The Thirty Minute Blogger

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

A Modest Proposal for Congress: Make Unproductive Quibbling Expensive

Do you get paid to do nothing? Does sitting on your hands while major projects remain undone get you a fat paycheck at the end of the week? I didn't think so. Me neither. But apparently our Congress people and Senators do. So, I have a modest proposal to "encourage" these civil servants, whose salaries we pay, to get back to work. But first a few figures:

Congress persons and senators receive $174,000 a year, whether they do their jobs or not, whether they declare their primary job to be trying to make the current president a one term president or they roll up their sleeves and are about the people's business. Without calculating in the higher pay of leadership, that means you and I are paying $93,090,000 a year to these folks. I'm sure to the many multimillionaires on Capitol Hill this seems like a pittance and a sacrifice, but for the rest of us that's a darned fat paycheck!

This would be all well and good if said national politicians were working for us and getting their jobs done. But, they aren't. Now, I propose that until this situation is corrected we return to the pay rate offered these civil servants from 1789 to 1815, a $6 per diem. Along with this, we strip these hardly working folks of their parking privileges on Capitol Hill and at the local airports. When the job is being done to the majority of Americans' satisfaction, their current pay rate could be returned, but only then.

Now, I'm sure there will be all sorts of quibbling over how these people are actually paid and who is doing the paying, but there has to be SOME way to get their collective attentions and end these futile rounds of bickering at our expense. Right now over 9% of the American population is unemployed, and that is only those individuals who remain on the unemployment roles. Those who use up their unemployment benefits are dropped from the roles, so the number is actually higher. College students with new degrees go wanting. Business groups insult the unemployed by suggesting they don't work because they receive fat unemployment checks. REALLY folks? That is incredibly insulting. Shut your mouths! We are in a 10 year seemingly endless war losing the lives of dedicated young Americans every week. Protest movements are growing throughout the nation, trying to get the attentions of these supposed civil servants and make them do what is right. And yet, these politicians intend to do nothing about these dire situations for over a year, riding things out until the next election. This is, in my humble opinion, obscene and we the people should put an end to it. Hence, my modest proposal.

Now, anyone have any real ideas on how to end this insane circular firing squad and put these overpaid, under-performing employees back to work? I'd really like to know!

Follow up from October 14, 2011: Listening to NPR out of WAMU discussing politics and a caller made the following comment, which I was ready to dismiss as conspiracy material: "The Republicans made such a mess of the country from 2000-2008 that they will not now let the Democrats fix things and make them look worse." I waited for the commentators, political reporters and that lot, to refute this comment as partisan bias. THEY DID NOT! If this is correct, Republican politicians need to get their heads on straight, work for the nation they are supposed to protect, and stop this nonsense. Personally, I prefer (as you can see above) to be more democratic in assigning blame. It takes two to refuse to tango.

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