“Mr. Everyman” Pens Note To Congressman Simpson Et Al

The following letter was actually sent to Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson and should be read by the entire Congress. The author has requested anonymity, but is well known to the GUARDIAN and soon, no doubt, to Congressman Simpson. The GUARDIAN felt it brilliantly expresses the sentiments of many frustrated Americans.
The dome of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Dear Congressman Simpson,

I am very disappointed and, quite frankly, disgusted, at yesterday’s vote bundling the debt ceiling issue with the Affordable Care Act. The legislation is problematic on many levels, but most importantly, the two issues are not related! I have always been dismayed by the practice of riders, attachments, and/or jamming two or more totally unrelated issues together into one piece of legislation for nothing more than political gamesmanship. That is exactly what happened yesterday. I want this practice stopped, by both parties.

Since your party chose to tack on a delay of the Affordable Care Act, with the government’s funding issue, let me start with the ACA first. It is the law of the land. The major components of it have been affirmed by the Supreme Court of the U.S. You guys lost; end of story. I want you and your colleagues to stop this obstructionist nonsense and get back to work for the American people. The ACA health exchanges are in place to open shop next Tuesday. Now is certainly not the time to try to derail it. Congress has attempted dozens of times to kill the program and have been rebuffed each time. You don’t get it. Give it up and get back to business. There are components of the act that I don’t like, but it is a start and I am willing to give it a shot to see how it works. If it flops, or has problems, that will be the time to repeal or fix it, not 3 days before it is set to begin. America wants and deserves quality, affordable healthcare for all, and while the ACA is by no means perfect, it is at least a move in the right direction after decades of inactivity from Congress. Let it happen and we’ll go from there.

On the unrelated topic of the debt ceiling, I’d rather not see the government shut down on October 1st, but if that’s what it takes for Congress to buck up, shut up, and fix this problem once and for all, then so be it. This can has been kicked down the road too many times. We deserve better action from our lawmakers, not continued political posturing and obstructionism. Your party in particular, wants government to be reined in, budgets cut, taxes lowered. I could not agree more. Let’s start with the two largest budget drainers: Defense and entitlements.

The amount of money we throw at the military is absolutely obscene and completely out of control. The Department of Defense is way past due for a complete makeover. Creative minds might consider combining some branches of our military, and more thoroughly reviewing assistance pacts we make with other countries. It is time to stop being the world’s big brother and protector. Protect and defend our borders and our citizens; that is all we need to be doing.

My definition of “entitlements” may certainly be different than yours, but please allow this constituent to be heard. Americans’ health, education and welfare should be the number one priority of our government. Social Security is a promise to our citizenry that was made long ago. It was the right thing to do and should not be reneged on now. I believe most Americans are very much opposed to severe modification of the program.

I believe the same about Medicare and Medicaid. We must take care of our own, first. Regarding welfare programs, again, we must take care of our citizens, but I have always supported the notion of public service for public assistance. That is certainly a hot-button topic, but it needs to be more fully explored and not ignored. While I prefer that Social Security, Medicare and other welfare programs be continued without major changes, I believe that compromises from both parties can result in the continued success and fiscal health of these programs. There are numerous other entitlement programs that need to be looked at for cost saving or outright deletion, such as non-humanitarian foreign assistance programs, farm subsidies, and others. With some hard, careful thought and compromise, I think you actually can squeeze some blood from this turnip. I’d like you and your compatriots to try.

Finally; one other item was injected into the legislation that I believe is wrong. If the government does shut down, why should military pay be exempted? This is simply not fair to other government employees. I might have a different view of this if military service was mandatory, but it hasn’t been for decades. The men and women in our military are there by choice, just like the rangers at our national parks, or anyone else that chose the government as a career.

Mr. Simpson, I have always admired you for your independent, common sense approach, however, the last year or two, I’ve become increasingly disturbed by what I feel is a slide by you toward the drumbeat of the unmovable, uncompromising wing of the Republican machine. I respectfully request that you return to the cadence of your constituency, your own conscience, and not march to the beat of Mr. Boehner’s drum and the other extremist and obstructionist factions of your party.

