On Open Letter to Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy

In the face of "Dire Tax Predictions" from the White House, I want to know where my new Congresswoman stands on renewing the Bush Tax Cuts.

Dear Congresswoman McCarthy, 

I am one of your new constituents from Wantagh, writing to ask your personal position concerning extending the Bush-era tax cuts which will expire at the end of 2012 unless renewed by Congress and signed into law by the President.  Having read the glaring headline, “White House’s Dire Tax Prediction” this week, I am concerned that mine may be among the 114 million families with earnings under $250,000 who will be facing a $1,600 federal tax increase in 2013 because of an ideological standoff in Congress.

Hopefully, your response will be thoughtful and transcend the “Party Line” which is, paraphrasing Senator Patty Murphy (D-Washington), if there is no deal by January then her party (your party) would be willing to let all the tax cuts expire to put pressure on the other party (my party), at the expense of my family and many others in your Congressional District.  Prior to finalizing your response, may I suggest that you review the age data in the Nassau County voter registration rolls and consider the large percentage of us Baby Boomers who are rapidly approaching retirement age and moving into reduced and fixed-income status as we enter our “golden years”.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. I look forward to hearing from you.


Chris Wendt

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Patrick July 27, 2012 at 04:24 AM
"On Open Letter"? Rediculous grammar or terrible editing, you be the judge. Chris, did you send this letter to Carolyn or did you just post it here for her to read, as I am sure that right after she reads Newsday, she pops right onto W/S Patch to see what her "new constituents" are thinking. I will say this, you make me laugh on a regular basis. Also, before you retire, as you have stated you are nearing the age (funniest line) you should probably keep a proof reader close by to make sure your "letters" are coherent. You are the best. This is why I continue to read the Patch, can't wait to see what is written next.
Wayne Smith July 27, 2012 at 10:02 AM
The fiscal cliff is serious business and Washington's seeming lack of urgency when it comes to addressing this issue is inexcusable. No less than the Congressional Budget Office itself has already warned that expiration of all tax cuts would put this country back into a recession again - and this economy is already in bad shape. There is little doubt that the fiscal cliff is already hurting the economy and I'd be willing to bet that we'll get a stark reminder of this at 8:30 this morning when the latest GDP numbers come out from the commerce department. No surprise, those numbers are likely to show that the economy is already slowing. So far from Washington actually helping thiings, they're making it worse. In view of this, that quote Chris references from Senator Murray has to be one of the single most irresponsible statements I have ever heard a politician make. It's almost as irresponsible as the fact that Congress and the President continue to dither on this issue.
EJ48 July 27, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Question - How do you spell irresponsible? Answer – Boehner/McConnell/Norquist. This crew has refused to compromise on anything with the President and held the nation hostage over raising the debt ceiling. Personally, I’m pleased with Sen. Murray’s position. Hardball tactics require a hardball response. Let all the cuts expire on January 1 and let the sequester begin. On January 2 the new Congress can vote to reinstate the cuts for families with incomes under $250,000 annually. Everyone gets to vote for a tax cut and wasteful spending while the problems continue to fester. It’s the American way.
Wayne Smith July 27, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Sorry can't buy that. I'm an equal opportunity critic, and as far as I'm concerned both parties can take some blame here. The Democrats and Republicans can play hardball all they want. But when you've got millions of people out of work who are getting caught in the crossfire because our "leaders" in Washington would rather engage in political posturing I do have a problem with that. BTW, second quarter GDP came in at 1.5% for the second quarter. This is a deceleration from the first quarter which was revised up slightly to 2%.. Neither of these figures reflect an economy that is growing fast enough to accomodate growth in the labor force, let alone the millions who continue to be out of work.
EJ48 July 27, 2012 at 01:53 PM
@Wayne - Obama should have adopted and pushed for Erskine-Simpson-Bowles. Nevertheless, McConnell's game plan has been to obstruct, obstruct, obstruct in the hope of unseating Obama this November. Republicans hate Obama as much as Democrats hated W. Tax cuts for the wealthy will not increase hiring. That's been shown over and over. Of course increasing taxes on high earners will not even tickle the deficit. Big and bold is what is needed.
Wayne Smith July 27, 2012 at 02:00 PM
I agree that big and bold is needed, although I have little stomach at this point for a rehash of the same debate that's been going on in Washington for four years now, and essentially led us nowhere. Maybe I'm just channeling frustration that I think exists in a lot of place when it comes to this government. But frankly, there's not a politician in office right now who deserves the presumption that they should be able to hold on to their jobs, when so many Americans have lost theirs.
