it was in 2009. That’s nearly a 33 percent reduction in deficit spending in the four years he’s been in office (http://www.forwardprogressives.com/show-a-republican-this-to-expose-their-hypocrisy-about-deficit-spending/).
Also, under George W. Bush, much of the cost for both wars was hidden through supplemental appropriations that bypassed Congress. When President Obama took office, his administration finally put those costs on our books, which, of course, added to the deficits charged to him (http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/mar/11/us-public-defrauded-hidden-cost-iraq-war).
So, you see, I am informed and engaged already, and have no need for your view of what’s going on in Washington, D.C.
However, I respectfully request that you, as my representative, do whatever you can — indeed, whatever it takes — to provide us with a government that prioritizes its citizens’ needs over those of giant corporations who lobby for tax and regulation cuts that will destroy the future of our economy and our planet for our kids and grandkids.
If you will pledge to do that, I will gladly accept your newsletter, as I expect that then you will report on your progress in this effort to get corruptive Big Money out of politics (https://represent.us). Otherwise, count me out.
Nancy Churchill was raised in the D.R.C. (Congo), raced stock cars on short dirt tracks for 25 years, and is a proud, lifelong member of “We, the People.” She lives in Oregon, Ill.
From the Aug. 21-27, 2013, issue