Thursday, February 5, 2009

A letter/ reply from my Congressman

Tom's Journal.

You can't say Tom didn't try ! What is YOUR excuse for not taking up the fight for our children's future ?? Lack of action could put the USA on the fast track to going bankrupt and total failure and shame... But maybe this all fits into God's Plan in Jesus Christ coming back to "set things right." On that day, 'men will water their knees...'

Here is a letter from my WI Congressman, Paul Ryan.


Dear Thomas:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about the economic stimulus proposal that recently came before the House. I appreciate you taking the time to let me know your views on this important issue.

The mounting economic hardships throughout Southern Wisconsin - from mass layoffs to growing insecurity - have been downright gut-wrenching. Families are finding it more difficult to make ends meet while they watch their savings evaporate. As Congress takes action to help spur economic recovery, it must adhere to the principle of first and foremost - do no harm. To this end, any 'stimulus' package Congress considers should be focused on protecting the taxpayer and avoid prolonging our decline by simply throwing borrowed money at the problem.

Unfortunately, legislation was recently rushed to the House floor that ignores these important principles, relying instead on the mantra that "Washington knows best." H.R. 1, the so-called "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009" is a trillion dollar spending bill that would repeat the mistakes of a flawed economic doctrine which deepened our depression in the 1930s. At a time when our country is loosing tens of thousands of jobs a week and communities in Southern Wisconsin continue to be hit especially hard, H.R. 1 would make matter worse with a fiscal response that is slow, wasteful, and shackles future generations with a massive debt burden.

Among the most troubling provisions of H.R. 1;

o Trillion Dollar Price Tag: The $816-billion package will be financed by borrowing, which will result in additional interest costs of $347 billion - putting the total cost of H.R. 1 to over $1 trillion.

o Does Very Little to Help Protect and Create Jobs: We need to help small businesses, entrepreneurs and the self-employed survive this recession and give them incentives to expand. 70% of our jobs in America come from small businesses. Yet there are more taxpayer dollars dedicated to arts and culture, cars for federal employees, and renovating federal buildings, than to helping small businesses grow.

o Wasteful Spending: $54 billion is spent on 19 programs deemed "ineffective" or "results not demonstrated" by the Office of Management and Budget.

o Special Interest Wish List: $600 million for brand new "green" cars for Federal government employees; $650 million for digital TV coupons; $7.7 billion to improve federal buildings; $50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts; and other dubious special interest projects.

o Not So "Timely" After All: Even if borrowing and spending is the answer to our economic crisis, only a small fraction of the spending in the Majority's bill will take place in 2009. By the start of fiscal year 2011, roughly half of the spending from this bill will remain unspent.

o Another Round of Rebate Checks: The tax provisions in this bill do not encourage risk-taking; they do not encourage investment and job creation. The bulk of the tax 'cuts' are simply rebate checks - $10/week for individuals and $20/week for couples. We tried rebate checks last year, and they simply don't work.

o Guarantees Future Tax Hikes: The calls for new record spending would only exacerbate our exploding budget deficit, a national debt nearing $11 trillion, and well over $50 trillion of unfunded promises. By adding over $1 trillion dollars to this abysmal fiscal situation, we are guaranteeing tax increases in the near future. To hit a recovering economy with massive tax increases is a recipe for disaster.

While this proposal falls well short of meeting the needs of our country, I fought hard to improve the stimulus bill with amendments and alternative proposals aimed at creating and protecting jobs. Before the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Rules Committee, I offered amendments aimed to boost incentives to expand business operations help small businesses make payroll and add new jobs. Because H.R. 1 provides no relief from the tax increases facing families and small businesses and not enough relief for small businesses to keep and create more jobs, I proposed to extend for two years the individual marginal income tax rates (which is the tax small businesses pay), provide for two years of full expensing for businesses, and make permanent the 15% tax rates on capital gains and dividends, indexed to inflation, rather than allow massive tax hikes to hit Americans at the end of 2010. Unfortunately, my attempts to improve this bill were rejected.

In an attempt to work with the new administration, I worked with my colleagues to craft an alternative proposal based on fast-acting tax policy along while strengthening and expanding unemployment assistance. Using upon the same model as President Obama, my proposed alternative would create 6.2 million jobs, unlike H.R. 1, which is reported to produce 3 million jobs, costing taxpayers $275,000 per job. Alternatively, my substitute would produce twice the jobs at half cost.

Despite my efforts, H.R. 1 was brought the House floor absent any of the changes or alternatives I offered. On January 28, 2009 the House passed H.R. 1 by a vote of 244-188. These are painful economic times, and the desire for an immediate economic recovery is shared by all. Additional assistance to those hit hardest by this recession - including families in Southern Wisconsin coping with painful layoffs - is an important part of any recovery effort. While the House missed an opportunity to enact an economic stimulus package that tackles the fear and uncertainty gripping the marketplace, I am hopeful Washington can come together in a bipartisan fashion to address our greatest economic and fiscal challenges.

We cannot borrow, spend, and tax our way of this crisis - we need to promote sustained economic growth and we need to act now. Sustained economic growth cannot come from Washington; but rather from the creativity and entrepreneurial spirit of the American people. With tremendous fear and uncertainty in the market, Congress can provide lasting tax certainty by dropping its promise to raise taxes at the end of next year on investment, savings, businesses, families, and workers. Fast-acting tax policies should focus on boosting incentives for expanding business operations and creating good-paying jobs. We should allow immediate expensing on all new investments and lower our job-killing corporate income tax - currently the second highest in the industrial world. Additionally, commonsense regulatory reform that concentrates on openness and transparency should be enacted to address what got us into this mess in the first place.

In the meantime, if you wish to share additional information with me concerning this issue, please feel free to contact me by calling, emailing, writing, or faxing me. Please be advised that mail sent to my Washington office is subject to an additional two-week delay due to increased mail security. I thought you might also be interested in receiving regular updates on what is happening in Congress and the 1st District delivered directly to your e-mail inbox by signing up for my Instant News Updates. To receive the updates, visit my website at and click on the Instant News Updates graphic on the right side of the screen for this free service.

Thank you again for contacting me on this issue. If I can be of further assistance to you regarding this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to respond and be of service to you.


Paul Ryan
Serving Wisconsin's 1st District

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If you have an urgent concern, please feel free to call me toll-free in Wisconsin at 1-888-909-RYAN (7926). Or visit, call, mail or fax me your comments or concerns by contacting one of my Constituent Services Centers at the following locations:

20 S. Main Street, Suite 10
Janesville, WI 53545
Phone: (608) 752-4050
Fax: (608) 752-4711
216 - 6th Street
Racine, WI 53403
Phone: (262) 637-0510
Fax: (262) 637-5689
5455 Sheridan Road, Suite 125
Kenosha, WI 53140
Phone: (262) 654-1901
Fax: (262) 654-2156
1113 Longworth H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225-3031
Fax: (202) 225-3393

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