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29Jul/110

Response from Senator Mark Kirk

Dear Mrs Kagan

Thank you for contacting me regarding the ongoing debt limit negotiations.

I oppose defaulting on any debt and will fight to protect the AAA credit rating of the United States. To protect our economy, we should cut spending and raise the debt limit, putting our nation on a sustainable financial foundation.

Until we enact a final bill, I am also working to ensure the federal government pays all interest owed, Social Security, Medicare and salaries for the troops.

Regarding a final bill, I support the "Gang of Six" bipartisan plan put forward by three Republican and three Democratic senators to reduce our borrowing by over $3.7 trillion over the next ten years. This plan has three major parts:

1) A cap on spending, including a freeze on all salaries for Congress;

2) Entitlement reforms, protecting Americans aged 55 and up while strengthening the long-term finances of Medicare and Social Security for younger Americans; and

3) Tax reform, ending tax expenditures (while protecting the mortgage interest and charitable deductions), in return for lowering the top tax rate from 39% to 29%.

This plan will defend our credit, protect our economy and strengthen the long-term future of Social Security and Medicare.

We need to make these changes now. We are spending money we do not have – upward of 40 cents of every dollar the federal government spends is borrowed from China and elsewhere. This year, we will pay over $225 billion of taxpayer funds to people who lent us money for interest payments alone.

In return for cutting over $3.7 trillion from projected borrowing, we should raise the debt limit of the United States. On August 2, we will pass the legal debt limit of $14.3 trillion. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve and nearly all major economists agree that a plan of spending reductions, entitlement reforms and tax code modernization will reassure the American people, financial markets and our allies that America can live within its means.

Our country has faced tough times before. During Washington's second administration, he tamed hyperinflation. President Lincoln had credit woes. President Roosevelt eventually faced down the Great Depression and President Reagan defeated high inflation. To honor the achievements of our parents, we should make hard choices again to stop spending money we do not have. When we do, the energy and innovation of the American people will catapult us into economic leadership again, as happened in the 1950s and 1980s.

Thank you for taking the time to contact me on this issue. Please feel free to contact me at (312) 886-3506 or online at http://kirk.senate.gov if you have any questions or concerns before Congress or the federal government. It is an honor to serve you in the Senate.

Very truly yours,

Mark Kirk

U.S. Senate

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