Tuesday, November 15, 2005
Write Your CongressCritter
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The GOP, of course, has done nothing of the sort. As lackeys of the big-business, wealthy-investor class (or charter members of it), congressional Republicans have done everything in their power to make the lives of working folks worse. They've resisted an increase in the minimum wage; they've squeezed Medicaid; they've championed tax cuts for the richest Americans and a plan to make Social Security checks less reliable.Politicians think large campaign contributions are more important than voter anger, based largely on the idea that political advertising funded by those large donations is what swings elections. Donations to liberal PACS like Moveon.org work on the donation source issue - but we also need to end the "voters are too lazy to pay attention" truism. Writing your Congresscritters regularly is a good place to start.
But the Democrats have done little better. Earlier this year, they joined with Republicans in service to the big banks, passing a bankruptcy bill that forgives less debt and makes it harder for folks struggling with big bills to dig themselves out of debt.
The bankruptcy legislation — which banks and credit card companies had made a priority, handing out campaign contributions like they used to give out free toasters for new accounts — was a particularly shameless bit of exploitation. Banks have spent years stuffing mailboxes with solicitations for credit cards, cultivating people they knew were bad credit risks. When those same customers ran into trouble with their credit card bills, the banks insisted on kicking them in the shins. Congressional Democrats helped supply the steel-toed boots.
(Source: Cynthia Tucker Anxious working class is largely overlooked by Congress, Universal Press Syndicate via WorkingForChange.com Nov. 15, 2005.)