Guest column: Questions for the congressman

Mike Simpson may have won a tough primary election, but he still has much to answer for, writes Beverly Beach.

Congressman Mike Simpson touts his “accomplishments,” but fails to explain how those accomplishments benefit Idaho. Our Idaho congressional delegation - Simpson, Sens. Jim Risch and Mike Crapo and Rep. Raul Labrador - has forgotten who they represent.

Until recently, Idaho had the highest percentage of minimum wage jobs in the nation. To me, that is absolutely unacceptable. You would not work to raise the wages of those making only $7.25 an hour, Congressman Simpson? Surely you understand that putting extra money in the pocket of low-paid workers would buy food, gas, clothing and other necessities. Those purchases would stimulate the local economy, creating Idaho jobs.

Why have you never sponsored a bill that would levy a higher tariff on Chinese goods being imported into America? U.S. companies cannot compete with the low wages paid Chinese workers. Our products are already too expensive for the average Chinese consumer, yet the Chinese government adds a 25 percent tariff to discourage the purchase of American goods. We need to return the favor, as our present 2.5 percent tariff on imported Chinese goods makes for an unfair trade balance.

Why have you not sponsored a bill that would place tariffs on goods produced outside the United States by U.S. companies, Congressman Simpson? There is no reason other than greed that a U.S. company should have production plants outside the country for goods sold within the U.S. Outsourcing costs America millions of jobs.

What have you done to assist the thousands of Idahoans who have lost their houses to greedy bankers, Congressman Simpson? Have you taken it upon yourself to understand the real causes of the housing bubble that collapsed and cost millions of Americans their homes? Congress bailed out the banks but did nothing to help those homeowners who were literally scammed by the banks that were “too big to fail.” I am sure you realize funds for Idaho pensions were lost through the preying upon pension funds all over the U.S. by the banks and recklessness of high-risk bank trading. Will you support bringing back Glass-Steagall?

By voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act 40 times, you wasted taxpayer money, Congressman Simpson. Where were your solutions to America’s healthcare problems? Did those 40 votes accomplish anything other than playing partisan politics? What have you done to help those Idahoans who are in need insurance but can’t get it because Idaho refused to expand Medicaid?

Simpson’s vote to repeal the estate tax has absolutely no bearing on the vast majority of Idahoans. Only estates valued at more than $5 million for a single person are required to pay the so-called “death tax.” Nationwide, only one tenth of one percent of estates are affected by this repeal.

We could also address continuous threats to cut Social Security and Medicare, high interest on student loans and credit cards, job creation and government shutdowns, but that is another column.