Saturday, November 7, 2009

Please, Sir! Show Some Mercy!

 [An open letter to my own Congressman, as well as to all other Democrat and Republican Senators and Congressman who would vote against a public option that would provide all Americans with medical care:]

The Honorable Michael T. McCaul
10th Federal District
United States of America

Dear Congressman McCaul:

By This Point, it has become clear that you have no intention of voting for your citizen-constituents on health-insurance reform, but instead you will vote for your insurance company CEO-constituents. But let me try a different tack:

(1) Last Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that, ““Pensions for top executives rose an average of 19% in 2008, with more than 200 executives seeing pensions increase more than 50%, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

“Executive pensions rose even as the share prices at the companies declined an average of 37% in 2008 and many firms froze employee pensions and suspended retirement-plan contributions.”*
Are We One Nation, Congressman, or are we two?

(2) You Probably Know That Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, back in 2002, cut 15,000 jobs from the Hewlett-Packard payrolls and effectively shipped them overseas. Fifteen-thousand good-paying American technology jobs sent off to China, Taiwan, and beyond. Ms. Fiorina was given a severance package of $21,000,000 to go away and leave HP alone.

This Past Wednesday, that same Carly Fiorina announced her decision to campaign for U.S. Senator from California, on this basis:

“Our most pressing problems today are too few jobs for Americans and too much spending in Washington....As California's senator, economic recovery and fiscal accountability will be my priorities.”†
Are We Working to Make America Better for All Americans, or only for the few at the top? And which of these groups do you work for, Congressman?

(3) If Ms. Fiorina’s Behavior and that of “more than 200 executives” exemplifies the American spirit in times of great need such as we are experiencing today, then there’s something pretty badly wrong with your supposedly Christian and Conservative and Republican ideology, Congressman.

Maybe It’s Time You Think about the Difference between your 640,477 constituents who struggle to keep the American dream alive as their own, and your 6,469 who only take their welfare and benefits—at taxpayer expense—in the millions and billions of dollars.

(4) Americans Down Near the Bottom of the economic pile can take care of each other pretty well without contributions from CEOs and the health-insurance industry.

We Can Take Each Other in when our neighbors lose their homes and can’t feed their children. We can buy our Christian neighbors clothes, we can drive them in our cars, we can take donations to the food banks and the Salvation Army.

We Can Take up All Sorts of Collections at church and make sure that everyone else’s kids get clothed and fed and taken to school and kept away from gangs and drugs.

The One Thing That We Can’t Do for Ourselves, or for our neighbors, is pay for medical care. It just costs too much. At the high end, fewer than 1% of Americans can afford to pay for it.

The one thing that we can’t do for ourselves,
let alone for our neighbors,
is pay for medical care.

What’s Not to Get About This—except for sheer, unmitigated greed at the top of the economic pile.

And So I Am Begging You:

If you would—
Please, Sir!

—just grant us this one dispensation—so that no matter how sick we get, we can get to the doctor and get treated without going bankrupt. I promise you—

Please, Sir!

—we will come back to work for your and your business associates and political contributors, at the low-paying jobs that remain as your industrial advisors convince you of the necessity of making it harder and harder for Americans to get ahead economically. But just—

Please, Sir!

—I’m only asking you for this one thing: just make it so that your constituents can get to the doctor, whether we’ve lost our jobs or our homes or our self-esteem, and—

Please, Sir!

—I swear that I will never trouble you for anything again.

God Bless You, Congressman, Sir!

*“Pensions for Executives on Rise,” by Ellen E. Schultz and Tom McGinty, The Wall Street Journal, (11/03/2009)
Amid GOP optimism, Fiorina announces Senate run,” by Carla Marinucci, Chronicle Political Writer, San Francisco Chronicle (11/05/09)

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