How to Tell the Politicians That Matter to Raise the Roof on America's Debt

Illustration for article titled How to Tell the Politicians That Matter to Raise the Roof on Americas Debt

President Obama has requested that you tweet your representatives to help solve this whole debt ceiling mess. But if you live in, say Cleveland, that's a waste of time. Tweet at these pols—who can actually get stuff done—instead.

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House Republicans

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@SpeakerBoehner
Representative John Boehner (R-OH) - As the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as lead Republican negotiator, John Boehner holds considerable sway over the direction of budget talks...when he's not weeping like a prepubescent school girl.

Illustration for article titled How to Tell the Politicians That Matter to Raise the Roof on Americas Debt

@EricCantor
Eric Cantor (R-VA) - Former House Minority Whip and current House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor has previously served on the House Financial Services Committee.

House Democrats

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@NancyPelosi
Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) - Former House Speaker and current Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi is the highest-ranked female politician in American History.

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@Steny Hoyer Steny Hoyer (D - Maryland) - House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer is the man responsible for holding the Democratic line—though his effectiveness is somewhat limited being outnumbered 240-193.

Senate Republicans

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@McConnellPress
Mitch McConnell (R-KY) - The Senate Minority Leader, the elected spokesmen on the Senate floor for Republicans. Just like Senator Reid, Sen. McConnell's job is to mobilize Republican votes on major issues.

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@OrrinHatch
Orrin G. Hatch (R-UT) - Senator Hatch, or "Moral Orrin" as he's known on Capitol Hill, has been senatoring since 1977 and currently sits as Ranking Member (like Sen Baucus but for the minority party) of the Senate Finance Committee.

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@SenJonKyl
Jon Kyl (R-AZ) - This Minority Whip has little need for vowels. In 2010, Time named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world (while in 2007 the National Journal named him the fourth-most conservative U.S. Senator). He's also served in the Federal House of Representatives from 1987-1995.

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@JimDeMint
Jim DeMint (R-SC) - The Junior Senator from South Carolina is also the Leader of the Republican Tea Party Faction. His continued insistence on the inclusion of a balanced budget amendment (and repeated threats to derail any bill without it) jeopardizes both the Boehner-backed bill and the Democrats' alternative version.

Senate Democrats

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@SenatorReid
Harry Reid (D-NV) - The Senate Majority Leader, the elected spokesmen on the Senate floor for Democrats. In return for support for big issues like this, he helps lower ranking Dems in meeting "their individual political needs." He also wields vast influence over the Democratic Party through his chairmanship of the Democratic Convention.

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@SenateFinance
Max Baucus (D-MT) - As Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Baucus oversees matters relating to the taxation and bonded debt of the United States. It's a very important job, which would explain why Sen. Baucus couldn't be bothered to set up an actual Twitter account.

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@SenatorDurbin
Richard "Dick" Durbin (D-Il) - The Senate Majority Whip, essentially the VP of the Democrats, assists Senator Reid in securing votes within the party. In the absence of a party floor leader, the Whip also serves as acting floor leader.

[top art courtesy of ClimateCoAnalysis]


You can keep up with Andrew Tarantola, the author of this post, on Twitter, Facebook, or Google+.

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DISCUSSION

I heard a nice analogy the other day. The American government right now could be compared to an American family who has a yearly salary of $58,000, but they're spending $75,000 a year. Their credit card debt is $327,000. The proposed cuts are only going to bring down spending to $72,000.

Now none of us could live that way, without hitting bankruptcy sooner or later. To get down to living within their means, the Govt is going to have to cut about 25% of its spending or raise taxes. I don't see how they can raise taxes that much, since overly-taxing "the rich" throttles jobs (I'm going to back up that statement with this example: My uncle owns his own business building cabinets, and he makes over $200,000 a year gross. However, his take home pay is around $40-60k, since he has business expenses. Now, since he makes over $200,000, his taxes have gone up. He had to let one of his employees go, and with the economy the way it is, he can barely afford his one remaining employee. Thus, taxing people who employ others is a bad way to go to get the economy up and running again).

I think there are just going to have to be cuts to gov't programs, ones that will affect everyone. When you're spending that much and have that much debt, you have to feel the hurt somewhere.