Lately, I get the nagging feeling that Americans actually believe that politicians care about THEM as people. I do not buy it for one minute.
Have you ever had personal communications with representatives in local, state, or federal government?
Have you tried to write, email, or phone your U.S. House Representative or Senator?
Have you seen what you get when you do?
Except in rare cases, you get “boilerplate” position letters, sent by staff, who must glance briefly at incoming correspondence to see which stock reply to send.
I think we get far less than taxation without representation. I think we get no respect at all. I think we are the “Whos” in the Dr Seuss book “Horton Hears a Who.”
In January 2009, I sent emails to my Congressman, both U.S. Senators from the state of Texas, and President Obama.
“An Alternative to Foreclosure,” (see my blog in the April archives) which proposes using “Mortgage Conversion Contracts,” instead of foreclosure for viable homeowners. The owner exchanges equity and mortgage for a market rate lease, with an option to buy.
I had several real estate and mortgage experts review the idea for legality and viability. They thought it was a great idea. They also suggested that it needed to be endorsed and encouraged by the Federal Government.
This approach avoids foreclosure costs, credit devastation, evictions, empty houses, damaged neighborhoods; it leaves the homeowner in the house, with undamaged credit, and an option to repurchase, if they recover.
Two and a half years later, with millions of families devastated, housing markets in shambles, a gigantic overhang of foreclosures, the headlines read, “Banks need to rent those foreclosed homes they own.” Duhh!
Likewise, I sent emails to propose the instant stimulus of suspending FICA withholding for both employees and employers, as did John McCain in his campaign:
- Employees take home 6% more
- Employers reduce payroll costs by 6%
- Employees have more to spend each month
- Employers benefit to the extent they employ
- Employers have less incentive to lay off staff
- Less administrative expense for employers and government
- Resume FICA gradually as necessary
Instead, this year, the government implemented a 2% partial suspension of FICA withholding for the employee only. Today they make a big deal out of extending it. What do you think the impact would have been if the government had suspended FICA two years ago, for employees, and business owners who still cannot get a loan at the bank?
What possible motive could the politicians have for ignoring real solutions to the problems we are facing today? Could it be that politicians do not care about us at all, except at election time? Could it be that power is all they want? Do problems help politicians keep and gain power?
Apparently the denizens of Washington, DC know that all they need to do is give the illusion that they hear us, pretend they represent us, promote class warfare, use rhetoric, and vague platitudes, and we will still believe them.
Each of us needs to make sure our government knows we are here. They need to treat us with respect and give us their attention, no matter how small we may be to them.
If you feel like a “Who,” join me in yelling as loud as you can, “Hey Washington, WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE! WE ARE HERE!”