Thursday, March 12

Senator Wyden's Response

At the end of January before the vote on the "stimulus" bill, I decided to write to my senators and the President. I knew it was probably futile, but I had to let them know there were some people who did not want them to "bail out" the economy with billions of dollars that had absolutely no chance of actually stimulating the economy.

Yesterday I got my response from our senior senator Ron Wyden, and I thought I'd share it here for those who might be interested. (I can't believe it took him six weeks to email this canned response! At least he did reply though. Our junior senator Jeff Merkley has not done so as of yet.)

Dear Mrs. Garner:

Thank you for contacting me about the state of our economy. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

As you may know, our country has been in a recession since the fall of 2007. Families are hurting and having a hard time making ends meet. With the tightening grip of the credit crisis and unemployment levels not seen in over 20 years, our economy faces the threat of a deep recession.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, H.R. 1, is a well-targeted stimulus bill designed to halt the economy's slide. It includes investments like Build America Bonds, a major transportation infrastructure initiative I have championed for years, which has the potential to create millions of jobs, generate billions in economic activity and save thousands of lives by improving transportation safety. It also includes the Making Work Pay Tax Credit, which gives 95 percent of workers a tax credit worth up to $400 per person, or $800 per working family, and $250 for many seniors and retired or disabled veterans. In addition, small businesses will be able to more easily secure financing through the Small Business Administration's 7(a) loan guarantee program because this legislation eliminates 7(a) fees and increases the amount that the SBA guarantees. The ARRA also looks to the future by protecting over 300,000 Oregonians from the crushing alternative minimum tax, helping economically distressed homeowners and putting our schools on a better foundation.

Like many of my Senate colleagues, I was very concerned about the cost of the overall bill. I do not take spending $787 billion of taxpayer dollars lightly. Unfortunately, with daily job losses mounting, to not spend money now would likely lead to a protracted recession and negative or painfully slow economic growth for the foreseeable future. Please be assured, as Congress moves forward in addressing our economic situation, that I will continue to vote against poorly designed initiatives that unnecessarily burden future generations, such as the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. I will also work to ensure that the economic stimulus and other government programs provide the greatest benefit possible for the taxpayers' dollar.

Again, thank you for keeping me apprised of your interest in this issue. If I may be of further assistance to you in this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Ron Wyden United States Senator

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