Dear Sen. Kirk,
I am well aware that your views are probably quite different and more "conservative" than my own, but I am responding to your email because you were elected to represent ALL the people of IL, and I know that those who think differently may not respond. So please consider this to be reflective of the "other half." :)
The short answer to your question about the budget is "None of the Above."
First of all, I am disgusted at how Republicans turned the 2011 budget into a battle over social issues to the point of a government shutdown. If they want to see a really angry electorate in 2012, tell them to go right ahead on the Tea Party course! Heads will roll!
Specifically, I see Paul Ryan's budget as another far right plan that would further shift the wealth in this country from the rich to the already struggling. Enough with making this land into a plutocracy! Remember, it was Benito Mussolini who wrote "Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power.”
The bi-partisan plan (Bowles-Simpson) has items in it I don't particularly agree with, but which I consider a serious starting point for debate. But let's not lose sight of what the original and much more critical topic was -- the need for more rapid job growth (and no, that does not start with handouts to the wealthy and big corporations -- been doing that since 1980 and it doesn't work, so please stop trying to sell the public the old "trickle down," ok? This is where the President's plan, which involves investing in OURSELVES comes in. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, you know.
Before we go scaring people to death with this constant threat of attack on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid; let's look at eliminating subsidies to large corporate agribusinesses, oil, coal, and other industries who hardly need any welfare with their multi-billion dollar profits!
In addition, I believe we need an entirely reformed tax code that would establish many more tax brackets above the $250-374,000 income level we now have, and that would change these brackets to range from 7-10% at the very lowest incomes to 40% beginning at $1-1.5 million at the top. ALL the current corporate tax reductions and "loopholes" must be closed, and oversight established to prevent lobbyists from getting them re-introduced into the Code. And finally, we cannot continue to ignore the defense budget, which has comprised 2/3ds of the total for as long as I can remember (which was before you, sir, were even born), without both cutting it back and raising revenue to maintain it. Our current path of being policeman/protector of the world is unsustainable. I recently saw a pie chart of what the world as a whole contributes to "defense" -- all the major "players," except for the U.S., contribute 25% or an average of 4-5% each; the U.S? -- 43%, and "other countries" the remainder. I agree with the proposal Ron Paul and Barney Frank spoke of during the last congress of withdrawing ourselves from stable countries and forcing them to pick up more of the burden of their own self defense (this need not mean completely abandoning bases of strategic interest).
Charlotte L. Maggio
[I am an American Voice Too!]
cc: Richard Durbin
“Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.” ~Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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