Take it out of their Paychecks
To solve the debt crisis, Americans—who are already suffering in these tough economic times—will have to make even more sacrifices. Maybe it’s time for Congress to start making some sacrifices themselves.
Currently about 90 members collect a federal pension and many more collect a state or local pension atop their six figure taxpayer-financed salary.
The practice of piling a pension atop a paycheck may be legal, but it is still an objectionable practice. Elected officials shouldn’t simultaneously draw a public pension while cashing a government paycheck, because we taxpayers –whom rarely see fixed pensions anymore, ultimately foot at least part of the bill for both. The fact that federal lawmakers can draw large retirement payments atop generous taxpayer-funded salaries only helps fuel the widespread sense that the ruling class in Washington puts its own interests first. Well you might do the same if you were allowed to write your own generous rules allowing for earlier retirement or a fatter pension.
Even the wealthiest members of Congress collect their tax payer subsidized pensions as well as their unneeded social security checks. If you were worth hundreds of millions of dollars would you consider forfeiting your $1000 per month social security check for the good of the nation that you are supposed to be serving?
Rep. Richard Nugent, R-Fla., introduced legislation in January 2013 to limit congressional pensions while collecting a public retirement benefit. The legislation would allow House members to opt out of their congressional pension (it’s currently mandatory) and titled it the Congress Is Not a Career Act. This bill was assigned to a congressional committee on January 15, 2013, which will consider it before possibly sending it on to the House or Senate as a whole. It has an estimated 18% prognosis of passing-not likely.
One would think that in these troubled economic times they would not want to further break the backs of the American taxpayer. Clearly the system is broken; why we are coddling these inept elected officials when they cannot perform the simplest of task, do their jobs and get moving forward instead of constantly backward?
I propose an idea. How about we suspend their pensions and their salaries until they can get their act together and come to terms on the debt ceiling and ACA? I can only imagine that would get them motivated enough to get off their asses, quit being stubborn and start compromising on BOTH sides.
Maybe Obama should issue a state of emergency executive order for this one. I wouldn’t count on it.