Viewable With ANY Browser

Note: My Web pages are best viewed with style sheets enabled.


A Non-Responsive Letter Is Another Sign of a Dysfunctional Congress

Copyright © 2014 by David E. Ross

Partisan deadlock in Congress is not the only sign of dysfunction. Anyone who has written to a Representative or Senator about an issue will quickly realize their elected officials depend too much on form letters that really do not address a voter's concerns. Here is an example.

After frustration over trying to straighten out an erroneous tax refund check that I received, I sent the following post card to my Congresswoman:

11 July 2014

Congresswoman Brownley:

Yesterday and today, I tried calling the IRS to straighten out a refund that I received. I definitely do not think I should have received it. From the amount, I think my quarterly estimated tax payment for 2014 was refunded.

My first call to the IRS was disconnected after I received a recorded message that too many people were waiting to talk to the IRS. On my second, I waited 30 minutes for a live person, was told they needed to transfer my call to a special office, and was then disconnected after another 15 minute wait. Today, I merely hung up after waiting 30 minutes for a live person.

It is painfully obvious that the IRS call center does not have the resources — enough personnel — to handle its workload. It is imperative that Congress appropriate sufficient funds to the IRS that no call should wait more than 5 minutes.

my partial signature

David Ross
Oak Park, CA 91377

Congresswoman Julia Brownley
1019 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Below is Congresswoman Brownley's reply. Does anyone see any place within the reply where Brownley actually addresses my concern? It seems that she addresses an issue quite different from understaffed IRS call centers.

Brownley's letter addressing the issue of the IRS and non-profit organizations

No, Congresswoman Brownley is definitely not the only politician who issues non-responsive form letters in reply to voters' concerns. I have seen such letters from all levels of government, from the federal to county and city. This is another reason why our elected politicians are held in such low esteem.

I voted in 2012 for Brownley. She and I are both Democrats, so I am likely to vote for her again this year. That does not mean I am satisfied with how she represents me in Congress.

30 July 2014

Link to David Ross's home page
David Ross home