In which the author makes his first congressional visit and first MyFDL post.
I visited my Congressman’s office today. (Mike Doyle, PA-14) I had never done this – emails, yes; phone calls, yes; even hand-written letters, yes – but never in person.
Let me say it was fun, if not very dramatic.
I introduced myself, said I was a constituent, explained that I wanted to talk about social security. They brought out a staffer from the back who was about 9 years old. I wanted to ask him if that was his Dad’s tie.
He led me to a small conference room and I told him I’d been following the deficit debate and felt compelled to speak because a Democratic president was putting social security on the table.
I told the young toddler that social security and medicare had nothing to do with debts and deficits, that it was separate funds, taxed separately. I went on to say that they had made provisions for us baby boomers back in the eighties, and those provision were NOT to cut benefits.
The staffer was nodding in agreement.
I added that I’d been self-employed for 13 years and paying 15% off the top in payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare. I told him that I knew that this money I’d been paying had been borrowed against all these years.
The staffer got a little more animated at this – agreeing vehemently.
I finished by saying that I hadn’t been the one to borrow against it, I hadn’t caused any deficit. And then said that if Mike Doyle voted for anything that cut even a penny from SS or Medicare, I wouldn’t vote for him.
The staffer assured me that the congressman would not vote that way. Then he said something curious. He pointed out that there were proposals floating around to limit the changes to people under 55. This seemed conversational, and I don’t know if he was sounding me out on this. I told him that this wouldn’t affect me, but would affect my nieces and nephews. He nodded in agreement.
He took my name and number, and I thanked him for his time and left.
Once outside, I felt great – I knew this would at least get heard by my congress-critter.
I was so buoyant that when I passed a guy at a table hawking memberships in a new gym and he handed me his flyer, out of nowhere I told him why I’d stopped going to the last gym.
“The TV always had that damn Fox News on it. It drove me crazy. Tell your boss to keep that crap off the TV and maybe I’ll join.”
He laughed and said he’d pass it along.
Two blows for freedom, however small.