Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Bipartisan Congress kneels before
favorite special interest group - themselves.

Venom drips from my lips when I think of our current, decades old, elite in the Capitol building. For a bunch of lawyers, they construct vague, poorly drafted and over reaching legislation. They hold themselves up as public servants when they are nothing more than self-absorbed, power hungry mongrels. And somehow, they talk a willing media into waiting breathlessly for their next utterance to cast as a news headline.

Am I making myself clear here? I detest our elected elite. More than any President on record, I feel our nation's largest failings are the result of this body of humans.

Today brings nothing to alter that view. While Congress argues and dawdles dealing with troop funding and other national security issues... i.e. enforcing immigration books on the law, and FISA reform to fit today's enemy... they drop it all to overwhelmingly enact their favorite annual legislation... their ninth annual pay raise in the past decade.

Needless to say, there is one special interest group all in Congress pray to... themselves. At least they unite over something. But it sure isn't the interest of the people.

Kudos to Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby, calling them out in his op-ed today, "Congress helps itself, again".

Let us pause to salute the US Congress, whose members have once again shown themselves capable of surmounting partisan friction and institutional gridlock when it comes to serving a group of Americans they care about deeply: themselves.

When the 110th Congress returned from its holiday recess two weeks ago, the mountain of unfinished business it had left behind in 2007 was still waiting - everything from judicial nominations to bilateral trade agreements to the terrorist surveillance program to the farm bill. But the gentlemen and gentlewomen of the House and Senate made sure that nothing would impede what has become almost an annual tradition: the hike in their own salaries. When the sun rose on Jan. 1, so did congressional pay, from $165,200 to $169,300 - a tidy little jump of $4,100.

This marks the ninth raise Congress has given itself over the past decade. With the exception of 1999 and 2007, every New Year's Day since 1998 has triggered a boost in congressional salaries of between $3,100 and $4,900. While the median income of US families has increased by around $11,000 since 1998, the income of their representatives in Washington has increased by more than $30,000. Considering that the latter work for the former, the imbalance between them is striking.

It is also unconstitutional.

snip read in entirety at link above.. it's worth it!

This last bit dug up by Jacoby on the Congressional action being unConstitutional is very interesting... plus something I didn't know. One would have to wonder if there's an ACLU type or other crusader who may like to take Congress to the courts over this. Or am I holding my breath for the impossible....

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