Friday, December 30, 2011

Congress enjoys fat pensions and 401(k) plans while Americans just get poorer

The current Congress will have a hard time convincing the American public they should be re-elected, except for those dolts that walk around in a daze and end up voting for who they are told to vote for.  It’s pathetic, but in my estimation, it is this apathetic group that can often sway elections.  Otherwise, how would you explain nit-wit incompetents like Arizona’s sham Gov. Jan Brewer getting into office?  There is no other explanation, and it is likely that 2012 will be the long awaited reckoning.

In the meantime, these blundering blockheads we have sent to Washington will go on their merry way and even if we throw them out will enjoy a hefty pension of an average $40,000 per Congress member per year.  The taxpayer’s portion of that nice nest egg is 23 percent, according to newspaper columnist Laurie Roberts who laments “…the number of the people who approve of the job they're doing could fit comfortably into a Smart car…”  In addition there is a lucrative 401(k) plan which taxpayers also must contribute to.

All this while recent Census figures show that almost 1 in every 2 people in the United States are now considered poor or low-income.  You read that right; 146,400,000 people now fall into that category, based on current population figures from the U.S. Census.  And the numbers could go up if states continue to make further cuts.  But a conservative researcher says some of those in this class “…live in decent-size homes, drive cars and own wide-screen TVs.”  There is always the exception, but this does not explain the overall situation.

The actual figures are 97.3 million in the low income category and 49.1 million below the poverty line.  And the total is up by 4 million since 2009.  Yet the GOP refuses to allow a tax on millionaires that could help in stabilizing the economy and putting many of these people at the poverty level back to work.  But Tom Coburn of CNN says the millionaire tax won’t work but suggests instead ending  earmarks for the wealthy.

These earmarks include tax write-offs for second homes and luxury yachts, gambling losses, business expenses, electric vehicle credits, even child care tax credits.  There are unemployment checks in the amount of $74 million, $316 million in farm subsidies, $9 billion in retirement checks, and $16 million in government-backed loans to attend college.  If we can’t tax the filthy rich, at least we should be able to take away perks that could be going to help low income and poor.

To me this sounds absolutely ridiculous and reeks of the grounds on which most Social Democracies are founded.  A financial inequity such as we have in America today has all the elements of a revolution and there are many out there that have already been pushed to the limit.  The Occupy Movement is an example and considering its longevity so far, could easily pave the way to more disorder in the trenches.  The extreme conservative right must take full credit for the situation we are in, and progressives must realize the opportunity at hand and take full advantage.

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