Mr. President,

I just watched your regulations press conference. I fully understand the need to eliminate regulations that are outdated, irrelevant or unnecessarily cumbersome, but your speech today ignited a deep-seated fear within me. My fear is based on your words and actions since you became president, along with those of the Republican Party. From regulations, to health care, to taxes, I see my security slipping away. I am afraid.

I’ve watched as this administration has worked so hard to dismantle Obamacare with no viable plan to replace or fix it. Yet, there is no clear vision coming from the White House to face our nation’s issues on health care. I’ve listened to all the vitriol from you. It scares me.

I am a retired educator living on Social Security and a state retirement pension. My husband and I have money in savings. Medicare and additional insurance are working well for us. I felt safe knowing that we didn’t need to worry about health expenses until I really understood the new tax bill. I now know that the bill will drive up the deficit and necessitate further cuts to the budget. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid will be the first to go on the chopping block. I doubt that impacts you or your wealthy friends’ retirement in any way, but it certainly does mine. It scares me.

I watched you touting the benefits of the current tax bill, expounding on the great Christmas present that was going to be given to the middle class. I watched as you introduced families who would receive tax breaks ranging from less than a thousand to several thousand dollars. I am grateful that they will find some benefit from the plan, and also know that many won’t. Further, you made it sound like their tax breaks were incredibly generous, emanating from the heart of a magnanimous leader who wants to spread the wealth around for the health of the nation. You and I both know that the amount of money coming back to these families does not mean anything to you, nor does it mean anything to your peers in the top 1 percent. I doubt that any one of the families could afford to buy your attire from yesterday with the money they’re going to save under the new tax regulations. What would happen if the tables were turned and the bulk of the tax savings actually went to working families? This tax bill empowers the redistribution of wealth to those who already have it. It is NOT a gift to the middle class. It scares me.

All this brings me to the deregulation news. As stated earlier, I understand the need for the routine review/streamlining of regulations, and had positive expectations for this press conference. I became more skeptical as you spoke, and the longer I listened the more clearly I understood. This was an opportunity to heap praise on you and your administration. You wanted to me to believe that all those regulations you got rid of would make my life easier and more prosperous. Based on the outcomes of your previous endeavors with health care, taxes and a plethora of other issues, however, I now know who will receive the benefit: you and others of similar socioeconomic circumstances. I truly wish that I could believe that you have my best interests at heart, but the evidence is to the contrary. It scares me.

Thank you for your time,

Connie H. Gates