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Frying pan into the fire
An Open Letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy by Mark Shepard, Bennington Vermont

Saturday, January 31, 2009; Published February 4, 2009 in the Rutland Herald

To Sen. Patrick Leahy:

It is 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, and I awoke compelled to write you in hopes you will help bring Congress to its senses.

Americans elected the Democrat majority and president because Americans were fed up with years of irresponsible governing by Republicans, who had lost any sense of fiscal responsibility, which got them elected.

That is why in 2006, as a Republican state senator, I ran for Congress [and created a primary race,] against the wishes of my party. National debt was rapidly increasing; sectors with large government spending (health care and education) and the housing market under policies of easy access to low-interest money were experiencing much greater than average inflation rates. Yet instead of addressing real cost drivers, Congress exacerbated things by throwing even more taxpayer money at new government programs.

Clearly, the American people had to do something. However, as the power in Washington has flipped from Republican to Democrat, it is beginning to look like we have gone from the frying pan into the fire. The House-passed so-called stimulus bill spends money we do not have on things that have nothing to do with stimulating the economy, like divvying billions of taxpayer dollars to organizations like ACORN and Planned Parenthood that worked to elect the Democrat majority.

Given the struggles of so many Americans, adding debt, raising taxes or printing money to fund political allies is a flagrant abuse of power. These groups did not elect the Democrat majority; the American people did. It is immoral for Congress to take our earnings and give it to these organizations. The decision to give money to these groups, or the faith-based organizations that Republicans funded, should be left to each American.

While the bill may contain tax breaks, spending money that we do not have is a tax increase, either from the burden of additional debt or the loss in buying power from devaluing the dollar by printing money. In all honesty, the increase we are now experiencing in gas and heating oil prices, caused from a devalued dollar, should be called a tax.

I implore you to put the brakes on the insane ["stimulus"] bill that just passed the House, remove the political payback money and all spending money for projects that are a year or more out and thus will do nothing to stimulate our present economy.

Thank you for your consideration,

Mark Shepard
Vermont State Senator, 2003-2006

Mark Shepard

Mark Shepard
Bennington, Vermont

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