Are the only people in the world who CREATE problems and then campaign against them.
One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one President, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings of the 300 million people in this country. It is those 545 people who are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.
It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million cannot replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people.
They, and they alone, should be held
accountable by the people who are their bosses.
And speaking of holding these people accountable....do you have ANY IDEA how much money, and how many special benefits your Congressman and your Senator have handed to them, at taxpayer expense every single year?
Pay and Perquisites of Members of Congress
WHAT IS CONGRESS?
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Both senators and representatives are chosen through direct election. Each state, regardless of population, has two senators, and since there are fifty states, there are one hundred senators who serve six-year terms. The terms are staggered, so every two years, approximately one-third of the Senate is up for election. While it's theoretically possible to have total turnover in the House every two years and in the Senate every six years, actual turnover is much less, since most incumbents seek re-election, and their historical likelihood of winning subsequent elections exceeds 90%.
AVERAGE INCOME FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS:
The median American income is $45,113 for men and $35,102 for women
HOW MUCH ARE CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS PAID?
In 2006, congresspersons received a yearly salary of $165,200.
In 2008, lawmakers voted themselves a $4,100 raise.
In 2009, Congress took their COLA of 2.8 percent at a cost of $2.5 million to you, the taxpayer, which upped their annual salaries.
On January 1, 2011, bowing to growing budget concerns and months of Republican political pressure on federal pay and benefits, pay increases for most of the two million people who work for the federal government went into effect.
Members of Congress, and Congressional staffers however, were exempted from that pay freeze.
The current salary (2011) for rank-and-file members of the
House and Senate is $174,000 per year.
Majority and minority leaders of both chambers and Senate president pro temporare have salaries of $193,400.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner, earns $223,500 annually.
NEXT comes a mountain of perqs (pronounced "perks") that most Fortune 500 companies couldn't begin to rival. As noted, the base salary for a member of Congress is $174,000. But all members enjoy access to a separate piggy bank known as their "allowance." This funding generally goes toward maintaining their offices and building up a legislative entourage.
CONGRESSIONAL PRIVILEGES INCLUDE:
OFFICES, FURNITURE, & DISCOUNT SHOPPING PRIVILEGES:
A seat in Congress comes with office space -- lots of it. Not only do members move into an office on Capitol Hill, they maintain space in their home districts and states too. For senators, this benefit has a pretty high cap - up to 8,200 square feet. The Congressional Research Service (CRS) report says there is "no restriction" on the number of offices they can open in federal buildings in their home states. Plus senators get to shop at the equivalent of Congress' IKEA -- furniture supplied through the Architect of the Capitol. Every senator gets $40,000 -- and potentially more -- for furniture in their home-state offices.
BONUS TAX DEDUCTION:
Members of Congress can deduct up to $3,000 for expenses while outside their home districts or states.
HOUSE: Representatives are allowed to spend more than $900,000 on salaries for up to 18 permanent employees.
personal staff allowances vary with the size of the members' states. For 2009, the maximum salary for a staffer in a member's personal office was $168,411 in the House.
SENATE: Senators enjoy the same privilege but get a much bigger allowance for their office expenses. According to a Congressional Research Service report, the average allocation for fiscal 2010 was more than $3.3 million. Personnel money varies, depending upon how big of a state a senator represents -- a senator from New York is going to get more than a senator from Montana. But for starters, each senator is given a $500,000 budget to hire up to three (3) legislative assistants.
Senators may hire as many aides as they wish within their allowance; typically this ranges between 26 and 60, depending on the size of the state and the salary levels offered to the staffers. Committee staffers, in certain instances, may be eligible for a slightly higher salary than regular staff.
Up to $75,000 of a representative's staff funds can be transferred to his or her official expense account for use in other categories, such as computer and "related services".
Expense Allowances for members, kept separate from personal staff allowances, cover domestic travel, stationery, newsletters, overseas postage, telephone and telegraph service, and other expenses in Washington and in the members' state or congressional districts.
The Franking Privilege, a valuable perquisite, allows a member to mail official letters and packages under the members' signature without charges for postage. Members of Congress may send official mail to constituents at government expense. Though they are not permitted to send election materials, borderline material is often sent, especially in the run-up to an election by those in close races. Many consider that the free mailings give political incumbents a big advantage over challengers.
FREE DOMESTIC TRAVEL:
Domestic Travel Allowances (to and from District/State)
HOUSE: Included in office expenses is a minimum amount of $9,700 (2003), with additional funding based on a formula that uses the distance from Washington, DC to the farthest point in the Congressional district from Washington.
