Enablers

Alexander Demos, Glen Ellyn Village President
Glen Ellyn Civic Center
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

Dear Sir,

As a former resident of Glen Ellyn, and a former constituent of Representative Peter Roskam; I had the misfortune recently to read a press release by Peter Roskam’s congressional office. Available online here:

http://roskam.house.gov/media-center/press-releases/roskam-community-leaders-tout-legislation-blocking-job-killing-obamacare

You are quoted extensively in this press release. I don’t know if you knew what Peter Roskam was going to do with your statements. I hope that you were just duped into supporting the denial of health insurance coverage to part-time workers. If so, I apologize for my comments in the enclosed letter I have written to Peter Roskam. If not, if you do truly indeed believe that the United States would be a better place when we limit who gets healthcare then read on. This letter is for you too.

Evil doesn’t happen by itself. Evil happens because we fear to lose what we have. Evil happens when we compromise our values. We all can choose to either help each other or hurt each other.

I hope you will choose differently in the future.

Letter to Peter Roskam enclosed.

Cancer

Representative Peter Roskam,

Everyone thinks that they can recognize evil when they see it or hear about it. But much that is evil can seem boring or inconsequential.

It is like the smoking of a single cigarette. It is damaging to a person’s health but only by a little bit. Of course, that is only how it starts. The single cigarette can become many, soon the person has become a smoker; and every one of those cigarettes with their small amount of damage to the body results in a case of heart disease or lung cancer.

Your record, Peter Roskam, in the United States House of Representatives is like a case of lung cancer in the body politic.

In a recent email broadcast message, you brag about how you are going to try to pass legislation allowing organizations to deny healthcare coverage to voluntary firefighters and other workers who work more than 30 but less than 40 hours a week. Of course you don’t express it that way. No, you are helping these workers keep their jobs – with underhanded employers who purposely employ them as part-time to avoid all the labor protections that 40 hour, full-time employees have.

What, that isn’t fair?
How about this.

The best example of how bad the Affordable Healthcare law is for part-time employees that you can find in your district; is in the wealthy community of Glen Ellyn, IL, that does not want to cover the healthcare costs of their volunteer firefighters. Firefighters who risk life and limb to save their neighbors trapped in burning buildings, and wrecked cars. Who respond at a moments notice day and night. You want to let those same firefighters and their families just go to the emergency room when they are sick or injured, because the city fathers of one of the most affluent communities in the 6th US congressional district in IL are too cheap to provide health insurance coverage.

Both you and the city fathers of Glen Ellyn should be ashamed. But instead you are proud of being such bastards.

So you write your little legislative change to the Affordable Health Care law. How proud you must be! Workers should have 40 hour a week jobs before their employers are required to provide health insurance. You believe that the rest of us won’t notice this little change to the law. It only covers part-time workers. Most of us are full-time. It is just like that single cigarette that is bad – but doesn’t really poison us enough to do anyone any real harm. But who works a part-time job if a full-time job is available? People generally accept part-time work because they are desperate for any work. These jobs define the working poor, who need health care coverage the most.

Maybe the example of the volunteer firefighters in Glen Ellyn is more coldly calculating than I thought at first. You talk about these volunteer firefighters – but the real target of your bill is the working poor, struggling to get by. Why do you think the Affordable Health Care law had the 30 hour a week provision in the first place? All those employers who purposely hire their workers on a part-time basis.

We have met briefly. You came out to talk to your constituents at a Jewel-Osco store several years ago. You seem like an intelligent and likable person. I simply do not understand how a person with your intelligence can also be so devoid of integrity to consistently promote such evil. Does promotion to ever higher positions in the leadership of the Republican party mean so much to you that it just doesn’t matter how many people ( on this particular issue ) you would deny medical insurance coverage; just so long as you get kudos from your party, and the wealthy elites you court by adopting these ridiculous views?

I hope that you will someday find the courage to help all of your constituents – not just help some at the expense of the others.

You could start today.

Today, you could decide to put away the cigarettes of my extended metaphor; those policies that you promote which harm the people of our country.

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Minimum Wage

President Barack Obama,

Thank you for enacting the $10.10 minimum wage for federal contact Workers. It seems this will largely be a symbolic gesture – but it is important none the less. I have been and will continue to write letters to the leaders of American companies who employ large numbers of minimum wage employees. (see blog entries – A Living Wage, and Courage) who will hopefully decide some day to pay their workers a living wage.

If we can get just one of these leaders to make a similar hourly rate increase, or better yet, institute a policy whereby the lowest company salary is some multiplier of the CEO salary; it could really help in starting to share the productivity gains of the last 30 years with the rest of us.

Of course, you also should work to raise the top marginal tax rate as well. Again, for 30 years as the top marginal tax rate has been cut, and the capital gains rate has been halved, the rest of us: those working Americans who don’t have capital working for us, who can only make more money by working more hours; keep shouldering a larger burden in taxes. It is well past time that the beneficiaries of ‘trickle-down’ economics started paying their fair share to support the institutions of our country.

Again, thank you for this executive order,

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Principles

President Barack Obama,

Thank you for your letter of February 3rd. It was very gracious, and to the point.

In my letters to you I have tried to address some very ugly issues in a dignified way, although perhaps I have been more sarcastic than was absolutely necessary. For this I apologize.

You allude to our American principles in your letter. Here I have to respectively disagree with your view that our ‘principles’ are respected and admired by others in the world. Perhaps the principals we talk about are admired and respected, but not the principles as evident in our actions as a nation.

Our principles as a nation should determine the actions our nation takes in the world. Conversely, we should be able to derive our principles from those actions that we have taken.

I submit to you that our much vaunted principles are completely incompatible with the actions we as a nation are performing in the world.

If we take our actions as a nation and derive the principle those actions equate to; I am very sorry to say that we are enacting the principle of “Might makes Right”. The principle of the bully; that because a person or a nation is stronger, the weaker have no choice but to accept what we do. To then clothe our actions with high-sounding rhetoric, about rule of law, and beacons of hope. Well, I am afraid a simple man like myself is not capable of lying to himself to the extent that this makes any sort of sense.

Until such time as the policies of the United States are more aligned with our American principles of the rule of law among the community of nations, and we extend these legal protections to all people who have come under our jurisdiction; I will continue to write to you demanding that we live up to our American principles.

Thank you again for your letter.

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