- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
This letter was sent to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky). A copy was sent to The Calvert Recorder.
As a Marylander, I am not your constituent, but I am contacting you in your capacity as a leader. I have heard and read your interpretation of last Tuesday’s message from the American people to the GOP. My impression is that the message may require clarification, which I will endeavor respectfully to impart as I understand it, and indeed as I meant it with my vote.
Americans have heard the president say for five years that the wealthy need to pay more in income taxes, that those of means must step up to help their nation more, especially in this difficult time. The president calls it economic patriotism. It’s not a punishment; it’s a call to duty. You have said since the election that the American people have not voted to raise taxes on the top 1 or 2 percent of wage earners. Sen. McConnell, that was Mitt Romney’s position, and he was roundly defeated by the president. The conventional wisdom is actually that about 58 percent of Americans believe that the wealthy should pay more in taxes. Warren Buffet has said it. Recently, Ben Stein got on board, as did Bill Kristol.
Americans are keenly aware of the president’s tax position, along with his other goals, and they elected him again — decisively, I might add. Please permit me to help you and your party in understanding the message because it does not seem to be getting across to everyone on the right side of the aisle.
I know you love your country, as I do, and in your office, you pursue the people’s work as you understand it, but you and other GOP leaders on the Hill have pointed to the election results in the House and said you still have some form of mandate from the American people for the same old obstructionist agenda. I believe you miscalculate to some degree. Let’s look at the bigger picture. The same group of voters who elected the president and senators Nov. 6 elected those members of the House. The results for those offices come from statewide results, where recent gerrymandering has no effect. Those results for the president and the Senate speak volumes, along with the popular vote. Even in the House, 16 tea party Republicans are packing up their offices. The mandate belongs to the president. Americans are telling you they want exactly what the president has been calling for all along. People who voted for the president support his agenda. I do not understand how you can take away a different message.
You have said the American people have not excused the president’s failures. Actually, they have not excused those who have attempted to engineer his failure — people like you and your colleagues, who have invoked the filibuster more than 400 times. The people do not forgive those who conspired for four hours at the Caucus Room Restaurant on the evening of Mr. Obama’s inauguration and emerged as the “Party of No”; conspired to keep the economy in shambles and then blame the president; and conspired to box him in and prevent his doing what the majority of Americans hired him to do. The American people have not forgiven those who have defined their goal as “to make Barack Obama a one-term president.”
Americans do not believe that jobs and the economy suffer when the very wealthy pay more in taxes. History proves this. History also has proven that extreme income disparity is a problem in and of itself, representing both economic and social danger when too extreme. In short, your party, your policies and your obstructionism have been rebuked in 2012. You can make what you want of the 2010 mid-term; I call it the first taste of the Citizens United Decision and an anomaly to some extent, but at the end of the day 2010 is history and 2012 is now.
We have to prime the pump to get the economy moving. Revenues from all strata will increase as employment increases and the economy grows. The deficit will correct quickly. This is the way we discharged a post-World War II debt of 127 percent of GDP.
The majority of Americans have again elected Barack Obama and this time with a clearer-than-ever understanding of his agenda. Here’s what that means to you as a leader, despite representing a red state:
ź When it comes to new revenues, the wealthy go first. The rest can participate as the current recovery broadens. We have a debt to pay off. Be realistic; it will require revenue.
ź Obamacare — get over it.
ź Jobs bill — pass it.
ź Infrastructure — build it.
ź Education — support it.
ź Invest in America.
There’s your mandate. Please stop obstructing our president. America has shown you what we want twice now.
Matthew Real, Chesapeake Beach