Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Congress on the back of a Milk carton

Have you seen your Congressional Representative lately?

It almost seems that when members of Congress are not mugging in front of the camera that they go missing. I saw a few pictures on the back of an expired milk carton in my refrigerator the other day, but instead of returning them, let’s let them stay lost.

It not uncommon that when they do return home, that they hold Town Hall meetings to hear from their constituents, but this year, those Town Halls are more like Ghost Towns.

Many, from both sides of the aisle, fear their constituents right now as the approval rating for Congress is a pathetic 17%. But who is to blame for that disgusting number?

Do we blame the Media with constantly drowning the viewer with battles over budgets and credit limits? Or do we blame Congress for their lack of work ethic?

A few days ago, I read an interesting piece by Chris Moody titled “Are members of Congress paid enough?” which the title alone floored me.
The majority make $174K a year, plus benefits. Not to mention that much of their work also reflects the Stock Market, so they actually get away with a silent Inside Trade when you think about it.

Seriously, if a bunch of members of Congress constantly talk about how the Dollar is dying, people will flock to buy Gold or other precious metals. So wouldn’t you, as a member of Congress, buy Gold before you opened your mouth right now with a Recession? Ask Rep. Ron Paul about his portfolio next time there is a Presidential debate or he holds a Town Hall.

Yet, the Congressional Freshman on both sides of the aisle are crying about how little they get paid, how they don’t get time to spend with family and how much work they do for little pay.

How dare they whine about making $175k yearly when there are roughly 14 million unemployed right now or the many that lost their savings & retirement funds or those that have exhausted everything.

How dare they cry about not being able to make ends meet when there are many making $100k to $150k less trying to make ends meet.

How dare they whine about not being able to spend time with their families when there are men and women who volunteered to put their lives on the line to protect this Nation, many of which haven’t seen their families in 2 or 3 years for far less than the average member of Congress endures.

I have no pity for members of Congress, for they knew what they were getting into when they decided to campaign for the job. If you don’t like it, then do not run for re-election and let the voters bring in someone that wants to do the work.

Did they think they were joining a Fraternity? Quick someone wake Senator Blutowski from Delta House.

But the complaining about their Congressional pay is a fraction of the story. Many members of Congress are skipping out on their constituents as I stated earlier.

While having an entire month to rest, recoup, spend time with family, set up their Fantasy Football drafts and what not, many have decided not to hold Town Hall meetings and those that have held a meeting, some are charging admission or placing rules for entrance for the Town Hall.


Well the contentious manner that has been rumbling through their districts is why. By charging admission, they figure they might weed out the extremely upset constituent and not end up as Youtube.com fodder for the Media.

A few years ago, the Media was drooling over video feeds by constituents verbally attacking their Congressperson during the “Obamacare” talks. Stories came from the Democrats that Conservative PAC groups were planting operatives in the audiences to cause a stir, to which the videos were gold for FOX and MSNBC.

Those videos helped in the 2010 elections, with the Republicans winning the House and gaining seats in the Senate.

So fast forward to the Spring of 2011 and the budget battles that engulfed the Media.

Finally after a few years of being pushed to the back of the group, the Republicans let Rep Paul Ryan work a Budget, a budget that included many spending cuts towards Entitlements. The result was another barrage of angry constituents against the Republicans and their claims of Democratic operatives stirring up the angry mobs.

Yes there were those that still held Town Halls, not all those in Congress are bad, but there are those that abruptly cancelled Town Halls or left in the middle because they couldn’t handle the barrage of questions concerning Social Security or Medicare or why that particular Congressman signed some stupid petition about “Not raising taxes” (Grover Norquist) or abolishing abortion (Susan B Anthony List)?

For instance California’s Rep. Dan Lungren, threaten to leave a Town Hall last week after repeatedly being asked about supporting the Bush Tax Cuts, his only reply was “everyone benefited from the Bush tax cuts as did President Obama.”

That is not an answer, just a statement with very little substance.

Sen. Jim Thume of South Dakota said the most asked questions are “Where are the jobs?” and “What are we doing about Social Security in the long run?” People want answers and no one is answering.

But those that have decided to place an admission fee for a Town Hall are completely out of line. Who are these people?

Well Rep Paul Ryan was one of them! Funny the man who is in charge of trying to straighten the Government bank account and cut unnecessary spending wants to charge constituents money to listen to him speak. Talk about a slap in the face.

So what did some of his constituents do? They staged a “sit in” at his Wisconsin offices until they got their chance to speak to him. After all, was it not they who put him into office? The final result was that his staff called the police and the “sit in” ended peacefully.

Yes, being a member of Congress is a 24/7 365 day a year job. You are constantly campaigning from the time you take your oath till the next election cycle. But members of Congress must remember that they were elected by the people and are there to do the work for the people.

That’s all people; rich and poor, young and old, healthy and sick. No matter that constituent’s religious belief or ethnic background, they were elected to do a job, not pad a resume to take a job with a lobbying firm or become a collegiate professor or even get a job as a two bit talk show host when their term ends.

They need to be reminded who pays their salary.

So call you’re their offices, flood their emails, crash their websites with the questions that they are not truly answering, because you’ll find out, they don’t have an answer for you unless you make big $ donations to their re-election campaign.

Oh look, a new picture on the back of my milk carton that resembles the US Capital building. WOW! 535 missing elected officials. Let them stay lost!

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