The system works! Congress does listen sometimes.
Regular readers may be aware that this scribe lost his “day job” last May due to the current economic crisis embracing our nation. Fortunately, that situation has been reversed, though not without a measure of personal and emotional sacrifice.
As a result of being unemployed, and wanting to be a responsible citizen, it was necessary for me to begin taking periodic withdrawals from IRA accounts which had been intended for retirement. Those withdrawals were made with full knowledge that they would not only be taxable, but that they would be subject to a ten percent penalty for early withdrawal.
Current laws allow for early withdrawals without penalty in the event of predefined circumstances of “hardship,” but those circumstances are generally limited to medical hardships. I sent an email to Congressman Cassidy, who represented me at that time, and asked him to consider legislation waiving those penalties in the event of unemployment, which certainly is a hardship for those of us who have experienced it, as well as our families.
Dr. Cassidy’s office actually called me yesterday to discuss my proposal and what metrics or parameters I thought should be used to initiate waiver of those penalties.
I don’t know what will come of my proposal or of that conversation, but it was refreshing and reassuring to observe first hand the workings of our political system as it was intended.
This was another experience that affirms the need for citizens to be actively engaged in the process.
You, too, should make your voice heard. Some of our representatives are still listening.