News From Terre Haute, Indiana

February 26, 2013

READERS’ FORUM: Feb. 26, 2013

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Congress is the responsible body

Spending, spending, debt, debt. Members of Congress claim they are not responsible for spending on the national debt. What does the Constitution of the United States say about that?

Article 1, Section 7 says all bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives (which is now controlled by the Republicans). Article 1, Section 8, says the Congress of the United States shall have the power to lay and collect taxes, to pay debts and to provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.

To borrow money on the credit of the United States? OK, folks, let’s lay off our president and get the facts straight. Congress is responsible for spending and taxes, not President Obama.

— Glenden Campbell

Retired government teacher

Terre Haute

We deserve better from politicians

I’ll just start by stating that I’m 75, and have voted in every election since I was 21. I’ve watched this once-great country go down hill for 55 years, and I’m stating that our problems are in Washington, D.C.

I’ve watched and read about our members of Congress and professional bureaucrats become millionaires, live like kings, first-class everything, make exceptions for themselves on retirement benefits, Social Security and health care. I’ve also watched and read about many in this privileged group be investigated, mostly for things like tax evasion, etc.

The average length of time senators are in office is almost 13 years, while representatives average 10 years. Some examples, Charles Rangel (35 years), Nancy Pelosi (37 years), Harry Reid (33 years), the late Edward Kennedy (44 years), John Conyers Jr. (41 years) and Chuck Schumer (22 years), to name a few.

I do believe that most of these public servants go to Washington with great hope and expectations of making positive changes and turning things around for the better, but once they arrive and meet up with the good-ol’ boys (career politicians), things change. They hit a brick wall. They soon find out that “you must go along to get along.” So they start making concessions, learn to live the good life, enjoy shallow prestige, newfound power and start looking out for number one and their families.

All the problems and answers lay with our 100 senators, 435 representatives, one president and nine Supreme Court justices. That’s 545 ordinary people. People just like you and me, no better and not entitled to a higher standard of living, or exemptions to any of our laws or responsibilities.

Stop and think, you and I do not vote on our taxpayer money being sent to foreign countries, we are not even asked. We do not decide to send troops to fight, patrol, protect or occupy other countries. We do not write tax laws, codes, exemptions, or vote on appropriations. They do. You would think that 238 million Americans could oversee or control 545 legislators, but with the way their system is set up, we can do very little.

I say this group, these 545 elitists are responsible for all of our mess, our trillions of debt, our failing economy, lack of good jobs, inflation and the state of apathy we feel. Sure, we elected these people and if you can remember anything they said when they were running for office, they were telling us how much they loved this country and how if we gave them a chance, they would make great positive changes.

Of course, by now we have learned that most of them will say anything to get elected. Their motivation is power and fame. You see, belonging to the Congress of the United States is an exclusive club limited to very few and they will do, say, buy, twist the truth anyway they can to stay in the Elitist 545 Club.

I hate to lump all of these 545 together, because I know there are a few truly patriotic members in this controlling 545.

My reasoning of our dilemma is directed at the majority of the 545, because only a majority of this group could cause this much havoc and uncertainty. Remember, recent surveys show that Congress only has an approval rating of 9 percent, but during our last election, 96.4 percent of the incumbents were re-elected.

We deserve better from this privileged few.

— William P. Thiel

Terre Haute

Correction

The rare disease referred to in a Sunday, Feb. 24, letter (Page B3, “Learning about rare diseases”) from Kay Shaffer-Daley afflicts her grandson, not her.