Wednesday, March 02, 2005

I still write to my senator

I frequently write to my senators and representative. Well, okay, I frequently send letters to my congressmen: I am on a lot of mailing lists for organizations that write letters for me. All I have to do is fill in my name and address and hit send. Also, most of the organizations save my information, so I don’t even have to fill in anything. So several times a week, a message appears in my in-box from NOW or NARAL or CDF or the UCC, and I follow their link, put in whatever information is required, and hit send.

I told a friend who works on the Hill that I do this.

“I hate you,” she said.

I live in Northern Virginia. My representative is a Democrat—one with questionable ethics and his foot in his mouth, but a Democrat. My senators are both Republicans. I get letters back from them occasionally. The ones from Senator George Allen are my favorites. He seems to think I am some baby-killing, sodomizing, pacifist pinko. Senator Allen and I have different world views.

I recently sent e-mails to my senators about Social Security reform. Today I received a letter back from Senator John Warner, thanking me for my “thoughtful inquiry.” He explains* the worker to beneficiary ratio and tells me about the problems Social Security will face in the future. Then he states that “President Bush’s 2001 bipartisan commission on Social Security co-chaired by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan found that Social Security would be strengthened if modernized to allow individuals to invest voluntarily in personal accounts.”

That statement bugged me. I want to write back to him and tell him the commission was given guidelines (which he no doubt already knows). The last of those guidelines was that the commission’s recommendations “must include individually controlled, voluntary personal retirement accounts.” So I’m not sure I’d say that the commission “found” the program would be strengthened, so much as they were told that finding such a thing would be a good idea.

Also, I would like to tell him (or the LC) that commas before “co-chaired” and after “Moynihan” would improve that sentence.

*Out of respect to my friend who hates me, I should point out that it is more likely an intern or legislative correspondent who explains this to me.


mica said...

There is a subtle subtext of monkeys here, but no complete monkeys.

Lauren said...

If your friend tells you she hates you again you should tell her "well I love you." Maybe she will feel horribly guilty for hating you and you will ruin her day.

Andy said...

The TYFYV response is a common one in Washington, but the way to respond to it is to create a correspondence so that the Thank You For Your Views pre-written response is no longer usable by the poor intern..

matty said...

I like the Commission's guidelines and recommendations that must happen.

Oh, and I, too, like commas.