Friday, January 2, 2009

Letter from Washington

I received a Happy New Year newsletter from my Congressman(pictured above with his defunct rock band, Orleans),  John Hall, (D-NY),. I have reproduced the entire newsletter below, with my highlights (yellow) and commentary (blue).  Please feel free to add your own.  Have fun!

Dear Friends,



As we wrap up the old year, we have no shortage of challenges ahead in the new one. Topping the list is the economy, which provides us with our hardest problems and our greatest opportunities for positive change. My goals for the 19th District, and for the nation, are to create jobs and prevent home foreclosures, to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and where possible incorporate green technologies, to continue improving the care of our returning veterans, and work toward a more cooperative foreign policy based on building up our diplomatic strengths.


Dear John:

The efforts of Congressmen like you to “fix” the economy are puny at best, and, in the long run, will make things worse.  To the simple minded, it sounds good:  spend a lot of money to make jobs to put all those unemployed Americans back to work.   Problem is, you have to take money from working Americans to do it.  The net infusion of capital into the economy is Zero, Zilch, Zip, Nada, the big Goose Egg.  That is, unless you want to borrow a trillion dollars to do it.   And this idea comes from the same people who railed against President Bush for increasing the annual deficit.


These things are all related. Experts tell us that renewable energy creates three to five times as many jobs as would be created by the same dollars invested in traditional power sources. And the energy they produce costs 3 to 5 times as muchSeveral solar panel manufacturers are exploring the Hudson Valley as a site for new manufacturing plants. But they will not  actually locate in the Hudson Valley because the taxes and regulations are too onerous.City Halls, schools, big box stores, post offices and homeowners are asking about solar or geothermal energy, which are available now and could be funded in part by President-elect Obama's recovery plan.  I.e., funded by you and me.   Watch your wallets.




Also fitting within the outline of that plan is traditional infrastructure, like the roads, bridges, and rail lines we use every day to get to work or school.Thirteen bridges in the 19th District are on the deficient list compiled by the federal government after the Minnesota bridge collapse last year. Fixing them will make us safer and create jobs that cannot be outsourced.


Dear John:

How can this be?  New York collects billions of dollars every year in bridge and highway tolls.   Where does it all go?  Why are all the collected tolls not enough to maintain our roads and bridges?  




The new Secretary of the Veterans Administration (VA), General Shinseki, is a principled leader who himself wears two Purple Hearts,  ( sorry, not impressed;   John  Kerry wears four! ) someone capable of taking on the well-meaning but problematic bureaucracy at the VA.  As Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs, I look forward to working with him and his staff to oversee the changes Congress passed last year in the veterans’ claims process, the implementation of education benefits under the new GI Bill, and a broad, generous program to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. All of these goals will be much more achievable if we stop spending $10 billion per month in Iraq and start using that money to fix problems here at home.


Dear John:

Do you read the papers?   Under the leadership of President Bush, we are already drawing down the troops.   The Iraqis control the Green Zone. Christmas is an official holiday in Iraq.  But if you had had your way, we would have pulled out several years ago, and left chaos behind; or, we would not have gone in at all, and left in power the murderer, thief (of UN oil-for-food money),  abuser of women, thumber-of-nose at UN resolutions,  and enemy of Israel Saddam Hussein.


Oh, by the way, did you hear what Senator Obama said?  He is going to re-deploy the Iraqi troops to Afghanistan. So you can kiss the $10 billion per month savings good-bye.  




Our military has done everything we have asked of them, and their families have borne a heavy burden. Although Afghanistan still needs more attention, we should wind down our presence in Iraq and try a surge of diplomacy to defuse the tensions between India and Pakistan. Our traditional and new allies all have a stake in stability in the Middle East and the subcontinent, and should commit resources to help us attain that. One emerging example of such multinational cooperation is the fleet of different navies helping to fight piracy off the Somali coast.  Please re-write;  it makes no sense.  Here at home, many families will be facing a different threat: job losses, rising health care costs, shrinking investments, declining property values and increasing taxes. We should vow a new vigilance against the greed that let billions of dollars be pocketed by individuals while regulators looked the other way.  Greed?  Oh, you must be talking about Congress, ever greedy for campaign contributions from their democrat cronies at Fannie, Freddie, Citigroup (i.e.,Clintonista Robert Rubin). We need relief for homeowners faced with foreclosure due to predatory lending and for all taxpayers struggling with high taxes at a time of shrinking incomes.  So tell me, John, how much of the $700 billion in bailout money already approved has actually gone to“homeowners faced with foreclosure?  I know a family faced with foreclosure, and here is how much bailout money they have gotten:   Zero, Zip, Zilch, Nada, the Big Goose Egg.




We need to decide if we want certain key industries to remain in our country, like steel, aircraft and automobile manufacturing, and take steps to preserve them.  You wanna preserve these industries?  Here’s a hint:  leave them alone.   And we must not forget the oil prices of last summer and be lulled into another decade or more of dependence on foreign sources of energy. Drill, baby, Drill! We, the country who put a man on the moon, should lead the way into a clean, renewable, home-grown energy revolution.  ANWR, off-shore,  oil shale, clean coal, NUCLEAR (like the French), and then  Windmills Along the Hudson. Our prosperity, sovereignty, and national security depend on it.


Dear John:

Our sovereignty depends on securing our borders, and abiding by the Constitution, which limits, limits, limits the power of Congress.


I look forward to working with President-elect Obama, the new Congress, and you, to achieve these goals in the coming years.


Dear John:

You wanna work with me?   Then take seriously my humble opinions, and keep your grubby little paws out of my pockets.





John Hall


Member of Congress






Citizen  of the United States of America


RKL said...

I think you knocked that one out of the park! With what's going on right now, you almost wonder if Elected officials are trying to make a mess of things....

Desman said...

And they are. Imaging my excitement when Her Highness, Hillary Rodham Clinton,announced that she would be leaving New York for the State Department , only to learn that our intrepid governor, David Patterson, was going to replace her with Princess Caroline. I guess she is the highest bidder.