Public still commenting on debt in huge numbers; most just want issue resolved
“ … We want our lawmakers to come with a spirit of real cooperation for the common good. Our prayers support all of you as you work to achieve a compromise that will address both present and future needs of our people.”
July 28, 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. - More than 55,700 people sent an e-mail about the debt ceiling to just one U.S. senator yesterday, and separately some 20,100 have responded to an online question about the debt on the same lawmaker’s website.
“Never before have we seen this kind of public outpouring,” a spokesman for U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson ( D-FL ) said today. “It clearly points to how actively engaged and deeply concerned people are about our country’s financial situation and the current stalemate between lawmakers.”
On Thursday, as on many days this past month, Nelson was in and out of meetings with other lawmakers working on a possible bipartisan solution to the debt crisis. But Tuesday night, he sent out a short e-mail to constituents who had previously contacted him on different issues and asked for their thoughts on the debt plans. In the 24 hours afterward, his office was swamped by the more than 55,700 personal responses from some 125,000 folks who got his e-mail.
“That’s a staggering response - with some people saying they want spending cuts only, others saying they want cuts with revenue increases, but the overwhelming majority saying they just want lawmakers to get it done,” the spokesman said.
Here’s a few examples illustrative of what people said in their e-mails:
• “ … We want our lawmakers to come with a spirit of real cooperation for the common good. Our prayers support all of you as you work to achieve a compromise that will address both present and future needs of our people.”
• “It is imperative that the stalemate occurring in Congress be resolved immediately. … I am depending on Congress to put aside the political ideologies of their parties and consider the plight of the American family who is innocent of the chaos … . Thank you for supporting the American people.”
• “ … Compromise is essential to our political and social process. Drawing lines in the sand and insisting on my way doesn't work in relationships or government.”
• “Please do something quickly, but fair. My 84 year old father lives only on Social Security. He lives a very simple life, but he's happy because he is independent. … Any disruption to these benefits would impact him greatly. … Life is very tough for the middle class and the low income class. … Let those who have, help out those who have not. That's the right thing to do.”
Yesterday’s responses to Nelson’s e-mail came on top of a busy Tuesday in which his office also received another 8,000 e-mails from people who were heeding President Obama’s call in a national speech Monday night to contact members of Congress about the debt.
Nelson’s online question posted July 6 asks: “In deficit talks, if you could help avoid cuts to Social Security and Medicare by closing tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy, should that be an option?”
By 52 percent to 47 percent of the more than 20,100 respondents, folks said they favored Congress raising taxes on the wealthy and closing tax breaks for corporations before making cuts to Social Security or Medicare. The number who responded to past Nelson-web page survey questions ranges from a low of 372 to a high of 3,174, or around 17,000 fewer than on the debt question.