Dear Congressman – This is a sorry
time for residents of IL-14. You were the
only Illinois Representative who voted to default. 285 votes were cast for the country
and 144, including you, voted for rigid ideology.
So why did you decide to put “party before country?”
You claim you voted “No” because you did not want to vote for an agreement that ignored our massive debt. Really? Although the debt deserves attention, and responsible fiscal policies are important, can it be true that your vote was a principled response to the debt?
We doubt it.
Let’s look at some statistics, from the Treasury itself.
Ronald Reagan became President with $848 billion in debt and left office with $2,698 billion in debt, a 218.16 percent change. George W. Bush assumed $5,728 billion in debt when he took office. On January 20, 2009, when Barack Obama took the oath of office, the national debt was $10,627 billion, or a percent change of 85.53 percent during Bush’s eight years in office. As of September 30, 2013, the day before the shut down started, the debt amounted to $16,738 billion, a percent change of 57.5 percent since he became President.
As you can see, Congressman, President Obama has done far better than Reagan, and considerably better than George W. Bush in managing the debt. Yet, you want us to believe this nonsensical shutdown and your vote to continue it was all about the debt.
We’re sure you will pardon us if we are just the tiniest bit skeptical about your stated motives, especially since the most oft-mentioned objective of the shutdown, repealing or defunding Obamacare, is likely to add to the deficit, according to the Congressional Budget Office: “On balance, CBO …estimated, repealing the ACA would affect direct spending and revenues in ways resulting in a net increase in budget deficits of $109 billion over the 2013-2022 period.” No, Congressman, sorry, this vote wasn’t about the deficit.
So, is it possible that your vote was merely a continuation of Mitch McConnell’s ultimatum: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President”? Since your party failed miserably in November 2012 to accomplish that objective (to the tune of about five million votes), can this entire shutdown be about nullification? In other words, changing the result of an election your party lost – big. Reversing Obamacare was Romney’s incessantly stated goal, and the American people said “we want affordable health care” by voting for the President.
Indeed, the number of people who were signing up for Obamacare while the shutdown dragged on has itself emphatically reiterated that statement. Romney wanted a fiscal spending plan that favored the rich over everyone else and was draconian in the hardships it would visit on those who could least bear them. It’s same plan Paul Ryan continues to advocate in your party – a plan to which the American people have already emphatically stated “No, thank you.”
But that’s not sufficient for you, Congressman. No, you want to try to hide it from us by talking about the debt, even though there is no reasonable factual support for your statements. Here’s the unvarnished truth: You were the only Illinois Congressman who voted to join those elements of your party who refuse to listen to the American people who spoke unmistakably last November. You’re not fooling anyone Congressman, except yourself.