Friday, March 18, 2011

How to trim the fat and cut the budget to save Americans plenty of cash
How much money do senators and representatives receive from their “service”? Senators and representatives receive $174,000 per year. There are 100 senators and 435 representatives in Congress—for an enormous outlay of $93,090,000 per year in salaries. After 10 years of presence in Washington, DC they can garner a whopping $930,900,000.

From long-term observation I can make the following statement: senators and representatives or civil servants, are neither civil or servants. They rob the populations’ coffers of valuable income with little or nothing to show for their “service.”

A Modest Proposal

If senators and representatives met for only one month per year or if there was an emergency, such as total loss of all infrastructure, all utilities, every bridge in the United States collapsed, every water plant was bombed and or poisoned, or if we faced an invasion by a hostile force, then meeting once a month per year would give them plenty of time to pass any critical legislation.

For the month that senators and representatives are in session they could be paid $18 per diem plus a monthly stipend of $3,041 less 25% taxes against said income for a total net income of $2,281.25. Therefore, if the stipend of $18 per day figured at 30 days of service ($540) and the net salary of $2,281.25 the total amount they could earn $2,821for 30 days of service. Of course, the senators and representatives would have to pay for their own health, optical, dental, and if they choose, long-term care insurance. I understand that the cost of insurance is steep and almost unaffordable on such a small salary, nevertheless they could live within a budget like the rest of their fellow citizens. For a single person, with no medical issues, health insurance can cost as much as $328 per month. Dental insurance for a family ranges from a low of $71 per month to a high of $171 per month. Since the earnings suggested under my plan would not be enough to pay for insurance, senators and representatives would have to find gainful employment outside the government sector. Term of service would be for one month per year; after their term of service was over they cannot seek public office again for the rest of their lives. This would therefore reduce life-long politicians living off the public teat.

Senators and representatives would not have time to wrangle, argue, or filibuster and so on; without such distractions they might actually have time to get the business of the country accomplished. However, if senators and representatives may decide to wrangle, argue, or filibuster (old habits die hard) there could be an incentive put in place for the senators and representatives to complete the country’s business in a timely fashion. For instance, if the senators and representatives want to wrangle, argue, or filibuster they could be fined 10% of their daily per diem and salary for every day they do not come to an agreement on legislation. Let’s say the senators and representatives can’t seem to make up their minds whether to pass important legislation or to stonewall on passage of said legislation, and then a penalty would ensue. The penalty would work something like the following scenario: Let’s say the senators and representatives take 10 extra days to finally reach agreement on legislation, and then they finally come to an agreement, vote, and pass the legislation. The penalty incurred would be $76 deducted per day from their salary and a mere $5.40 would be deducted from their per diem, for a total loss of income to the senators and representatives of $814.

I arrived at the above figures for the senators’ and representatives’ salaries based on the salary and per diem of the average public school teacher’s salary. Most teachers earn $36,500 per year with a bachelor’s degree and $1,000 per year salary hike if they have a master’s degree. In fact, most schools cap teacher’s salaries after 20 years of teaching to $45,000 per year. Many teachers do receive medical and health benefits with co-pays from $25 per doctor’s office visit to $15 prescription co-pay. However, most have to contribute for the insurance—typically 20% of their gross salary. If the teacher adds dependents to the school’s insurance carrier the cost can soar as high as 40% of the teacher’s gross salary.

Additionally, senators and representatives could earn a bonus of $100 for each outdated bill they remove from the books. The bonus would also apply to bills that are money wasters and which have no public benefit.

Finally, senators and representatives would lose one of the most coveted privileges of any lawmaker—the inflated retirement package. Under my proposal lawmakers would not receive a pension or any amount for serving their fellow citizens. In fact, they would be subject to the same social security withholding that other citizens are paying. This would mean the end of the golden parachute and add more revenue to the nation’s treasury.

Do I hear strains of “Happy Days are Here Again”?
Obama offers an inadequate “solution” to the nation’s 14 trillion dollar “budget” by suggesting to halt expenditures for the next five years. However, in the same breath he suggests that he needs for monies to run the country…and whom does he offer on the altar of Moloch? U.S. business and taxpayers.

(Alexandria, VA) – President Obama's statement in yesterday evening's State of the Union speech that "the rules have changed" will likely surprise many taxpayers hoping for more specifics on how much they'll save–or pay–due to his fiscal policy proposals. According to a line-by-line analysis of his State of the Union speech by the non-partisan National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), all the quantifiable items in President Obama's speech taken together would increase federal spending by more than $20 billion, but the large number of items whose impact is unclear could dramatically affect this total.
"President Obama's speech last night hinted at tax reform, and spending restraint, but also opened the door to tax increases [emphasis mine] and major spending initiatives," said NTUF Senior Policy Analyst Demian Brady. "Americans heard encouraging words about more efficient government, but little in the way of specifics about spending priorities. This leaves taxpayers wondering not only whether the federal budget deficit is headed upward or downward, but also by how much."

President Obama is a combination of the Artful Dodger and Mr. Limbkins, who was, according to the tale spun by Charles Dickens, “a fat, healthy man.”
Lest this post be misunderstood, let me be clear, I am not targeting, (yes, I used the word “targetting”), President Obama as the lone culprit responsible for the financial crisis we are in; let me make another statement: Many of our Congressmen are more akin to the Artful Dodger in Oliver Twist, than the orphan children who are kept alive on very meager rations. You may recall that the Artful Dodger kept a cadre of pick pockets—typically street waifs who could not care for their own needs without the intervention of an authority figure. The President legalizes the crime of picking pockets while he and his cronies (legislators) feed off the public teat.
Poor Oliver Twist (AKA—the American taxpayer) has the temerity to ask for relief from the burden of accumulating debt. Instead of mercy and aid, he receives scorn and ridicule. Moreover, for his transgression Oliver Twist gets—utter incredulity from Mr. Limbkins (AKA President Obama and his wastelings—the legislators). Instead of satisfaction and relief from the yoke of servitude, Oliver Twist (AKA—the American taxpayer), is threatened with an even more severe punishment than that of the orphanage; he is threatened to be sold to anyone with five pounds to spare, i.e. $12.20 in today’s currency.
The smoke and mirrors and switch and bait tactics used by politicians should be no surprise to observers of the American political establishment. Even the most upright and conscientious lawmaker has to make a deal with the Devil every now and then—that is the nature of the Beast in Washington. Nevertheless, fellow citizens, do not let this crisis go to waste. Write your lawmakers. Talk to your friends. Tweet, Digg, in other words, let everyone know that as voters and citizens we demand a change in how our government is operated.


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