Monday, January 13, 2014

Talking to The Man

Every so often, I like to send little notes to the members of Congress in my state. (Sometimes I'll send them to Congresscritters in other states, too. But let's not talk about that.) Mostly, this just gets me on mailing lists and doesn't do much else. But I'm an optimist by nature, so I keep trying.

This time, I thought I'd wander over to the "contact Tom" button on Senator Tom Udall's (D-NM) site.

(Can I call you Tom? As much as you've emailed me, I feel I should be allowed to.)

I couldn't help noticing that a number of Democrats are caving in to the Republican talking point that any extension of unemployment benefits should be "paid for."

Well, if that's the case, how are we paying for all of the corporate subsidies that my tax dollars are going to? Gas and oil companies get massive subsidies every year, and none of them are struggling. But families in your state are.

What about the $1.1 billion we pay out to distillers every ten years, to allow them to produce flavored vodka? (That one's covered in Section 5010 of the tax code, if you're wondering.) What about the $80 million worth of sugar we bought back from domestic sugar producers (a $3.3 billion dollar industry)?

See if you can "pay for" the unemployment by reducing the subsidy to any industry that's consistently turned a profit in the last decade. This wouldn't even be a hard sell. You could point out that the majority of unemployment insurance goes to families with children, and you personally don't see the benefits to the country that comes from forcing children to starve.

You could point out that long-term unemployment hurts the economy, and while there are people who would like to see the US economy destroyed, none of them should be in Congress.

You can even finish with "And if extending unemployment benefits is such a distasteful subject, I would like to ask why our Republican colleagues have been blocking every effort to create any type of jobs bill for the past six years?"

Give it a shot, Senator. See how far it could take you.
As always, I doubt it will accomplish anything, but let's see what happens.

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