A Letter To My Congressman

The Honorable Trey Hollingsworth

United States  House of Representatives

PO Box 421

Jeffersonville IN  47130

Dear Mr. Hollingsworth

The President’s budget proposal raises serious concerns for me.  Now, I am aware that this preliminary document is just a starting point for negotiation between the White House and the Congress, and that the final budget may bear faint resemblance to the document released this past week.

My concerns stem from the assumptions that the President expresses in his rhetoric and that are reflected in this document.  What I hear in the President’s arguments is the desire to return the economy to the prosperity of the 1950’s and 1960’s, to a time before the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency and the numerous regulation that the EPA has placed on manufacturers, as if these regulations and constraints and these alone account for the loss of manufacturing and mining jobs in this country.

I share the President’s desire to stimulate the economy and to bring living wage jobs to the tens of millions of unemployed and underemployed workers throughout our country. However, his assertion that deregulation and rolling back environmental protections will provide the stimulus that the economy needs is fundamentally flawed.

In my view, the prosperity of the 1950’s and 1960’s arose from the fact that following world war, our fathers returned to an economy supercharged by war production; to cities untouched by bombardment and invasion; to rail yards, ports, roads, bridges, canals, dams, and airports capable of operating at full capacity.  With our infrastructure entirely intact, America had 50% of the manufacturing capacity of the entire world.  Little wonder that as America was called on to supply half of the manufactured goods of the world, there were jobs enough for all skilled and able-bodied workers.

Just because there was no EPA at that time and that there were no costs and constraints placed on business by an EPA does not mean that the establishment of the EPA caused the decline an American manufacturing and mining that followed this period of extraordinary prosperity.

I urge you and the entire Indiana Delegation to reject the President’s flawed arguments.  Instead, for the sake of present and future generations, maintain a robust and well-funded Environmental Protection Agency and to continue funding of other agencies that study the environment and provide the scientific data that we desperately need to make wise and rational decisions about the future of our country and our planet.

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