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Letters to President Obama


Anonymous, Windsor Locks, Connecticut

March 24, 2010


Dear Mr. President.

I am writing you this letter in concern for the economy, my family, and my home. I am a 35 year old mother of 1 little boy who is 5. I have a concern that I need you to hear from an average family trying to make it through these hard times. I do not expect that anything will be done, but I do want you to hear how we are struggling.

I was laid off in June from a job that I was at for 8 years making a pretty substantial salary. My husband, who was an electrician, has been laid off since September of 2008. He was called back to work in July 2009 but only worked for about 2 months before his company laid him off again and he has been out of work ever since. I was only able to land myself a temporary job that my new boss is struggling to make permanent. We do not have any insurance for our son and we are living off of my salary which is about 10K less a year and unemployment. We struggle living week to week to pay our mortgage- which was underwritten to a smaller amount so that we do not have to let our house go into foreclosure. I want you to have a good idea of the history of events that have occurred with our bank and credit.

We refinanced our mortgage in 2006 thinking we could get a leg up on some of our credit card bills and also invest more money into our home. When we refinanced with our bank they did not set up an escrow account - which they did not tell us. When we figured it out - they basically told us it was too late. So that said, we have been struggling to pay our taxes but we have taken out a 401K my husband had and we paid our taxes through July of last year. We have had some hard times through our marriage which ended up costing us more in credit card debt. We have now reconciled and are also struggling to pay that as well. We have received letters through the mail that say that this is part of your plan to help America reduce their debt so we signed a contract with a company that pay every month which should in the end reduce the overall payment of our credit cards for a settlement. Since we have done that we have received numerous creditor calls and letters, and judgments against us- which has completely ruined our credit overall so far. We have no future, only weekly income!

So now, it's tax time. Since we were both laid off for a good amount of time in 2009 and that my husband was laid off for the majority of 2009 we now owe in taxes- on top of the taxes that we already owe. I ask you - how we are supposed to pay that? How do you expect anyone that has been laid off to pay any of their taxes when there are no jobs to help alleviate that? Why do you offer to take taxes out when someone applies for unemployment? Being used to a cost of living expense and having to even reduce that to an unemployment paycheck you want to receive as much money as you are eligible for to make up for the money you are used to receiving. Just put yourself in our shoes?

Everyone I know who voted for you is now turning the other direction, but I have faith in you and that you will do what you can to turn this around, in the meantime I am struggling with the fact that we may need to just walk away from our home to alleviate the stress of paying for this home and on top of that I am trying to go back to school online to better myself and hopefully in the long run better my family.

My son is the one who is receiving the short end of the stick here as it has been stressful on him as well. We end up taking it out on him or he just wants to make things better for us by spending his time making money out of paper and giving it to us. Thinking it will help.... HE's FIVE years old!!! I have seen you in office for over a year now and I want to know what you can do to help us- the average family just trying to get back on our feet, live our lives like Americans should and not have to feel like we are constantly struggling. You say you read these - at least 10 a day- and I am sure there are other families struggling just the same if not worse, but how are you going to help us??? Wall street executives walk away with high pay outs on their investments or receive bonus checks for the work they have performed, most of them are snyde corporate executives who have helped put the economy where it is at today.... but what about the people who are doing the work for them?? ? We end up getting the struggle. We are the ones who will end up homeless and we are the ones who you talk about when you say AMERICA is struggling and we have not seen any relief except that you can continue to collect for another 13 weeks only to pay for it in the end... with the taxes you require us to pay back... WHY would you make those who are unemployed because of this melt down have to pay back? We did not ask for this in the first place. I wonder where we can find the money to give millions away in lotto but no money for the economy?? This is just something I do not get. I'm an upset American who is losing faith in you... I do not want to lose that faith.. When I voted for you, I really was inspired that you will make the changes to help us- the average middle class- but all I see is that upper class walking away feeling ok... while we continue to struggle. It's not fair... The honest middle class are sitting back struggling... it's just not fair... We never asked for this!! I don't expect anything from this letter... just put yourself in my shoes... Every day I'm watching my family fall apart and also worried about potentially losing my home... all because we of what we know... Yes, the economy is bad... yea yea yea... This is heartbreaking!!!




Windsor Locks, CT

The President's Response

Dear [Anonymous] —

I received you letter, and know that this has been a very difficult time for you and families across America.

You need to know that all the steps I have taken have been designed to stabilize the economy and help folks get back on their feet. For example, unemployment benefits are traditionally fully taxed but because of the Recovery, we actually reduced the taxes you had to pay.

I know that’s little consolation when times are so tough. But it’s an example of the kinds of measures — just like making COBRA more affordable so people losing their jobs can keep their health care — that I’ve been fighting for.

I wish you and your family all the best, and will keep you in my thoughts and prayers as long as I’m in the White House.

Barack Obama