June 29, 2008


Did you know Congress gave themselves another pay raise this year?  They gave themselves each $4,100 more a year, so they each get $169,300 a year now. In addition to their salary, they get cheap health and life insurance (about 1/3 the cost we pay) and free outpatient care from any military hospital (even if they never served), they're pension for when they retire is automatically adjusted for inflation and is about three times more generous to them than our 401Ks are to us.  On top of that, the Federal government takes our taxes and gives each Congressperson somewhere between 2 and 4 million dollars for their staff and the administration of their office, they get another free fund for their office furniture, we tax payers fund all the junk mail they send us (every email I send them results in a letter in my mailbox, even when I ask them to stop wasting my money with pointless letters.  Did you get that tax check in the mail?  First they send you a note, saying they were going to send it, then they sent you another note, saying it was almost here, then they sent the check... three mailings to millions of people... what a waste.).

They have also voted themselves tax breaks for having to maintain two homes, they get free travel (spouses included) from non-profit groups for most of their "working vacations."  They've voted themselves free research service, free, reserved parking at work and at the airport, free gyms, free swimming pools and low cost, high quality dining halls.  They get a constant stream of skybox  and other free tickets.  Their pensions grow based on how long they're in office and their other perks, like free research and free mailings, keep them in office. 

In November of 2004, 401 of the 435 sitting members of the U.S. House of Representatives sought reelection. Of those 401, all but five were reelected. In other words, incumbents seeking reelection to the House had a better than 99% success rate. In the U.S. Senate, only one incumbent seeking reelection was defeated. Twenty-five of twenty-six (96%) were reelected.  This is not healthy... how can so many people be so upset at Congress and yet they keep getting themselves re-elected into millionaire-pension-heaven?

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