Thank you for your consideration and please get to work.

Mr. John B. Everyman

Comments & Discussion

Comments are closed for this post.

  1. David B. Hall
    Sep 29, 2013, 6:30 pm

    I won’t mind if government shuts down, so long as they never restart it again.

  2. Grumpy ole guy
    Sep 29, 2013, 10:41 pm


  3. As if Congressman Simpson will pay one bit of attention.

  4. It’s a lost cause. Any substantive change will not occur–largely because we keep sending career pols back to Washington.

  5. Wonderful! I could have written that myself, but I didn’t. I am one of the employees facing furlough tomorrow, and I frankly support standing firm on the ACA/Obamacare–as the author of the letter notes, it’s the law of the land! Get on with it, FFS. If we need to shut down for a couple of days, fine, especially if it results in some of these obstructionist politicians losing the next election.

    Unfortunately, shut-down will have some serious impacts on the economy, particularly the stock market. Let’s also mention the loss of productivity in our federal agencies as the workforce has to shift from our mission and targets, and move in to “How are we going to address furlough? Who are the critical employees we have to leave on? What do we face when we return?” Then there are all the contract payments that get delayed by however many days the shutdown runs for. All in all, this Tea Party tempest is bad, bad, bad for America.

  6. Congress has something like a 16% approval rating. Isn’t it wonderful that there’s at least something that ‘most all of us can agree on? (Ironically, despite that, most of the incumbents will get reelected again, and return to DC Business as Usual. And what’s the story with the 16% who approve of Congress?)

    Mr. Everyman wants the entitlement programs to remain essentially untouched, but doesn’t even mention the $17 trillion national debt. How do we pay for all the ongoing government largesse? THAT is the primary source of this citizen’s ongoing consternation. (And I believe it’s closely related to the current budget, debt ceiling, etc.)

  7. Well said, thanks!

  8. I don’t agree with everything you say. We should see how the ACA plays out, but I have no doubt it will increase the cost of healthcare insurance. The problem with healthcare is not the cost of insurance but the out of control cost of healthcare itself. As far as the shutdown and who gets paid, yes people volunteered for the military, but it is not like they can leave if they don’t get paid. Other government employees can quit their jobs if they don’t get paid and they wont go to prison. Well said on entitlements. They need to be reformed. And….. Social Security should never be called an entitlement.

  9. Rod in SE Boise
    Sep 30, 2013, 10:34 am

    I do not believe the House has acted on the debt ceiling yet. What they did was pass a Continuing Resolution in lieu of passing a new budget and attached provisions relating to the ACA (Obamacare) that would make it unacceptable to the Senate. The budget for funding government operations is one thing, the debt ceiling is another. The failure to pass a budget (or Continuing Resolution) would cause a government shutdown. Failure to pass a debt ceiling increase would not cause a government shutdown but would affect the government’s credit rating and prevent it from paying interest on the debt and other bills.

    The deficit is the result of spending more than the government takes in in ONE YEAR. The debt is the total of all the deficits from previous years.

    That being said, I agree with pretty much everything “Everyman” said. And, of course, every sane person disagrees with the comment by David B. Hall (unless his comment is directed at the State of Idaho, Ada County, and Boise City governments – they are useless).

  10. Superb thoughtful analysis. It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything that makes as much sense as this article. Thanks!

  11. Hanging one’s hat on obamacare being the law of the land is just a democrat talking point.

    Slavery was once the law of the land.

    Laws of the land can be changed.

  12. I agree with the author and would go one step further. As a Democrat, I would offer to Mike Simpson my pledge to declare as Republican and vote for him in the primary if he tones down the partisan rancor and gets busy with the job of governing. I think that might be Mike’s only hope is to get elected by the majority in his district. If he doesn’t, Democrats see no difference in what he’s doing now compared to what the whackadoodle opposing him would do. (Plus this would drive Rod Beck mad, an added bonus.)

