From Dave Johnson at Seeing the Forest:
Are you still unemployed? Obviously it is because you are lazy. At least, many members of Congress think so, anyway.
And besides, cutting the deficit -- caused by tax cuts for the rich and massive military spending increases -- is much more important than paychecks for Americans. The solution to the deficit -- caused by tax cuts for the rich and massive military spending increases -- is to cut back on things that help the American public.
Here is Senator Gregg on CNBC (Senate salary $174,000, see benefits below**), saying that unemployment checks mean people are "encouraged not to go look for work" and "don't want to go look for work."
So remember, the deficit -- caused by tax cuts for the rich and massive military spending increases -- has to be brought down and the way to bring down the deficit -- caused by tax cuts for the rich and massive military spending increases -- is to cut back on things that help the American public, and cut back on the investments in infrastructure (the seed corn) that bring future economic growth.
But not to do anything about the cause of the deficits: tax cuts for the rich and massive military spending increases.So if you are unemployed, just remember, in Washington the people who put $13.89 trillion at risk to bail out the big Wall Street firms, $4.71 trillion disbursed with $2.01 trillion still outstanding, think this is because you are lazy.
Along with earning salaries, senators receive retirement and health benefits that are identical to other federal employees, and are fully vested after five years of service. Senators are covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). As it is for federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants' contributions. Under FERS, senators contribute 1.3% of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2% of their salary in Social Security taxes. The amount of a senator's pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of their salary. The starting amount of a senator's retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of their final salary. In 2006, the average annual pension for retired senators and representatives under CSRS was $60,972, while those who retired under FERS, or in combination with CSRS, was $35,952.
Thanks for clearing that up, Dave. For a moment there, I thought it was because we live in an oligarchy and our assigned places have been moved to the bottom of the ladder.
Now that I know it's our own fault, I'll try to do better.