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An open letter to Senator Leahy

Dear Senator Leahy: It is 3:30a.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 against the wishes of my party. National debt was rapidly increasing; sectors with large government spending (healthcare 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 exasperated 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 have is a tax increase, either from the burden of additional dept 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, as a U.S. Senator, to put the breaks on the insane 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.

Mark Shepard

Vermont State Senator, 2003-2006

Bennington

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