I wrote an email to my senator, Saxby Chambliss, asking him “Senator, don’t you think it would send a strong message to the Congress if you introduced a motion to expell another Senator on the grounds of them being irresponsible with money — a motion sure to fail, but the ensuing attention might be enough to shame your peers into spending with some fiscal restraint”? (question provided by Office of the Independent Blogger)
here is his response:
"Dear Mr. Delle Monache:
Thank you for contacting me regarding your concerns
about government spending and the Federal budget deficit. I
appreciate hearing from you.
I agree with you, we need to get spending under control.
As you know, we are in tough budget times. Since 1994, I have
advocated the need for a balanced Federal budget. I was proud to
be here in 1996 when Congress balanced the budget, and we
operated under a balanced budget until the end of fiscal year 2002.
In the years since the September 11th terrorist attacks, the
economy has endured the bursting of the stock market bubble, a
recession, and rising oil prices. Those events have been coupled
with the war on terror that is necessary to protect our citizens and
interests. In 2005, devastating hurricanes destroyed many miles of
the Gulf Coast and displaced hundreds of thousands of families.
As a result, Congress has enacted more than $101 billion in
hurricane relief. A supplemental relief package is currently in
deliberations that would raise the hurricane relief total to over $120
billion. These unexpected expenditures have driven the short-term
deficit higher than previously projected, but have not impeded
Congress from making great strides in reducing the deficit.
Through continued pro-growth economic policies and
spending restraint, the fiscal year 2007 budget keeps us on track to
meet our goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009. The budget
builds on last year's successful spending restraint by again holding
the growth of overall discretionary spending below inflation,
proposing to reduce non-security discretionary spending below the
previous year's level, and calling for the elimination or reduction
of 141 programs that are not performing.
Also, on February 8, 2006, the President signed S. 1932,
"The Deficit Reduction Omnibus Reconciliation Act (DRORA) of
2005." This legislation cuts mandatory spending by nearly $40
billion over the next five years. DRORA included spending
reduction recommendations from eight Senate authorizing
committees as instructed under the 2006 budget resolution. As
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and
Forestry, I was pleased to put forth a plan to reduce agriculture
spending by $3 billion over the next 5 years. The Senate
Agriculture Committee will begin writing a new farm bill in 2007
which will address the concerns of American agriculture and will
be dictated by the federal budget.
I believe in fiscal responsibility and that it is important for
Congress to meet its responsibilities without raising taxes. I have
consistently voted to rein in deficit spending, reduce the tax burden
on hard-working Americans, and make government more
accountable to taxpayers. I cosponsored legislation to cap non-
defense, non-trust-fund, discretionary spending; to establish the
Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal
Agencies which would look out for waste, fraud, and abuse in the
federal government; and to reinstate the line-item veto. Lastly, my
voting record earned a Taxpayer Hero Award from the Council
Against Government Waste. Given my proven record, please be
assured that I will continue to exercise fiscal constraint.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me. As
always I appreciate hearing from you. In the meantime, if you
would like to receive timely email alerts regarding the latest
congressional actions and my weekly e-newsletter, please sign up
via my web site at: www.chambliss.senate.gov.
United States Senate"
it's a crock really. he completely ignores my question, and on que brings up 9/11. in a way i can't believe he has the audacity to even mention hurricane katrina victims seeing as how the GOP has completely botched that operation.
this is what i plan to fire back:
Thank you for responding in a timely manner to my first email. However, you said a couple of things that left me unsatisfied. In your response to my last email you mentioned something about “spending restraint” to keep congress on track in cutting the deficit in half. These “spending restraints” are being imposed at the expense of millions americans, and especially several Georgians. On top of all this the budget for FY2007 does not even factor in the $70 billion to be paid on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Today i saw Newsweek’s list of top 100 high schools in the United States, and there were no Georgia schools listed. According to the budget approved by you, and fellow members of congress, Georgia is going to lose ALL of its vocational and Even Start education programs. Please, sir, tell me what you plan to do about this, and your plans to get the Georgia education system back on track?
I also see that in the budget for FY2006 Georgia is slated to lose $19.1 million in Community Block Development Grants. These budgetary “spending restraints” seem to be aimed at the wrong people senator.
With a national defense budget on the rise, and Georgians owing $2.9 billion on the iraq war during FY2006, I cannot see the deficit being cut in half by FY2009 without taxes being increased, or more significant programs being cut.
Soon I will be an every year taxpayer with a family of my own, senator, I do not want to see the majority of my taxes being used to pay down the enormous deficit, being created right now, at the expense of my less fortunate neighbors.
Thank you for taking the time to look at my correspondence.
Dan Delle Monache"
should be an interesting reponse assuming i get one.