rick donovan July 27, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Wayne Smith--formally from Merrick???
Chris Wendt July 27, 2012 at 02:14 PM
Certainly my point was to become informed of M/C McCarthy's position on the tax cuts, as well as to inform her of my disdain for "the party line" having been laid down on this topic by the Senate Democrat leadership. I await her follow-up response from this acknowledgement: "This is an auto-response to confirm that I have received your email. Constituents may receive an additional response addressing their specific comments. (....) Thank you for taking the time to contact me! Sincerely, Carolyn McCarthy Member of Congress"
Wayne Smith July 27, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Chris - Well, actually I' m impressed: whenever I've written to one of my representative I've never even received an auto-response. Maybe I'm too cranky......
Wayne Smith July 27, 2012 at 02:19 PM
uhh, no as a matter of fact. But you know, when your name is Smith, you get stuff like this....
EJ48 July 27, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Sen Murray has taken the Boehner/McConnell/Norquist "my way or the highway" approach and suggested it's time to try the highway. Bravo!
Chris Wendt July 27, 2012 at 03:27 PM
Of course, none of us gets to vote for or against Senator Murray. Some of us will get to vote for either Carolyn McCarthy or Fran Becker in November, to represent us in Congress next year and the year after that. Patty Murray has her own problems to worry about, namely, retaining the Democrat majority in the US Senate. Murray's own term has not expired and she is not up for re-election this year. However, the other Senator from Washington, Maria Cantwell, is being challenged for the Democrat nomination in an August primary. There is heavy Tea Party funding pouring into the state to boost the Republican candidate, who will also be determined in the August primary. As for me, I am really interested to hear what our Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy has to say on this one particularly important and upcoming issue, the Bush-era tax cuts. This issue has implications for me and my family right away next year.
rick donovan July 27, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Thanks Wayne--sorry!!1
DZ July 28, 2012 at 01:58 PM
@EJ48- McConnell/Boehner are simply giving back to Obama what he gave to them in his first two years when he had control of the house and senate. Here is the health care law and a terrible stimulus bill shoved right down your throat, eat it and like it. Too bad he didn't think it through and realize that perhaps he would need to work with them later when we took back the house. One of the most divisive presidents ever and will go down as probably one of the worst. Bill Clinton hated Newt Gingrich but found a way to work with him and together they did a pretty good job, maybe Obama was asleep during that time.
EJ48 July 28, 2012 at 02:07 PM
The problem with both bills (IMHO) was that they weren't big enough or far reaching enough. BTW, the "individual mandate" was originally proposed by those socialists at the Heritage Foundation in the 1980's. Most of the stimulus was in the form of tax cuts, another Republican favorite.
Jerry July 30, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Actually about 2 months ago I tried writing to Carolyn McCarthy and Peter King on separate emails. The McCarthy email was rejected because she the site would only accept emails from her constituents and I am not one of those yet.
Wayne Smith August 02, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Last night the House of Representatives did pass a bill maintaining the current tax rates for all income levels through the end of next year. This is mere political theatre of course, since there is little chance the Senate would pass this legislation in its current form and even less chance the President would sign it into law. At this point, it would appear that none of this gets resolved until after the election. Postponing action on this issue undoubtedly makes sense from the standpoint of political tactics in an election year, but it make no sense in terms of what's in the best interests of the economy and otherwise doing something to ameliorate the distressing level of unemployment in this country. Despite this, apparently we will now wait until after the election. Meantime, the Labor department reported this morning that another 365,000 people lost their jobs last week.
Lorraine DeVita August 02, 2012 at 01:37 PM
LOL, Does that mean Romney offshored his sizeable accounts too soon? Unemployment is not JUST a number to be spouted by either party - unemplyment is people , families , and struggle on many different economic levels. Just a question i want to throw out here, how about some of the blame on the unions unions? Their fierce refusal to accept the fact that that MANy of their members are losing jobs across this country due simply to the fact that they are adamant that the UNION does not give up anything -causing vast numbers of their less senior members to become unemployed ? Wouldnt more people STILL be employed if Union Officals stepped back and looked at the greater good in keeping MORE of their membership employed even if it does mean participating in "givebacks"? YES, Politicians, party and politics are 65% of the problem, but the other 35% rest squarely on the short sighted selfish egotistical shoulders of the union leaderships.