  13. “How do we pay for all the ongoing government largesse?”–I disagree that it is largess. The simple answer to the question is to prop the economy up and help the middle class, which is what Obamacare promises to the extent it can. The budget got here, not from government largess, but from tax cuts for the rich, two unfunded wars, and economic devastation caused by deregulation. If fixing the budget is that vital, we need to start there.

    Sep 30, 2013, 1:20 pm

    thank you 4 taking the time to write this letter…& one that makes sense…what I find beyond the pale of this abusive behavior, which as we all know has been going for years, is that they have this country on their knees & the obstruction is hurting Americans. They seem not to care…right now our soldiers? our soldiers? children? woman? those that will be furloughed…will be losing pay food services.. r u kidding…?come on…these guys will not be affected in the least…Congress will still be paid…they will have their healthcare…PAID BY US!!!! & they want to screw us…wonder how the world is looking at us right now? I can’t stop without putting this out there…this all because there is a Black Man in Office…from the very beginning, the goal & what they focused on was not giving this man a 2nd term…now its just block anything anything he does & the fact that it would be good for America is not even part of the equation…

  15. One of the main reasons I joined the Republican Party was that I am Mr Simpson’s district and I know a Democrat will never win and due to him being challenged by someone I believe to far to the right, I wanted to be able to vote for someone that I felt was smart, fiscally conservative, but moderate and open on other issues and in my mind has done a great job, but it’s time kids get out of the sandbox and be a independent thinker. Both party’s look like their saying with stick, just cross this line in the House and the Senate comes back and does the same

  16. Everyman is right it is the law of the land and should be followed. Starting with President Obama who is illegally delaying the employer mandate until 2015. The CBO says this will result in $12 billion in lost tax revenue and one million fewer people getting insurance from their employers in 2014.
    Since Obama will not follow the law for one year it seems only reasonable to delay it’s implementation for a year.
    Also in the event of a shutdown congress and the president get paid.

  17. What we really need is another Billion Dollar War to get the Repubs. all fired up about borrowing more money. I can’t help but wonder just how much better off everyone would be here in this country w/o the Iraq and Afghan wars. Well north of a trillion bucks and what do we have to show for our dough? We need more senators like McCain and Graham wanting to bring holy hell down on Iran.

  18. David B. Hall
    Oct 1, 2013, 12:40 am

    Y’all realize this is all just a big scam, like 9/11. They create the chaos so as to invoke their authority to manage it, gaining more power for themselves, while removing more liberties and freedoms from the people along the way.
    This shyte isn’t funny people, this is outright sedition and treason.

  19. With today’s modern high-speed, secure, reliable, and easy to access communications… I see no reason whatsoever to have a representative government. We can all instantly represent ourselves. Yes I’m talking about a total lockout of these worthless bums from bother parties.

  20. Mr. Everyman, I am sorry that you are not aware that bad laws can be repealed; even if they are the law of the land. I recall that the American people once felt it appropriate to prohibit citizens from enjoying alcoholic beverages. Also, when it was illegal to marry a person of another race. Bad laws can and should be changed. Is democracy only what you and the sitting president declare? The sitting president can decide to permit certain groups exceptions to the health care law. Has he exempted you and your union? Is this why you are favor being the recipient of special rule-making? Of course, if it was for the mega-rich on Wall Street and a Republican president did a similar act; it would be wrong.
    Please try to look at this as if you did not have a dog in the fight. What would be best for every American during this current economy?

  21. I support the ACA because it is the right ting to do and the reason we need it is because the health care industry, in bed with insurance, and politicians, refuses to regulate itself and figure out how to lower costs. They have feared any kind of market competition. It is amazing that the people who roll out “free market” every election are the ones who uphold the status quo.

    The second reason I support the ACA is that it just might cause people trapped in dead end jobs, including government jobs, (Idaho State workers come to mind?) to be able to quit and start new businesses without worrying about going bankrupt over a broken leg or worse, cancer. Many people work for health care insurance and not for the pay. Mental health will also rise exponentially. Idaho Republicans only want to keep you stupid, down on the farm and living in fear.

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