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An Open Message To the US Government

Posted by Simon Lee Briggs on October 26, 2013 at 4:15 PM


Barack Obama and to each of the Members of the US House of Representatives and to the Senate:


I am sure that you are aware, if you care to see it, that so many of your citizens are not happy with your performance. You know that a week ago, someone fired shots at the Capitol building. I think that you should not be surprised if this shooter's motive may have been rage at your actions that have caused the current government shutdown. That would not excuse this shooter's actions, but it certainly would explain them. Also, I know many of you pay attention to public opinion polls. Would it shock you to know that your approval ratings currently stand at only 5 percent, according to at least one poll?


We have a piece of legislation that so many people apparently oppose, as do many of you. Because of the opposition of many political leaders to this legislation, we now have another government shutdown. No legislation is perfect, and it will take time for it to be well-implemented and to run smoothly. Can't things be worked out here? In just a matter of days, you know that we have the even more serious issue of what to do to keep the US from going into default. Eight days now, as I write. We understand that the bills incurred by Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have to be paid. We know that all the bills incurred by other government services have to be paid.


Yet we understand that you seem to have no plan to address this. The President wants to raise the debt ceiling, yet there are some who are agreeing to his proposal. But they are demanding that if he is to raise the debt ceiling, he is to make spending cuts to Medicaid and to all other government programs in proportion to how much he would do that. So what is it? Do most of us have to suffer from deep and painful cuts to programs and services that we need just to survive? Why should we have to make even more deep and painful sacrifices than what so many of us are already making? While all of you keep collecting your own paychecks because of your Constitutional protection from doing anything to your own salaries and very comfortable benefits?


Mr. President, all Members of the Senate and the House, so many of us are counting on you to set aside your egos and to put your country before your party loyalty. So many of us are fed up. You have to be aware that this Congress is considered by many to be the worst Congress in all of US history. You say that you want to do this and that. You pepper your speeches with your political rhetoric. Yet you so often do not back up your claims with actions. Talk is cheap. We know that your differences are based of sharply different visions on what is right and best for the US. But aren't there ways that you all can get together, iron out your differences, and find common ground?


We are not asking much from any of you. Even if each of you were to collect no pay at all during the government shutdown, I don't think you would really "feel it," now would you? We understand that there are some of you who agree that there is much government corruption. But you obviously are too afraid of your wealthy buddies on Wall Street to stand up to them and to truly work for us, the people who put you in office and who pay taxes. I wonder, how many of you are bought and paid off and so "beholden" to these wealthy benefactors, that you dare not run afoul of them? Do you blame us for feeling that many of you have accepted payoffs to get and stay elected, and that being elected is all you care about? Most of us are frustrated, disillusioned, and disgusted with all the rot in Washington. Many of us are worried and scared because of the profound effects of this shutdown on our real lives. Things will be far worse if you allow the US to go into default and do not raise the debt ceiling!


Some of us actually wonder: Who IS running this country? Your reluctance, yes, fear of standing up to these wealthy donors of yours and to be strong voices on behalf of us your citizens, makes us believe that your wealthy donors who obviously have bought and paid so many of you off, seem to be running this country. We have nothing against wealth. We just have major problems with it when it causes abuse and corruption. We see so much of that especially in Washington. Deep down, you no doubt are aware of it too. I'm sure that there are good people among you and that most of you started out with good hearts, sincerely wanting to serve your country. But then, along the way, the temptations of power and wealth apparently are too much.


As a Christian, I pray for all of you, as God tells us too. We as Christians are told to honor you because of the offices you hold. But the actions of so many of you make honoring you seem downright unattractive, even impossible. You can make it easier to respect you by acting in ways that make you worthy of that respect. I write to you as a citizen in St. Louis, Missouri but my fellow citizens in all 50 states share these concerns. So, when will you start working for us?


Photo Courtesy of PicDrome.org "blue-ink-ballpoint-pen" This photo can be found here.


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