Friday, June 26, 2009

My First Letter to my Congressman

OK, so technically it isn't my first letter to a congressman. Some of you might remember when Ms. Flahrety made her 5th grade classes write on behalf of the homeless, but this one was my own idea.

Congressman Dennis Moore
1727 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Congressman Moore,

I'm writing you regarding legislation currently under House consideration. President Obama's own office has estimated the Cap and Trade bill to cost over $650 billion over the next eight years. Even though this cost is shockingly high, I fully expect the true cost to be much higher, as this type of legislation is almost always presented as being cheaper than it really is.

For example, this amount is similar to President Obama's May estimates regarding health care reform - $634 billion. Not surprisingly, on June 15, the CBO estimated the costs of the proposed health care proposal to be $1 trillion, or as I like to think of that amount, $1,000,000,000,000.

When you're forced to look at all of the zeroes, it brings the reality of these numbers a little closer to home. On June 16, the estimates were revised upwards to $1.6 trillion.

Since then, the parties pushing for this legislation have been manipulating the numbers using suspect accounting tricks based on unrealistic assumptions in an attempt to claim the cost will be below $1 trillion.

$1,000,000,000,000 is shocking enough, but when these rosy assumptions inevitably prove unrealistic, the true cost will be even more staggering.

Considering the United States' debt levels and deficits are running at unsustainable record levels already, legislation such as these two bills, which will cost trillions more over the next few years, is incredibly irresponsible.

President Obama has advocated a return to PAYGO rules. If he and Congress are serious about implementing such rules, they can only fund legislation of this magnitude in three ways: 1) MASSIVE tax increases like never seen before in the United States; 2) unrealistic manipulation of cost estimates, or; 3) simply printing money.

Tax increases, especially of this magnitude, will suck the life out of any potential economic recovery. Further, assessing taxes on businesses punishes everyone, not just corporate fat casts. If a corporation's taxes are increased, it has few options: 1) raise prices, punishing everyone who uses their products, including middle class and poor people; 2) lay off employees, which effects far more people than merely those laid off; or 3) make less money, which hurts their stock price. This doesn't merely impact wealthy investors, but harms everyone with a retirement fund, pension, or college savings plan which includes securities, or mutual funds comprised of those securities. Many people don't consider this, but it's oxymoronic to rail against corporate profits while simultaneously expecting your 401k to gain value.

Manipulating the numbers to make it appear that 2+2=10 violates the entire principle behind PAYGO rules, turning them into a sham.

Federal Reserve and Treasury action, effectively "printing money", will raise inflation even more, and dig an even deeper hole for younger generations. Please consider this chart of the United States money supply, provided by the St. Louis branch of the Federal Reserve:

The chart is so ridiculous, that at first, I assumed it was a joke. It is no joke. It's deadly serious. To think that such reckless manipulation of the money supply won't negatively impact the purchasing power of the dollar is either naive or insane.

I'm highly concerned about irresponsible government spending. The following information indicates I'm not alone:

"Nearly seven in 10 have serious reservations about the federal government’s ownership stake in General Motors. Almost 60 percent say that President Obama and Congress should worry more about keeping the deficit down — even if that means it will take longer for the economy to recover. And fewer than half of Americans have confidence in the president’s policies to improve the economy."

President Bush spent trillions of dollars on overseas military action, and pushed for the initial round of bailouts, despite their staggering cost. Unfortunately, President Obama appears to be content continuing these same tragic policies, and actually increasing the speed at which our nation marches toward economic default. A number of decades ago, the United States was the world's greatest creditor. In a relatively short time, it has become the world's biggest debtor.

No matter how noble the intentions of proposed legislation, I urge you not to vote for it unless there is a clear plan to pay for it other than accounting tricks and nebulous assumptions about "savings" the legislation will create.

Thank you for your time.

Brad Raple

Olathe, KS

1 comment:

Foxwood said...

Don't believe this is not a tax on those making under $250,000. Everything this bill touches will go down the FOOD chain. Gas, electricity, food, products and services. Everything will go up, but it's not a tax on you.