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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Save tax dollars. Don't pay Congress

Here's a simple solution to putting some reality -- and urgency -- into the debt ceiling talks in Washington: No one gets paid until it gets done.

I'm not talking about Social Security recipients now being held as potential hostages. No, I'm talking about John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Harry Reid -- every elected official in Washington who draws a payroll check written on the federal treasury.

I'm talking about taking away their staff, their drivers and federally funded cars, their health insurance. I'm talking about taking the keys to the House and Senate gyms. And I would take away their access to the lobbyists who wine and dine them and meet their every need through fund-raisers.

Actually I would start with the Tea Party Caucus -- the Jim DeMints, Michele Bachmanns and Rand and Ron Pauls who say talk of default is a bunch of hooey. Let them see what it's like not to exist with a federal paycheck.

Let them try to live on an unemployment check or a welfare check. Or food stamps.

No, not even the minimum wage for these jokers. Nothing. I'd suggest they check out the accommodations at the DC homeless shelters but those are probably already packed.

Sadly, I doubt it would make a difference. The median estimated wealth for Senate freshman is $3.96 million; for the House freshman it's $570, 418. Sixty percent of Senate freshman are millionaires and so are 40 percent of House freshman.

That's compared to 1 percent of all Americans.

We have the best damn government money can buy -- a government of the lobbyists, by the lobbyists and for the lobbyists. What the rest of us offer is chump change compared to the Koch brothers.

Tea Party lawmakers claim to be in touch with average Americans, but the reality suggests otherwise. Let them live like us, even for a few weeks, to get their heads out of the sand and see what the impact of their proposed recklessness would be.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

It depends on your definition of a millionaire, but being one is no longer so unusual. Total assets (house,401K,cars,boats) all totaling a million? Or a paid off house with a million in cash? Either way start to change the atmosphere in Washington and tie lawmakers pay to performance.

July 11, 2011 8:55 AM  
Anonymous Mike the Mad Biologist said...

It might not affect many congressmen and senators, but the staffers would be hit really hard--they don't get paid much and DC is expensive.

The holdouts would crumple in a week.

July 11, 2011 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And then along comes a story about the ridiculous excess in today's government spending. Although it's a city in Calif. it exhibits the liberal mantra of well paid government employees are only holding back the assault on the middle class and the attempt by tea partiers to tear at the fabric of America will doom us all to live in serfdom. A recent retiree in Newport Beach will get his pension at 51 and collect 108,000 a year when he leaves his lifeguard job.

July 12, 2011 4:51 AM  

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