How little we expect of our representatives
A good politician avoids talking about subjects that are uncomfortable. Connecticut has five U.S. representatives and two U.S. senators. All are Democrats for now. They represent our state of approximately 3.5 million people. The one existential threat to the survival of Connecticut is its $70 billion in unfunded pension and health-care benefits to existing and past state employees. With an annual budget of a little over $20 billion per year, the state cannot pay 100 percent of these past obligations and still hope to keep workers and capital in the state to pay the rest of the bills.
So it seems to me that the seven Congressional representatives all have it easy as they get a pass on having any concrete plan to address the biggest threat to health care, employment, schools, trains, roads, bridges, municipal aid, parks and the environment in Connecticut and the future of the state as more and more tax dollars at the state and local level are sucked up for past and present promises to state and municipal workers.
With skill and capital leaving the state at accelerated rates following Gov. Dannel Malloy’s tax hikes, I wonder whether our federal representatives believe that Connecticut can be helped by encouraging free enterprise, fewer regulations, fewer mandates and lower taxes or do they believe the statist view of a bigger administrative state with more rules, mandates, fees, taxes and regulations is the correct route? Please enlighten us.
So if our congressional representatives can get a pass and can continue to evade this existential threat of $70 billion in unfunded pension and health care obligations, I believe we can at least ask, what else are they doing?
Are they protecting American interests and human rights in this hemisphere? I am afraid the record is thin.
What about the Venezuelan, Nicaraguan and Cuban disasters?
What about our American brothers and sisters in Central and South America? It seems to me that our federal representatives are not aware of the humanitarian and economic disaster in socialist Venezuela.
Over 80 percent of the population is malnourished. Basic medical supplies are non-existent. Political freedom is at an end. Millions of Venezuelan’s have fled this socialist hell, over two million since 2014, yet I have heard very little out of any of our representatives or senators consistently criticizing this socialist disaster. Senator Cory Booker said silence is complicity.
In Nicaragua, peaceful demonstrators against the Socialist Daniel Ortega have been executed with Russian sniper rifles just this past spring, and what are our federal representatives doing about it?
When Socialist Cuba and the Socialist leader, Victor Chavez, of Venezuela declared “Cuba-zuela” as a combined revolutionary project, I did not read headlines of any of our federal representatives taking exception to Cuban involvement in Venezuela. That the Cuban military sent interior police experts to Venezuela to help Chavez and later Maduro socialists consolidate their power through systematic political repression, our representatives’ continued silence concerns me.
These are our American brothers and sisters. The Cuban military will not let Venezuela free themselves as the Cuban military and Cuban socialists need Venezuelan oil to fuel their socialist dictatorship. Which congressman, congresswoman or senator will speak up? Silence!
Cuban and North Korean slavery
It also appears that all five members of Congress and the two senators don’t care that Cuba and North Korea presently engage in slavery. Cuba sends health care workers and “teachers” to Venezuela in exchange for oil. It is slavery because, the families and children of the Cuban workers are kept as hostages in Cuba to help assure the return of the workers. The workers only keep pennies on the dollar for what the Cuban government charges Venezuela for their work.
By the same token, scores of North Koreans are hired out to the Chinese and Russians to work under very hard conditions in occupations such as construction. The North Korean worker’s families are kept at home to assure the proper conduct and return of the forced laborers. The laborers only see pennies on the dollar for what their socialist government hires then out for. Here again, North Korea earns millions in hard currency for their weapons programs. Our Connecticut’s federal representatives silence on this is deafening. Senator Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) says silence is complicity.
I believe every Cuban and North Korean man or woman is a person versus property that Cuba and North Korea can export. Why are our federal representatives silent? One or two votes on sanctions don’t make a policy. My expectation of a U.S. representative is that they are strong advocates of the rights contained in the Bill of Rights and to speak out against the systematic denial of those rights and countries that are diametrically opposed to the Bill of Rights.
I would like my representatives to speak out as forcefully on this human trafficking by Korea and Cuba as they do on other human trafficking. To do so, however, would offend the ascending progressive wing of the Democrat Party. So we hear nothing.
Iran meddling in Venezuela and Argentina
When Argentinian prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, was killed hours before he was to give testimony in January, 2015, on Iranian involvement in the bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association in Buenos Aires, which killed 85 and wounded hundreds more, what did each representative and senator say?
I am concerned that Iranians are assisting the socialist government of Nicholas Maduro today to suppress dissent in Venezuela. Venezuela is on the American continent. Why are Iranians meddling here? I believe our federal representatives have been very lax on Iranian meddling in this hemisphere. By all means, please speak to this Iranian meddling.
I think it must be nice to receive a collective pass from the main media on all of these issues. It is safer for these representatives to rail against nominee Judge Brett Kavanagh who will be confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, regardless of our representatives’ objections. It is safer for our representatives to speak about health care insurance than to discuss the island of waste plastic in the Pacific Ocean, larger than the State of Texas, which was made in China and is being added to daily by China and India.
How little we expect of our federal representatives… and how little we citizens know about what they do.
Peter Thalheim lives in the Riverside section of Greenwich.