It seems to me that whenever I send a public official a letter or an email seeking some straight answers, I get anything but. Rather than simply getting to the heart of the matter and answering the questions, politicians must make it a point to weave their stale party talking points into any response. It amazes me how far they will go to avoid the crux of the issues. Former Illinois Senator Roland "Tombstone" Burris, for instance, was notorious for avoiding dialogue. Well, it appears I can now add Speaker of the House John Boehner to my list of those who "ducks the questions." Sadly, I expected more since he is, after all, the leader of his party.
I have to say this, though, I have gotten a heck of a lot more out of Illinois Senator Richard Durbin and he never misses a beat when it comes to staying on message with the party rhetoric! Still, I must give credit where credit is due. At least he accepts and references the questions before applying whatever the standard party position is and why Democrats won't be able to take up the matter. So, unlike most of his colleagues, there is no "release for the media" feel about his response.
As a matter of a fact, even when I emailed a then Junior Senator Obama, who was campaigning for president at the time - he took the time (albeit it was very late due to his busy schedule) to personally "apologize" for not getting back to me sooner and that he was disappointed that he hadn't won my trust yet. He even went on to say that he would work hard to earn my trust. But I have to tell you, I was most impressed that Barack Obama carefully took the time to actually answer each of my questions and concerns, line by line. No matter what I may think of his policies, Obama definitely earned my respect!
As for Speaker of the House John Boehner, well, my questions were simple enough; (1) "why is it so important, that at this time, that the GOP is taking such a hardline stance regarding the debt ceiling? After all, didn't members of the Republican Party raise the the debt ceiling seven times without dissent, during the two terms of George W. Bush? And wasn't the GOP just as responsible for our spiraling debt as the other party?" (2) "why aren't we looking at reining in the massive costs associated with waging war on three different fronts? More importantly, why is the GOP embracing Paul Ryan's Path To Prosperity when it fails to take into account slashing the multiple military budgets which are interspersed within other government agency budgets?"
Last, but not least, I informed Speaker John Boehner "that I felt the Tea Party Caucus was exerting an undo influence on the Party as a whole and that holding the country hostage, at this time, was nothing short of a fools game and a strategy that most Americans will view as obstructionist, whether real or perceived." I also told Boehner that "Eric Cantor was undermining his authority and had to ask the obvious - who's is leading the Republican Party?"
As always, I am most grateful that Speaker Boehner and/or his staff even answered my email. However, the response fell short when it comes to answering my questions in a straight forward manner. Bear in mind, I have long contended that politicians, on both sides of the aisle, have refused to answer their constituents' concerns. People, though, want straight answers. Given this latest response - I have to believe that I am still correct in my assertions. I do not believe I got the straight answers I was looking for, considering I brought up what I felt were the inadequacies contained in the GOP's "The Path To Prosperity." I have reviewed many times and still cannot make sense of it because without "Real Spending Cuts" in our bloated Military / Industrial Complex - we simply cannot balance the budget. Merely accepting the Defense Secretary's commitment to "targeting inefficiencies at the Pentagon" is far too open-ended and doesn't solve the history of cost overruns and projects that are scrapped after billions have been wasted! Again - the Military Budgets are the #1 Drain (if you add up all its streams) on the budget and if the GOP wants to remain committed to "no tax increases ever," well, how exactly do we get there if ignore that "minor detail?"
I don't know, perhaps I am missing something here? What do you think?
I am more than willing to revisit it - but I just can't get an answer!
Dear Mr. Ciric:
Thank you for taking time to contact me regarding President Obama's request for an increase in the national debt limit. It's good to hear from you.
The failure of the "stimulus" spending binge has left us with an unsustainable debt and fewer jobs. To get out of this mess, and create a better environment for private-sector job growth, we need to cut government spending now - and hold it down in the future.
That's why House Republicans have said all along: a debt limit increase cannot pass the House without real spending cuts that are larger than the debt hike and reforms that restrain future spending (like spending caps or a Balanced Budget Amendment). And job-crushing tax hikes are off the table.
The House has passed a plan - The Path to Prosperity - to spur job growth and pay down our debt over time. Now we're waiting for President Obama to outline a plan of his own that can pass.
Thank you again for contacting me. Your ideas, comments, and questions help make possible my goal of leading a House of Representatives that listens and reflects the will of the American people. I hope you'll keep speaking out by:
-Visiting Speaker.gov to sign up for email updates on issues that concern you;