An Open Letter to Congress

…. pay attention to what's really going out here in the real world.

June 11, 2009

An Open Letter to the Men and Women of the Congress of the United States of America:

How do you get up every morning and look at yourselves in the mirror?

How do you get yourselves ready and hyped about reporting to the work of running our government each day? I know it must be difficult holding down such a rough workweek, and fitting in all that government business and still have time for a 4-day weekend. This doesn’t account for the workdays when sessions last anywhere from 4 hours down to, yes, one minute. Your workdays have actually gone from 162 in the sixties all the way down to a whopping 93. Gosh, you guys are in terrible need of a vacation.

How do you live with yourselves, pretending you know and understand what many American people are going through each and every day?

I am confident that most of you don’t have a clue about the rest of us out here. You live in a fantasy world of special privileges, perks, limos, private planes, expensive clothes, homes and private schools. You have “people “ whose job it is to take care of the little things and the little people.

For some reason you think you know what’s right for the rest of us. What happened to the idea that you are representatives of the people? Do you really bother to read and listen to what your constituents believe and care about? Or, do you just sluff off the letters, phone calls, and e-mails we send on a daily basis?

In case you’ve forgotten, we are real people out here! We’re the people back home who have real jobs, real families, and real problems. We are the ones who pay your salaries, your health care premiums, and yes, your lifetime pensions, which pass to your loving spouses and are guaranteed cost of living adjustments each year. We don’t live and work in secure buildings without much access to the real world. Most of the little people out here receive an average of $1000 a month from Social Security, which we, unlike you, pay into all our working lives. Oh, unless you happen to be a teacher who has given 38 years of her life to teaching the children and is penalized because of Teacher Retirement. But al least I make enough from Social Security to pay my Medicare premiums. People who haven’t hit retirement age are some times surprised to find out that when they finally qualify for Medicare, it still costs them about $500 a month, or more, to have coverage. We want to thank you guys for robbing Social Security and Medicare all the years to put money in the General Fund where your salaries and pensions come from.

I urge you to get out and mix with the people and find out what is really going on. Enough photo opts. Find out what real Americans think about what kind of job your doing for us. Find out what real people need, what we’re spending money on, how much it costs for homes, shelter, food for a family, insurance – health, home, automobile, life, long-term care, etc. How we feel about taking less hours, or less pay, just to keep our jobs. Many people I know are actually losing their jobs, businesses, and homes.

How do you think we feel when we hear you guys in Washington are still getting raises and giving bonuses? Somehow, this doesn’t seem fair. You set up there in your special chamber cut off from the rest of the world. Consider how it looks to the rest of us that you have not gotten on the bandwagon, giving up a little, like the rest of us. Some of you have made an awful lot of money doing your duty for our country. Your portfolios have grown. Maybe you don’t really need those raises. Maybe your own staffers could do without the over $9.1 million you awarded them for last year in bonuses. Gee, wasn’t there a big to-do over the bonuses paid out by many of the businesses you were criticizing? Maybe your Speaker doesn’t need so many frills, clothes, hairstyles, and trips at taxpayer expense. Perhaps, future trips to Italy should be covered by her own personal wealth.

You people spit out rhetoric you have no experience to back up. Just last year, my husband and I turned 65 qualifying us for Medicare and Social Security. Now we hear there will be no cost of living raise for the next three years, and hear from old goats who have the best health care in the world through Congress that older people may as well face the fact that they are old and that many of their conditions might not be covered in the future. We may as well learn to suffer. This reminds me of Marie Antoinette’s famous “let them eat cake, “ remark.

Please take a hard look at insuring all those numbers of people with no coverage. Do you really think the numbers are a realistic figure? I know lots of people out there who simply choose not to spend their bucks on insurance. People need to be responsible for their own choices. I can’t help but wonder when I see people sporting piercings, tattoos, fake nails, and the latest cell phones, whether part of these items might actually be used to pay an insurance premium. Many of the poorest in most communities are at the corner store buying beer, cigarettes, and lotto tickets. We cannot protect all people from their bad choices. Most of the people I know have broken their backsides for years paying their big premiums to make sure their families are covered in case something happens. The last year we were covered by private health care our premiums were about $800 a month. Others have twittered away those dollars on other things, telling themselves they didn’t really need insurance. I don’t think it’s fair for the rest of us to start picking up the tab for theirs now, too. Most of those presently covered by socialized medicine in other parts of the world don’t like it. What will become of the health care in this country? Where will all the Europeans and Canadians go for care?

You guys have got to wake up and while you’re at it, will you shake President Obama back to his senses

and into the real world. He is not president of the world. His main mission is not to go around the world apologizing for the United States and saying we are arrogant. He might want to remind them of all the times we have come to their aid financially and with troops, many who have sacrificed their lives. We spend way too much money on people who don’t even like us. How dare Mr. Obama say we are not a Christian nation when it was on those principles that this nation was founded? The President has gone too far. It has taken him a very short amount of time to make changes in this country that will cripple us for a long time to come. He is creating a fear within this country that has not existed for many years. Most of the people I know are terrified about what is happening, depression is on the rise. We are very concerned about the future of our children and grandchildren.

Let’s take a few steps back, take a deep breath, and regroup. We seem to be making a lot of changes awfully fast.

You don’t have to look far to see what is happening in California. They are broke, cutting services and raising taxes. People are moving in droves. And, if you do the research, the failure of the federal government to do anything about our borders and illegal immigration has had a lot to do with it. I taught school in California for 12 years and saw what happened to the schools over that period of time. Maybe it would be a good idea to close the borders until we get our own backyard back into shape.

Please do what you can, make a resolution to do a better job for the people you represent. We are all depending on you for our future. Maybe it’s not too late for it to be so bleak.

Beverly Sawyer

5815 Royal Haven

San Antonio, Texas 78239

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