Living in Society

Congressional Survey Responses – January 2022

Portion of mailer from Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks.

My member of congress sent a couple of official mailings since she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. They are purported to be government business, yet any such outreach is obviously also political. These questions seem intended to frame political discussion going into the midterm election. I’m not going to reply in this format, yet I will submit my answers via message on the Miller-Meeks official website. Here are the questions and my answers.

What are your thoughts on the issues at our southern border?

Enable the Biden-Harris administration to manage border crossings along with the border state governors.

Should government be more involved in our health care system?

This is not a simple answer. Yes, regulation is needed, and as long a people can’t get access to care for any reason, there is not enough regulation and government support. At the same time, health care providers need to be able to make a living and I agree with the Obama administration in passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that there is a role for for-profit health care providers and their employees. Since the federal government created all veterans, it continues to be needed to regulate and improve the care system for active military personnel, veterans, and their families. I fully support the Biden-Harris administration’s efforts to manage the current global pandemic of the coronavirus.

Do you believe reducing federal regulations and red tape are more likely to 1. create jobs and improve our businesses, 2. allow corporations to harm employees and consumers or 3. other?

See previous question for my thoughts about government regulation of the health care industry. Since the government has been captured by undue influence from corporations that provide healthcare, and industry capture already harms employees and consumers, the best course of action is to reform campaign financing and reduce the ability for healthcare corporations to donate to members of congress and political action committees in order to influence governance.

How should Congress tackle our $29 trillion debt?

Of the suggested answers, raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans is first priority and overdue. The Trump tax cuts should be reversed as quickly and completely as possible as they drive a significant portion of the debt. In addition, the Congress needs to audit the military budget, which has seemed for some time to be out of control and enriched beyond the country’s national security needs. Why would the Congress approve a higher budget than the Biden-Harris administration requested? They shouldn’t. The Social Security Administration is self-funded and has a plan for when it begins to run out of money in 2034, namely, reducing benefits. Any debt reduction plan should include shoring up the protections for our seniors and disabled after 2034. We shouldn’t wait until then to start working on it.

Which issue should be Congress’ top priority right now?

If we don’t address the environment, the country we have now won’t exist. Mitigating both the causes and effects of the climate crisis should be the Congress’ top priority.

Should federal control and funding of education be reduced?

The states have proven incapable of providing racial equity in education, so there is a role for the federal government and funds are required. All federal funding of home schooling, charter schools, private schools, religious schools, and any school not defined as a public school should be phased out with a rapid off ramp for federal funding. This should be a discussion, not a mandate. The Choice Act takes us in the wrong direction.