You can run but you cannot hide
The Way I See It
by DON WEST
Balanced budget and who’s paying their fair share are thoughts and comments being passed around the beltway. Since sequester has taken hold, there has been indication that National Parks may have limited operating hours, that some bureaucrats may have to miss a few hours of pay in a month, but I haven’t seen or heard anything about Congress giving up anything.
Let’s see – Congress has a 3-day work week and the run of the mill Congressman is paid $174,000 annually, with cost of living increases annually. They also have a variety of expense accounts, and some (because of security risks, according to Ms. Pelosi’s people, she doesn’t have an Air Force jet at her disposal) have to fly about the world in government-provided planes, while most are provided taxpayer transportation all around the beltway. They are also provided with the finest healthcare plans available for them and their families, and after serving only five years in Congress, are allowed to retire with full benefits. However, while they are still working, they seem to find ways to schedule “fact-finding missions” to exotic points around the world, and many times spouses/companions get to tag along.
Apparently, the clocks don’t work in Washington before 10 a.m., when most of us have been at work since 8 a.m. or before. The Congressional work schedule for the year 2013 is as follows: There are three months when Congress will be in session for eight days; two months they will work 11 days; two months – 12 days; two months – 14 days; one month 16 days; one month only nine days; and one month – just two days. That’s a total of 125 days for the entire year. I have watched some segments of Congress in session on C-Span, and for the most part, attendance is limited and many of your elected seem to be more involved in reading newspapers, books, or playing games on our taxpayers-provided laptops. Giving them the benefit of the doubt, and assuming they put in a 12 hour workday, that breaks down to $116.00 per hour, not including benefits. Meanwhile, the White House can only find places like Medicare, Social Security, food inspectors and air traffic controllers to cut spending.
The White House Staff consists of about 2,000 people, and I am not sure if that includes the hairdressers and makeup people. Salaries from $45,000 to nearly $200,000, plus benefits are common. I’m sure these figures and work schedules compare equally with all of you working folks out there.
Seems to me looking for ways to cut spending could be a full time job for many, until they discover that their job is one that should be cut. Then they stop looking – except for a place to hide.
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