From Ben Quayle’s final (at least for now) constituent email:
Late on Tuesday night, the House passed the Senate’s compromise package to avert the fiscal cliff. Although I wanted to have a compromise deal that I could support, I could not vote in favor of this bill. We all know Washington has a spending problem, not a taxing problem. However, this bill contains little to no spending cuts and increases our deficit and debt [emphasis added, and applicable to Scottsdale]. It also gives the President more leverage to replace defense sequestration cuts with additional taxes rather than with cuts to other parts of the government. This is not the right way to deal with replacing the defense sequestration. Consequently, the bad parts of the bill outweighed the good parts, and I could not support it.
That was the final matter I voted on, and this is the final newsletter that I will send as the representative for Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District. It was an incredible honor and privilege to represent the great people of this district. I want to thank everyone from the 3rd District for giving me the opportunity to represent them in the 112th Congress.
I believe that the majority of elected officials are here for the right reasons. They want to make the country better. However, there are a growing number of people who are solely focused on their own interests and their own advancement. To them, each vote, each quote, each movement is not about what is best for the country, but what is best for their political career. This may seem cynical, but it is a part of the culture that some elected members embrace.
The ubiquitous 24-hour news channels and the various daily political newspapers (and I use that term loosely) on Capitol Hill exacerbate this damaging culture because they happily act as outlets for some elected officials to ingratiate themselves with certain segments of the political class in Washington and around the country. In addition, the media here focus on sensationalism rather than the substance and policy that will affect the country. This props up those officials who are not concerned with the people’s business but rather the business of self-advancement.
If the American people elect individuals who are truly interested in serving their constituents rather than serving their own self-interests, we can accomplish great things. The legislative process will still be messy and slow. That’s how our system of government was designed. But, it can work properly and efficiently if those elected focus on what’s best for the next generation, not what’s best for the next election.