Tuesday, September 2, 2014

An Open Letter to Independents

Dear Independents,

As you are probably aware, we have an election coming up in a couple of months. I sure hope you are planning to vote. Turnout is generally low in midterm elections. But if you're one of those people who is sick and tired of the games being played in Washington - now is your chance to speak up about that. Don't let this opportunity pass.

As you listen to candidates ask for your vote, my suggestion is that you focus on issues and not let all the nonsense about personalities get in the way. I think that when you do that, you'll see a pattern emerge. For example, lets take a look at the three big things that are under discussion right now.

Health Care 

The Democrats passed the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as Obamacare). If you already had insurance through your employer, you probably haven't seen a lot of change. But so far ACA has meant that the rate of uninsured Americans has dropped over 13% and the rise in health care costs is finally slowing down.

Republicans want to repeal the ACA. But its unclear what they would do to insure more people and/or control health care costs.

Immigration Reform 

Last year Democrats and Republicans in the Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill. It provided for more border security and a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented workers currently in this country.

Republicans in the House refused to bring that bill up for a vote. They support the border security provisions but not the pathway to citizenship. It remains unclear what they would do with the 11 million undocumented people.

Economy 

Democrats want to raise the minimum wage, spend money on infrastructure to create jobs, and pass immigration reform - which would grow the economy by an additional 4.8% over 20 years.

Here the Republicans do have a plan. But there's still a lot that is left unsaid. They want to cut government spending - although they don't provide any details about what will be cut. They want more tax cuts - but don't provide much about the details of who's taxes will be reduced. And they want to eliminate government regulations that protect us from the kinds of Wall Street abuse that led to the Great Recession as well as those that protect out environment.

If you care about the issues, its clear that Democrats have a plan. I'd also suggest that its clear Republicans either don't, or won't say what their plan is. You might want to take that into consideration when you make your decision about who to vote for in November.

See you at the polls!
Nancy LeTourneau

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