[nfb-talk] {Disarmed} Fw: Website Contact Form Submission From Kenneth Chrane

Kenneth Chrane kenneth.chrane at verizon.net
Wed Feb 8 22:00:00 UTC 2012

 ?letterdate ?Letter From Elijah Cummings:
Ken Chrane

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Congressman Elijah Cummings 
To: kenneth.chrane at verizon.net 
Sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2012 11:44 AM
Subject: Re: Website Contact Form Submission From Kenneth Chrane

      February 8, 2012 



      Mr. Kenneth Chrane 

      6839 Parsons Avenue 

      Gwynn Oak, Maryland 21207 



      Dear Mr. Chrane: 


      Thank you very much for your correspondence regarding Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security.  I appreciate hearing from my constituents on issues pending before the Congress.  


      According to the Congressional Research Service, the annual budget deficit in each of 2009 and 2010 was more than $1 trillion (9 percent of Gross Domestic Product), and the budget deficit is projected to be at least that large in 2011.  Such deficits - and the debt to which they are contributing - are unsustainable.   For that reason, I believe that we must make significant cuts to our budget - but these cuts must be made with the precision of a heart surgeon, and they must not threaten our ability to remain competitive as a nation.  As such, I believe that we must prioritize expenditures made to support the education of our children, to maintain and expand our infrastructure, and to conduct the research and development that have enabled us to be the world's leading innovator.  


      Further, as we continue to consider how we will reduce the national debt, I believe that almost all aspects of the budget must be considered for cuts.  That said, I also believe we have made obligations in the form of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that are inviolable. Social Security benefits are modest, averaging less than $13,000 a year, but for millions of Americans, Social Security is not just a cushion, it is the single lifeline keeping them out of poverty.  Similarly, Medicare and Medicaid are the only forms of insurance many of our nation's seniors and children have or can obtain and it is critical that these systems be preserved for future generations.  I will continue to oppose efforts to reduce Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits. 


      Unfortunately, the debt deal that was finally put before the House of Representatives for a vote on August 1 - known as the Budget Control Act - was not a balanced deal.  This bill provides for incremental increases in the debt ceiling through 2012, while locking in nearly a trillion dollars in cuts to discretionary security and non-security spending over the next ten years and requiring that an additional $1.5 trillion in cuts be identified by a so-called "Super Committee."  Should the Super Committee fail to identify the requisite amount of cuts - or should Congress fail to enact these cuts - then the Budget Control Act will automatically require an additional $1.2 trillion in cuts in discretionary spending; Medicare payments to health care providers could also be reduced - but not by more than 2 percent per year.   


      I believe it is critical that we avoid defaulting on our debt obligations and thus that we prevent the terrible consequences that default would bring.  However, the full faith and credit of the United States is a national commitment and upholding this commitment should entail a shared sacrifice made by every American - particularly as the national debt we now face has been created both by increased spending and by forgone revenues resulting from tax cuts provided to the wealthiest Americans and to multi-national corporations.  The legislation put before Congress mandates cuts that will fall hardest on those who have already borne the most devastating consequences of a recession caused primarily by the reckless and even illegal actions of those on Wall Street.  At the same time, it requires nothing from the wealthiest Americans or from corporations that at times pay taxes at rates lower than those upon whom the cuts made by this legislation will fall hardest.   


       It is certainly not hard to envision a deal that would have prevented default while requiring a balanced approach to debt reduction - and that is the deal that I believe would have been in the best interests of the nation and of all its citizens.  It is for this reason that I voted against the Budget Control Act.  As the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction moves forward to identify proposed spending cuts under the requirements of the Budget Control Act, I will continue to urge that we focus on addressing our fundamental economic challenges and that we direct our limited resources toward supporting the commitments we have made to our seniors and to the most vulnerable among us while investing in those areas that are most essential to ensuring that our nation will continue to be the world's strongest and most innovative economy when we emerge from this crisis. 


      Thank you again for your correspondence on this critical issue - and please do not hesitate to contact me whenever I may be of assistance. 

      Elijah E. Cummings
      Member of Congress


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