Sen. Tillis, I’m still waiting for my answers, and I’m 90 years old

On June 26 I faxed a letter to Republican U.S. Sen. Tillis asking him five questions.

1) What has the Republican-controlled White House and Congress done the last 18 months to prevent other countries from interfering with our upcoming mid-term election as we well know the Russians did during the 2016 election?

2) President Trump and his 2016 election/transition staff are justifiably under investigation by Special Counsel Mueller. Yet, we are told by Trump and his attorneys/surrogates/propagandists that he has the power to refuse being interviewed and can even end the investigation by firing Sessions, Rosenstein and Mueller. Surely, the founders of the Constitution never intended that a president can obstruct or eliminate an investigation or pardon himself and others if convicted. Therefore, why hasn’t the Senate passed legislation that denies such presidential powers (and, if necessary, replace Mitch McConnell as Senate Majority Leader)?

3) You Republicans seem still intent on destroying Obamacare. Republicans claimed during the Obama presidency they had better health-care plans but that Obama and Democrats were blocking their enactment. Did such plans actually exist and if so why haven’t you Republicans enacted one?

4) When Obama nominated Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court in 2016, McConnell blocked him from even a committee hearing. He said Obama, with 10 months yet to serve, was a lame-duck president and the empty seat should wait to be filled by “the people” (obviously meaning “the people” who would elect a Republican president in the November 2016 election). Why, before Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch, didn’t you Republican senators instead correct McConnell’s indecent act by telling Trump and McConnell that Garland would be the only nominee you would approve?

5) Being fiscally conservative, I believe the world’s richest nation should be debt-free and not the world’s largest borrower. I also believe Republican candidates make a vote-buying lie when they tell voters: “you are over-taxed and we will cut your taxes.” Actually, the ever-growing federal debt proves Americans have been under-taxed $21 trillion to date. Also, since Reagan’s 1981 inauguration, when the debt was $900 billion, the debt’s interest payments have totaled a politically-ignored $12 trillion. Also, the borrowing to fund your Republican tax reform bill’s tax cuts will soon increase annual budget deficits and debt interest costs well above the $1 trillion level. Will you Republicans display true fiscal conservatism by replacing your tax reform bill with a bill requiring consistently deficit-free budgets, and prohibit any further tax cuts until the debt is fully repaid?

Tillis hasn’t replied to my now 3 ½ month old letter. Perhaps I shouldn’t have told him I’m a former Republican. Or, maybe Tillis believes that answering the above questions will prompt me to ask questions about our nation’s neglected infrastructure, inadequate gun control, ignored consumer inflation, our economy’s obscene income gaps, Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement, etc.

Oh well, at least the late Republican Sen. Jesse Helms answered a letter I sent him (but, yes, I was still a Republican at that time).

Richard (Dick) Huopana is a 90-year-old independent voter, retired IBM manager/senior engineer, former mayor of Boca Raton, Florida, and a 30-year N.C. resident.

Related stories from Durham Herald Sun