Also on Friday a busload of freshmen Democrats went to the White House to plead their case against sharp tax increases with the president and his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. The organizer was Rep. Gerald Connolly, the president of the freshman class whose Northern Virginia district is the richest in the U.S. as measured by median household income.What bothers me is that Gerry was also quoted as saying that one of the biggest reasons for his action is the fact that 14% of the households in his district earn over $200,000 and “they all vote.” That might indeed be the case, but what about all the families in the district who are struggling to pay their bills and cannot afford health care. They vote too and deserve to have their representative work with the administration and Congress to pass health care reform that doesn’t put the burden of an enormous deficit on future generations. One of the best ways of doing that would be to roll back the Bush tax cuts to the wealthiest of Americans.
I’ve gotten to know Gerry over the last few years and I’m confident that he genuinely wants to represent the best interests of his constituents. That being said, his quote to the Wall Street Journal makes it clear that he is thinking about how this legislation would impact his re-election chances. As one of Gerry's biggest supporters and one of his constituents, I want to point out that I think this move is wrong. Supporting legislation that gives everyone access to affordable health care even if it means slightly raising taxes on the a small percentage of the wealthiest people in our country would actually help his re-election chances.
As I have been active in the community I have had an opportunity to talk with many folks about the issue of health care reform and the message I've heard is that we need to get something done now. I therefore encourage everyone to make sure that they let Rep. Connolly's office know this as well. You can do so by calling (202) 225-1492 or sending an email here.