The reply I received from Senator Demint to my letter:
Dear Ms. Nye,
Thank you for contacting me to express you concerns with funding levels in the fiscal year 2012 budget. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
As you are aware, our nation's fiscal state is in a dire situation. Our nation's debt totals nearly $14 trillion, and according to the U.S. Congressional Budget Office, an additional $1.5 trillion will be added this year. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen said, "The most significant threat to our national security is our debt." When our debt poses a threat to our country, it must be addressed.
You may also know, our nation is approaching the congressionally-set debt limit. Over the past decade, there have been ten votes to increase this debt limit so Washington can continue spending by borrowing from future generations. I am against raising the debt limit and stealing from our nation's future without addressing the root problem of our fiscal crisis.
I believe Congress must address the fiscal crisis by passing a Constitutional Amendment requiring a balanced budget, which would do away with deficit spending. Additionally, I firmly believe balancing a budget should never imply raising taxes to match exorbitant spending. It is critical for Congress to prioritize where Federal taxpayer dollars are being spent. Delaying will only make the process of reconciling our nation's debt more difficult for future generations.
As our country prioritizes federal spending and begins the process of reconciling our nation's budget deficit, we will be faced with difficult choices on ways to reduce government spending. While I understand that many worthwhile efforts in communities across our country rely on federally-funded programs, we must drastically reduce the size and scope of the federal government in order to save our country.
Please feel free to contact me in the future about anything important to you or your organization. It is an honor to serve you and the people of South Carolina.
United States Senator
The answer I sent back: (Interestingly enough, cough cough, the link to reply did not work)
Dear Senator DeMint:
I too understand the impact of our national debt.
What I want an explanation for is why you and others cut tax revenue from the very wealthiest of Americans and corporations and now have the audacity to say that the poor, the working poor and the struggling middle class must make the necessary sacrifices.
If there are to be sacrifices made, ALL should equally sacrifice. And this is the mess that you have created by cutting tax revenues from those most able and now you say that those least able must pay the bill?
Why does the Army need $45 million to fund a NASCAR car?
Why do large oil companies, with huge quarterly profits year in and year out, need tax payer subsidies and tax cuts to the estimates of $45 billion a year?
Why do those whose earnings are in the top 2% get tax breaks? (And please don't trot out the "they create jobs" line, if that were true, why did our nation lose so many jobs in the 10 years since President Bush first put those cuts in place?)
Why don't the budget cuts include the waste within the military that Donald Rumsfeld himself, pointed out?
My friends and co-workers sometimes call me the Smurf, because I'm the only "blue" person they know. And here is something that you and Mr. Graham may want to start paying attention to: Every single person I know, down to the reddest of tea party member is FURIOUS about the cuts being made in services (which will put hundreds of thousands out of jobs) and wondering the same things I am.
Why are the rich and powerful getting a pass in all this "sacrifice" and "difficult decision" making?
Thank you for your service, but please stop pretending we don't see what is going on.
Janet L. Nye