OtherWords cartoon by Khalil Bendib
The group's latest email is so badly written that it cries out for laughter, but its potential consequences call out for tears.
The writing borders on the unintelligible, as when it urges people to contact their Member of Congress and say this:
"I'm calling to urge the Represntative (sic) to pass an agreement to tackle our nation's debt crisis that is supported by members of both parties that both raises revenue and cuts government spending in order to pave the way for a strong economic future."
Now try saying it three times fast.
It's easy to make fun of something this inept, and the overpaid cynics at Fix the Debt -- and fellow shell organizations like the Committee For a Responsible Federal Budget -- certainly have it coming. But this time they've crossed a line. They're claiming to speak in the very interests of the people who would be most hurt by their actions.
Shame on them.
The email provides a script to be used when calling your Representative. They suggest you begin by saying that the deficit "matters to me because ______________."
It then offers three "helpful" examples of how that sentence might be completed: by a concerned parent, a small business owner, and a veteran -- three of the many populations whose financial security would be gravely wounded by Fix the Debt's political agenda.
That doesn't mean everybody would be hurt by it, of course. Here are some scripts that the group's real beneficiaries might want to use:
-- I'm rich as hell -- I mean, I'm not naming figures, but we're talking stinkin' rich -- and I want to cut Social Security and Medicare while lowering my own corporate and personal taxes.
-- I'm a corporate CEO who's been shipping jobs overseas, and we've had record profits while paying record-low amounts to the IRS. But that's not enough. I want to do even less for my country.
-- I'm a defense contractor and, while I thank you for the break you've already given me this week, I really need to make sure I don't sacrifice even a tiny bit in the name of deficit reduction.
-- I invest in the for-profit health industry and business is booming. I want you to do everything you can to undermine Medicare and Medicaid so I can pump up my profits even more.- Advertisement -
-- I'm a Wall Street executive and I'm expecting to get more 401(k) investment funds once you gut Social Security. I also receive a deeply perverse satisfaction from not helping to fix the economy I destroyed, and I'm counting on you not to harsh my mellow.
Now here are Fix the Debt's own sample phone scripts. We've added some additional dialog, and given each one a name: