An Open Letter to Representative Paul Ryan
An Open Letter to Representative Paul Ryan
Dear Honorable Representative Ryan,
Back in 1998, you were elected as the Congressional Representative for my district. I voted for you. I am not a Republican, but I lean conservatively, and I was behind you all the way. I have spoken to you personally a couple of times, both at a dairy breakfast in our county and at the ice rink where I was celebrating my son’s birthday; I believe you were there to support one of your children at hockey practice or in a game. Regardless, I had a fondness for you because of our shared degrees in Economics and our beliefs in fiscal responsibility at the national level. In short, you were my hero.
Please note the past tense.
Every year, I receive your annual report and again, kudos for sending that to us. Your wonky graphics and emphasis on fiscally conservative views has been greatly appreciated. But this year, I received your report and wanted to throw up because although you repeat your mantra of cutting spending and whatnot, in the end, in my world, actions speak louder than words. And you have failed miserably.
Once you jumped onto the national scene as a Vice Presidential candidate with Mitt Romney, you have abandoned those of us who sent you to Washington, DC, to represent us. You have become a party hack and not someone with principles and discipline.
See, you and I, we have a “social contract.” You campaign, making promises and ensuring we voters understand where you stand, and then we voters go to the polls and complete that black arrow with our markers, making you the person we believe will uphold your promises and do what is right, as we see it.
But there is another contract, that we as a nation, hold with many young men and women. That would be the contract between our country and those who serve in uniform to defend that country at the orders of the Commander-in-Chief and Congress.
Sir, I quote you:
Look Larry, we owe so much to these men and women who fight for us. We wanted to make sure that they always have a better pension system than anybody else in government. We maintain that, and we have very modest reforms to help the Pentagon with their very big budget problems.
And I point out this graphic you included in your report:
Please note the red box around the top expenses at the federal level and two out of three which are in the negative. I can only pray that the Labor part is cutting back part of the bloated bureaucracy of federal employees, but I am unsure if that is the Labor Dept or labor in general. Regardless, there are two categories which are in the negatives, and this is after sequestration, and the rest of those percentage changes in the right-hand column are in the positive.
Out of the top 4, you have hammered repeatedly how we need to make cuts in 1, 2, and 4. Back in 2008, you introduced the Roadmap for America’s Future Act of 2008. I point you towards the basic Findings and Purpose to remind you where you used to stand. There is nothing in that Roadmap which indicates that the Pentagon has big budget problems as quoted above.
I would also like to highlight this graphic you included in your annual rep0rt:
Again, note that social spending is 2.5 times that of military spending. Imagine all those tanks, aircraft carriers, bombs, guns, ammo, etc. And yet paying to those who are not either productive citizens nor hard assets take up 46% of our budget.
The worst part is your bragging of reaching some sort of agreement.
You say “Spending is cut in the smartest way.”
And yet you also say:
Our immigration system is broken, and the evidence is overwhelming. First, 11 million undocumented immigrants are living in the United States. Because they lack legal status, they are outside the scope of the law. We don’t know who they are or in what activities they are involved. Second, we encourage people to break the law and punish those who follow it.
But we also have to deal with the rest of the undocumented population. After discussing it with residents of southern Wisconsin and colleagues, here’s what I think they should do: They should go through a lengthy period of legal probation—or “deferred adjudication”—with a one-strike policy. That means if they violate the terms of their probation, they are immediately deported.
I would point out that many of those “undocumented immigrants” have greatly benefited from being in the United States. They are taking resources from American citizens, as pointed out by this CBO report:
Recent estimates indicate that annual costs for unauthorized immigrants in Colorado were between $215 million and $225 million for education, Medicaid, and corrections. By comparison, taxes collected from unauthorized immigrants at both the state and local levels amounted to an estimated $159 million to $194 million annually.
That range as cost to taxpayers is about from $21 million to $66 million within the state of Colorado, which has TABOR. I suppose Coloradoans could use that money in their budget, but, you know, guys like you think we should give illegal immigrants a bye, allow them to continue sucking resources from citizens in order to fund their illegal existence within our borders.
I would note that from the census, 2010, in our county, within your own district, county vs state numbers:
|Hispanic or Latino, percent, 2012 (b)||7.9%||6.2%|
Is this why you say, “After discussing it with residents of southern Wisconsin and colleagues, here’s what I think they should do: They should go through a lengthy period of legal probation—or “deferred adjudication”—with a one-strike policy. That means if they violate the terms of their probation, they are immediately deported?” Is this why you are so relaxed about law-breaking? Shame on you. You throw soldiers under the bus for those who perhaps are not even in this country as legal employees/workers.
You say that DREAM act kids came here as some sort of victims of their parents perfidy. I would counter that if you will push for immigrant reform, translators in Iraq and Afghanistan move to the head of the line before the DREAM act kids. DREAM kids have just been coasting along, safe and sound in America while interpreters have put their lives on the line to actively help American soldiers. By convenience of a shared border, Mexicans and South Americans get special treatment before those who purposefully chose to risk their lives, and their families lives on behalf of Americans. How is this right, Honorable Representative Ryan?
In the end, in totality, you have broken your social contract with your voters, as you have broken the social contract with those who serve Americans and military members. We voters cannot change or enact laws. We elect you to do so. Only you have the power and as the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, you have a special privilege and responsibility to do what is right by Americans. You talk a good game, but in the end, you have abandoned those of us who put you into office.
Over the past several years, I have noticed a libertarian candidate running against you. And although I would say it was a wasted vote because the L candidate never garners more than 2% of the votes, I would be able to sleep at night knowing that I upheld my principles, unlike yourself. I have not bowed to the expediency of kicking the can down the road like so many politicians before you. I will have made a stand for what is Right, as I see it. I thought you saw that same vision, but I was wrong. And as a voter, I shall correct my error in believing your words. Your actions speak volumes, Sir, and I am sorry to say that I must abandon you as you have abandoned me, and many other voters in the 1st Congressional district of Wisconsin.
As I said above, shame on you.
LL, and voter in the 1st District, WI
PS: And lest you assume I am some sort of rich person riding Rep. Ryan’s butt, I would add, as a postscript, I am currently unemployed, have been since April of 2013, I lost my emergency unemployment benefits (12/28/13, part of that 1.3 mil touted in the press currently), I am scrambling to figure out what to do with myself and how to support my children and pay my mortgage, I am educated, and I am sick of excuses from politicians who basically use the “ends justify the means” method to justify their terrible representation of voters. I am libertarian, I have 27 years of employment history and skin in the game in terms of “social benefits” taken out of my paycheck every week for 27 years and yet, I sat in a meeting today listening to a woman with 2 children, 2 abortions under her belt (no shame in proclaiming that in front of 7 other women), and a baby on the way, not being married and I suspect never having worked a day in her life. I believe in a limited social security network for folks like me who have contributed to society in a significant way, and I am with the Republican leadership in asking that emergency unemployment not being extended if it means losing my house because my choices are my own. I would say that the Republicans need to get a backbone, stand up for lower taxes, encouragement of businesses, repeal of any and all legislation that adds financial burdens such as the ACA and allow us to get jobs, work, and be productive American citizens, like we should be.