Wednesday, April 01, 2009


Representative Mark Souder sent me this email today:

Dear Mrs. Horn:

I want to hear from you on the government's response to the economic crisis. Please click here share with me your story of the economic crisis. Specifically, how has the government's response in the stimulus and President Obama's budget affected you? Be sure to title your email, "My Story" so that we can quickly process your comments in our system.

The economic recession is hitting our entire country hard, but it has been especially challenging here in northeast Indiana. The government must respond, but it must do so wisely. I would like to know how tax increases would affect your ability to pay your health care premiums, send your children to college, start a small business, or otherwise achieve your American Dream.

Your perspective and experiences are very important to me and will help me better understand the needs of Hoosiers in our area.

Here is my response:

Dear Congressman Souder:

You asked for the stories of people in Northeast Indiana, and how they have been effected by the recession, the bailouts, and the President's budget.

My family is currently secure, but we have friends who have lost their jobs or who fear that they will lose their jobs because they work for companies that supply the automotive Big Three.
They are struggling on unemployment, they can't afford their COBRAs and so their children are on Hoosier Healthwise, but they can't take any kind of job that would help ease the strain unless it offers benefits, or their kids have no healthcare. This is a story I hear repeatedly from friends, people at my church, and people in my community.

Strangely enough, everyone that I have talked to in this situation is also against the bailouts of the automotive industry. They are also against universal, government run healthcare, because they see much more clearly than the people in Washington that it is the government's job to protect our freedoms, not provide daily security. Americans have faced very difficult times before, but there is tyranny in "being too big to fail."

Now, we'll talk about me. How have the bailout packages, the ecomomic stimulus package, and the new budget effected me? I'm afraid and I'm angry.

I grew up being with the value that we obey the rule of law, not men, and the most important law of the land is the Constitution of the United States. It is the greatest document written by man that was not inspired by God. I elect my representatives not to necessarily agree with me on every issue, but to uphold that Constitution. Yet I am afraid that it doesn't seem like these Representatives have read it, much less uphold it and use it as a rule to limit their own authority and responsibility for that matter.

As an American, I am being ruled by men who look to the next election, who are afraid of their constituents, and who are ruling by their emotion rather than law. The Constitution did not give the authority for either bailout to happen, for the programs in that stimulus package, and does not give authority for a good portion of our President's new budget.

People could lose jobs. People could struggle. The economic structure of the entire world could be at stake. I agree, it is a very scary time. But the Constitution does not lay the responsibility for this at your feet. The fact of the matter is that the only responsibility that government had was to regulate the banking and automotive industry to keep them from being too big, to keep them from making fraudulent investments that created this mess. In short, to uphold laws that were ALREADY on the books.

And it is not government's job to provide healthcare. God help us that the men who have created this mess manage our healthcare system. We may need something that is not tied to our employment, but the answer is not the government. The only role that I see that government should have in this is to keept he insurance companies from colluding to rip off their customers. Again, laws that are already on the books.

It also is not the government's job to inspire populist rage or respond to it. It is not the government's job to fire CEOs -- that is the investors' job, and it certainly is not the government's job to coerce a company into merging with a foreign company. It is not their job to prevent them from filing bankruptcy which would have allowed reorganization and possibly recovery.

It is also not your job to vote on bills that change the whole nature of the role of the government without reading it.

I suggest that you, Representative Souder, start a reading group with your fellow representatives -- and start with that grand old document that you swore to uphold. I wish you had reviewed it and your oath to uphold it before you voted for both of those bailout packages. In the end, your vote probably didn't matter, except to how you chose to represent those constituents back home, since Republicans have been trying to talk out of both sides of their mouths for so long and have lost so many seats because of it...since they forgot their party platform as well as the Constitution.

This is how it has effected me. My friends still don't have their jobs back, but I am concerned that my freedoms, my rights, and my children's rights and freedoms are in jeopardy.
I thank you for your strong defense of Life, but if another Republican candidate comes against you in the primary with a strong prolife position as well, I am voting with the idea that while term limits might not be law, they are indeed good. These packages have made me do a lot of thinking, contemplating, and reading on issues that I value, but might have taken for granted previously.

As it was said in To Kill a Mockingbird, "I did not love reading until I was going to lose it. One does not love breathing." I didn't value my freedom enough until it is dying.


If Mark Souder is your Congressman, the link for submitting your story is here: Congressman Souder's contact page. If it isn't please Google your congressman and submit your story as well.


Faith said...

I like your suggestion about starting a reading group! The people who "represent" us seem so clueless about what a majority of Americans think and why they are in D.C. to begin with.

Red said...

Wow! Fantastic response. I sure hope it is read.

Ethan, Zach, and Emma's Mom said...

And all God's people said, "AMEN!"

Donna said...

Maybe think of running youself???

AmusedMomma said...

Hear! Hear! Clearly and well written, this is a magnificent example of how we should be communicating with our elected representatives. Thanks so much for writing to your representative and for sharing it with all of us!

The Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

The poor guy gets something from me every week. But usually just encouraging him to vote the way I want him, too. Though I did give him a piece of my mind on his choice on TARP.

Since he asked....

Joy said...

You're COOL!!

Thursday's Child said...

Wow! I love your response! Again, I'm left wishing I had your writing ability.