In may of this year (2001), I wrote a letter to my congressmen, senators, the President and Vice-President to see what sort of action they were prepared to do for “the little man.” The text of the letter I sent is below. In addition, their responses have been added as well.
I am writing to get clarification about your stance on several items. First of all let me say that I have voted Republican in every election since I was first able to vote for Ronald Reagan in his first term.
I need to know what you intend to do about:
1 – getting the price of a gallon of gasoline to $1.00
2 – getting relief for small businesses facing taxation from dozens of entities
As a small business owner for the past ten years, I get to a point where I can make a profit and put something away for retirement and another tax comes up or the price of fuel skyrockets. I have five vehicles and in the past 12 months fuel costs have DOUBLED. I cannot turn around to my clients and charge them or I will lose business. What are you doing about the price of fuel?
Where is the incentive for me to continue to grow my company and provide jobs? I was making more money when I was a one man show. How can it be good for my motivation to cut jobs be higher than expansion?
I do not believe in government controlling business, but the oil industry is VITAL TO OUR NATIONAL INTEREST. We can break up Microsoft, why not the oil companies? I know the oil companies have more pull than Microsoft, but the US is the largest customer – there has to be something we can do.
I expect a reply to my points – not a form letter saying “we are listening to you and blah blah blah.)
I intend to publish a website listing which representatives – national, state, and local responded and which ones should be replaced.
Here are the responses I have received so far…
President George Bush – no reply GRADE: F
Vice President Dick Cheney – no reply GRADE: F
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison – (8/10) a simple form letter. “Support President Bush – blah blah blah” GRADE: D-
Senator Phil Gramm – no reply GRADE: F
Congressman John Culberson – (8/11) Mr. Culberson took the time to respond to each point individually. While the typical grandstanding on behalf of the President’s energy plan and a plug for the “desperately needed tax relief” by the President, was included… he also addressed the issue of small business taxes. The letter was unique in that he did address the issues, but he fell short by saying “Please be assured that I will continue to monitor this issue and will certainly keep your views in mind should relevant legislation come before the House for a vote.” Nothing about the fact that he could propose a bill or sponsor a bill – instead, if someone brings it up – he will support it. GRADE: C+