SENATE: The official expense allowance is based overall on population and distance, and includes travel.
FREE FOREIGN TRAVEL
Foreign Travel by members for the conduct of government business is financed through special allowances. These funds can come from various sources.
The Senate has averaged about three working days on Capitol Hill - three-and-a-half if you count Monday nights. Plus there are several breaks, which Congress calls "work periods," penciled in the calendar throughout the year. This year, members of Congress returned to their districts for a Presidents Day break, a spring break, a Memorial Day break, an Independence Day break and a summer break. Sept. Congress is about to adjourn again until early November so members can campaign. Of course, that's good old-fashioned time off for senators not up for re-election this year.
Consider, if you will;
If both the Democrats and the Republicans
are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?
If all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes,WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?
You and I don't propose a federal budget. The President does.
You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.
You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.
You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.
Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing us that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.
What separates a politician from a
normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being
would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President
for creating deficits..... The President can only propose a budget.
He cannot force the Congress to accept it.
You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does. And THAT problem was created by the Congress.
In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.
When you fully grasp the plain truth
that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it
must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.
If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.
If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red ..
If the Army & Marines are in Iraq and Afghanistan it's because they want them in Iraq and Afghanistan.
If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.
Special interests and lobbyists have
no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman,
or a President to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a
politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept
or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility
to determine how he votes.
The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. The House members, not the President, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.
Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.
They, and they alone, have the power..
Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.
There are no insoluble government problems.
Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.
A HAND IN THE COOKIE JAR
A new report from the Washington Post shows that members of Congress have become much more wealthy over the past few decades, even as personal wealth has declined for most Americans.
Peter Whoriskey writes that median Congressional net worth, adjusted for inflation, has more than doubled between 1984 (the first year for which statistics are available) and 2009: from $280,000 to $725,000.
Meanwhile, median net worth for an American family is not only just $20,500, but is $100 less than in 1984. The Post acknowledges that this increase is unlikely to have been caused by Congressional salaries, which have actually dropped in real dollars since the 1970s. However, they point out that the cost of running a Congressional campaign has quadrupled, discouraging those without personal wealth from running.
However, the Post does not mention recent reports that Congressional representatives have profited from using classified information to increase their personal wealth. Investigations by Newsweek and 60 Minutes exposed that politicians from both sides of the aisle have benefited from behavior that would be considered illegal insider trading for anyone else, but is technically not illegal for members of Congress.
A bill has been introduced that would prevent Congressional representatives and their staff from profiting from insider trading.
Republicans promptly derailed it, preventing the bill from being either heard or voted upon.
This is NOT our father's Republican Party.
VOTE OUT this bunch of ruthless thugs wearing flag pins and expensive suits who are raping and pillaging and setting fire to everything in their path. VOTE OUT these "Republican & Tea Party" hoodlums who are stealing money and hard won rights from workers, women, senior citizens, students, children and now targeting EVEN the disabled.
These thieves turned our budget surplus into a monumental deficit and now they're stealing from not only the middle class but from the most helpless among us, when all the while they're helping their wealthy corporate benefactors get away with highway robbery.
The "Party of Fiscal Responsibility?" In a pigs eye. These clowns can't even balance their OWN budget. The Republican National Committee is currently $23 million in debt and they've maxed out their credit lines.
Next on their rape and pillage agenda is their plan to sell off OUR public lands and utilities to private corporations. Top priorities: "corporatize and privatize state-owned enterprises" - and "wean people from the idea the state supports everything."
Here's a question: Who voted for these greedy bastards? And isn't ANYBODY with a brain paying attention?
We had best USE our power to vote in 2012 before the Republicans manage to steal THAT away from us too.
VOTE THE REPUBLICANS AND TEA PARTIERS OUT OF OFFICE IN 2012 AND MAKE DAMN SURE THE INCOMING DEMOCRATS KNOW WHO THEIR BOSSES ARE.
"This is NOT our father's Republican Party"
1. "Pay and Perquisites of Members of Congress -
STEALING US BLIND"
2. "G.E.'s Strategies Let It Avoid Taxes All Together,"
The New York Times, March 24, 2011
3. "Guess Which 10 Companies Aren't Paying Their
Share," MoveOn.org, accessed April 4, 2011
4. "RNC Dept Looms Over GOP Field"
5. "Shock Doctrine USA".
excerpts from 545 PEOPLE --By Orlando Sentinel columnist Charlie Reese