Friday, October 22, 2010

My Fourth Rave – Congress and their Compensation and Benefits

          We hear a lot of talk from Congress, particularly certain members, that we are becoming a Socialistic state. We have far too many entitlement programs.  Of course, many of these “Entitlements” are things that the middle class pay for (e.g. Social Security and Medicare).  With President Obama’s healthcare plan, they are screaming even more.  Yet let’s take a look at what these folks do.
          When the “you know what” hit the fan, they didn’t hesitate to give Billions of dollars to their Wall Street buddies, so they could have more bonuses and fat paychecks.  Did any of that money help the people? No, of course not, just the fat cats.
          When there are budgetary troubles, what do they do? Things such as cutting Medicare payments.  Medicare pays so little now that most doctors lose money seeing a Medicare patient.  And guess what?  The military – which these same “leaders” love to send in harm’s way also get hit by this because TRICARE, the military medical plan, must pay what Medicare pays – this means that many military families and retirees can’t access their healthcare benefits that they’ve paid for with their very lives.
          Further, they love to raid the Social Security fund to help offset the general fund deficit.  This makes our FICA withholdings a de-facto Income Tax, and a regressive one at that, since it stops at a certain earning level. On top of that, Social Security beneficiaries, Military retirees and Disabled Veterans get no Cost of Living Allowance for the second year in a row.  The cost of living is going up, yet the military and retirees have to bear the burden.  For what?
          So Congress can have an outrageous compensation system with a wonderful retirement package after serving for just a few years.  They get a healthcare benefit that no-one else in this country gets.  They are living high on the backs of those who go into battle and come back chewed up.
          So, for every person in Congress and the Senate who complain about the benefits that we “Entitled People” such as totally disabled veterans like myself receive, I have a solution.  Let Congress receive Medicare as their healthcare plan.  No more super-supreme Federal employee plan – after all that’s socialism and entitlement.  Let Congress live on the wages that many of us have to live on, and let them try living in the conditions that those of us in the military live in.
          To our so called leaders – it’s time you put your money where your mouth is.

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