Chris Wendt August 03, 2012 at 01:35 AM
@ Wayne on the lost jobs report...there is a tipping point on job losses, you know, where the losses reach that point where too much money is removed from the economy, and job losses accelerate and mushroom. One weeks's losses won't do this, but one bad week followed by a string of bad weeks.... @ Lorraine re unions to blame. Actually, I don't think so, primarily because union-related job losses fall into two categories: 1. Public sector, where jobs are cut to balance budgets; this is a zero-sum situation where 'X' dollars are cut by administrative fiat, and that money translates into either 'Y' jobs under an existing contract, or 'Z' jobs if concessions are made, but the dollars ('X'), and the negative impact on the economy is the same under either 'Y' or 'Z' scenario: 'X' dollars are removed. 2. Foreign competition with the private sector, where the delta in hourly costs (salary, benefits and fringes) between a US labor contract and a foreign workforce is just too great to be reasonably overcome by attempting to negotiate concessions, here. In those cases, 'X' dollars and 'Y' jobs fall out of the US economy, but 'X'/3 dollars go abroad to buy cheap labor which creates ''Y''x4 foreign jobs and creates a potential market for American goods, at least prospectively for the future, while the savings in cost to the American manufacturer is at least theoretically available for investment in R&D or to be paid out as dividends to shareholders, who can spend it, here.
Wayne Smith August 03, 2012 at 09:59 AM
Chris - Yeah,that's right: a deteriorating economy can become self-reinforcing, as can an economy that is in a growth mode. The problem is that employment is being held back not just by one thing but by a bunch of different things. Understandably, elected officials tend to think in terms of what they can do to help, but I would submit that it would be far more productive for them to think about what they are doing now that hurts. The continuing uncertainty over the "fiscal cliff" is a prime example of this problem, but there are others. This morning we'll get another employment report at 8:30. This is the big monthly report which will summarize job growth in the month of July. More optimistic economists are hoping for something like 100,000-120,000 new non-farm jobs, although there are those who think the number will be considerably less. Even the so-called "optimistic" projection wouldn't be enough to accomodate a growing labor force, before factoring in the 14% of this country who are already either unemployed, underemployed or working part-time when they really want full-time employment. A lot of these people are truly desperate. But hey, let's not worry about that fiscal cliff thing. After all, we've got an election....
Chris Wendt August 03, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Wayne, being an optimist is a dis-qualifier for being an economist, in my opinion. Personally, I have adopted a policy of not guessing at these kind of reports until they are published, and even then I leave room for the inevitable "adjustments" made perhaps months later. However, I do subscribe to the concept that politicians need to look at the obstacles they have created, especially by their having 'kicked the can down the road', and, the ever unpopular unfunded mandates they have saddled our school with. As with the Seaford School District financial data, especially the audit reports that are published on the website, people can look at data or not even bother to look at data with the same result: almost nobody puts the data into context and draws meaningful conclusions from it, as you are trying to do with jobs data, and the cumulative (net) effect or result of job losses, jobs created, and the actual types of employment people are laboring at in order to survive. But alas, consider the cliff, any cliff. It is impossible to fall off the cliff until and unless you reach the very edge, and then take another step. It is always that last step. And to those whose broken lives are already strewn about in pieces on the rocks below the cliff, the cliff no longer poses any danger at all.
Chris Wendt September 30, 2013 at 01:31 PM
Mrs. McCarthy never actually answered the question posed in my letter, although just recently I received a second automated reply, one year and two months later. .............................................................................................. Coincidentally, over this past weekend, I met the Republican candidate (hopeful?) who is planning to run against Congresswoman McCarthy next year. He told me he was in favor of smaller government and secure borders, and the other stuff right out of Newt Gingrich's playbook. I wished him luck, knowing full well that nobody has or will ever deliver on a promise of smaller government, and, that, unless he gets elected President one day, he will have no say about securing our borders, which is an Executive Branch responsibility. ............................................................................................. If the government shuts down tonight, then he may wish he was not a Republican running for Congress next year.


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