pay until they
get something done
Members of Congress get a base salary of $174,000 per year in this building for doing nothing. Click image to enlarge. Photograph by KP Tripathi.
Are you one of the millions of Americans affected because Congress can’t get anything done?
Not in my lifetime have the 535 representatives – including 100 Senators – been so dysfunctional.
Because of the gridlock, Social Security taxes went up for everyone on Jan. 1, 2013; military spending is being cut drastically – affecting thousands of jobs; the interest rate on student loans doubled on July 1.
Members of the House and Senate should have their pay suspended until they DO SOMETHING.
Reporter Jonathan Weisman at The New York Times could not say that in his story this morning: In Congress, Gridlock and Harsh Consequences but I can and just did.
“Even in some of the worst years of partisan gridlock, a deadline has meant something to Congress — until 2013,” Weisman reports on Page A3 of the national edition of The New York Times today.
“Legislation that has reached President Obama’s desk this year has often been small bore and ceremonial, like the authorization of a commemorative coin bill.”
But the American people are not that stupid.
According to the latest Gallup poll, conducted June 1-4, only 17 percent of those asked expressed approval of the job Congress is doing.
Seventy-eight percent disapproved.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) announces in the Senate her bill to ward off student loan interest rate increases.
This is virtually unchanged from the previous year, when it was 79 percent to 17 percent disapproval.
Senators make $174,000 per year in base pay, not counting benefits and perks, like expense accounts.
According to the Congressional Research Service, “since January, 2009, the compensation for most Representatives and Senators has been $174,000. Compensation for the Speaker of the House is $223,500, while the President pro
tempore of the Senate and the majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate receive $193,400.
What a shocking waste of OUR money!
I blogged about the student loan fiasco twice.
The most recent post, only July 1, was “Congress could have avoided debacle if it cared”
Obviously it did not.
The reason this is true is because it totally ignored a terrific solution proposed in May by freshman Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass).
This graph from the Fed speaks volumes about the extent of the student loan bubble … and the trend is ever skywards. Source: Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
I blogged about this on May 16, just a week after she introduced her bill. See “Elizabeth Warren introduces bill to stave of financial ruin for many”
But there are so many other cases this year alone, in which failure to do something – anything – has had disastrous consequences.
Weisman lists many of them in his story. The so-called “sequester” is Exhibit A.
Then there’s the farm bill (we waste billions subsidizing Agribusiness); immigration reform; not to mention all the thousands of revisions to legislation required by the recent Supreme Court decision that DOMA is unconstitutional.
It’s not as if congressional dysfunction and inability to get anything done is harmless.
Millions are suffering unnecessarily because these highly paid representatives just sit on their duffs. They are more concerned about raising cash for reelection than anything else.
It’s time we, the people, did something about it.
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