Thursday, June 09, 2005

Wilson Continues Social Security Charade With Taxpayer-Funded Mailer

Its not written about enough. The Journal, the New Mexican don't report it. For some reason it's accepted practice to the media but for taxpayers, it's outrageous.

You may have received Congresswoman Heather Wilson's mailer "A Report on Strengthening and Protecting Social security" in your mailbox today. Maybe, in the past, you've received one of Wilson's 4-fold, full color mailers that look like a campaign brochure. What you probably didn't realize is that you're paying for it. Heather Wilson has asked you to pay for tens of thousands of dollars for these mailers.

U.S. House rules allow members of congress to send mail to constituents printed and paid for by taxpayers as long as it appears to be important information for constituents on what's going on in Congress. When you think of it that way, its pretty benign--we send someone to Congress, they report back to us on what's going on in DC and we let them pay for that practice because it's a constituent service.

Back in the day, many of you will remember that former Congressman Steve Schiff sent mail from Washington to constituents informing them on goings-on in Congress. But that was nothing like Wilson's mailer. Schiff, ever the policy-wonk, printed his messages, single spaced on 8 1/2 x 14 letterhead--not on glossy, campaign-like mailers.

In the last few years, some congresspeople, like Wilson have decided to push, um, let's say, the edge of the enveope with these mailers by pushing an agenda instead of just informing constituents. Is there any reason Wilson can't try to save us some money and mail this information on a regular sheet of letterhead? Steve Schiff did it.

Today's mailer is a good example of a political mailer masquerading as an official government mailer. Heather's mailer is quite obviously an attempt to insulate herself from attacks on her Social Security position. Heather has flip-flopped on the privatisation issue and has, in the last few months, directly avoided answering the privatisation question--are you for or against the president's proposal? (See my earlier post on Wilson's Social Security position)

You'll notice in Heather's mailer that there is no mention of the word "privatization." Amazing that she can devote a whole mailer on the issue of social security and what congress is doing about it and not mention privatisation. . .

That's because she wants to avoid the issue, and the mailer is meant to persuade people that she really, really cares about social security and is really interested in the issue. But she says precious little about the current proposals before Congress. How is that informing constituents and how is this a worthwhile expense of taxpayer money? It's incredible that she can devote a whole mailer to Social Security and not mention her position or current proposals or what's she's going to do about it.

The real story on this is that Wilson has found a way, through the House rules, to send campaign mailers (that serve the same purpose of a campaign mailer--persuading voters) at no expense to her campaign and with the appearance of an official mailer from Congress.

It's deceptive, it's a waste of taxpayer funds and the mainstream media should do its job and report on this unethical practice.

For those of you who flow this blog or follow Wilson's terrible position on privatisation, you'll notice that she mentions in this mailer her same old line that "the Government should not invest Social security funds in the stock market." As you all know, this is smoke and mirrors--no one is talking about allowing the government to invest the funds in the market. The discussion in DC is about allowing individuals to invest their Social Security funds in the market. Its a big difference and the essentce of Wilson's deceptive position on the issue.


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12:05 PM  

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