Eliminate Benefits for Congress

By John R. “Buck” Surdu

Statista asserts that 78% of the American people disapprove of Congress as of April 2023. Indeed, in recent years, disapproval ratings of all federal institutions have skyrocketed. The approval rating of the person occupying the oval office is less than 30%, prompting one to think about the incredible level of brainwashing of that 30%. The ruling cabal has created an unending flood of policies that damage America and enrich our enemies while punishing Americans. Some days, it seems like the mission of the media, schools, and government is to destroy faith and trust in our government and its institutions. We have been treated to an incessant stream of lies, corruption, deception, coverups, unequal treatment under the law, and fascism. The word “citizen” has become synonymous with “serf,” as I asserted here. Once-trusted institutions like the CDC and NIH showed themselves to be political power grabbers instead of apolitical, analytical, and trustworthy protectors. There are almost uncountable examples of the Department of Injustice and its various arms of fascism being weaponized against the American taxpayers. Epoch Times recently synopsized several examples of the FBI weaponization against Americans and unlawful retaliation against whistleblowers, including targeting pro-life activists. Like petulant children, Democrat senators are proposing to pack the Supreme Court because they don’t like their rulings. Incompetence is the hallmark of every cabinet secretary of the ruling junta. Recently articles of impeachment were filed against several. District attorneys throw the book at law-abiding citizens while releasing violent criminals with mile-long rap sheets. Through all of this, the poltroons in Congress have continued to spend money that is not theirs to “fix” problems they created in the first place. That leads me to believe that every dollar we spend on Congressional salaries and benefits is $1B wasted.

Congress and courts have tortured the 10th Amendment of the Constitution for decades, steadily increasing the size of the US government and its reach into powers prohibited to them. Yet they still fail to do the few things the Constitution does empower them to do, like pass a budget on time. On top of Unconstitutional overreach, Congress and the federal bureaucracy have weaponized once-trusted institutions against the American people. So far, other than ineffectual hearings on the weaponization of the federal government, repugnant Republicans have done nothing to rein in the blatant abuses of power. Even with the ridiculously unearned salaries of Congressmen, they still manage to bounce checks.

This meme was recently posted on Fascistbook:

We The People need to strip the pensions away from Congress. If they can get a lifelong pension of $110,000 to $174,000 a year, they don’t care if they get fired. Time to set term limits of 2 years and only a 6-month pension of 25% of their present pay level at removal. Then they need to find a job like their bosses, WE THE PEOPLE do.

I am not in favor of term limits, which I will explain below, but there is a lot of common sense in much of this idea.

I am not a critic of hunting, and I think it serves many useful purposes, but I do object to calling shooting an animal from half a mile away with a high-powered rifle “sport.” The worst you can do is draw. Hunting a bear with a black-powder pistol is a “sport.” You can lose. In the same vein, time in Congress is in no way, shape, or form “service.”

I experience a wave of nausea every time I hear the phrase so-and-so “served” in Congress. Many (most?) enter Congress as paupers and leave as millionaires due mostly the corruption and insider trading. How is that “service?” Congressmen have better health care, better pensions, and exemptions from paying into social security. How is that “service?” They jet around the world at taxpayer expense. How is that “service?”

USAFacts reports that the median income of Americans was $45,760 in 2021. The salary of Congressmen should be capped at that medium income. That might make those enemies of the Constitution in DC think twice about policies that increase inflation, increase food prices, increase taxes, and increase fuel prices for “deplorables” in “flyover country.” This salary might be supplemented by the same locality bonus that military members get for living in higher-cost areas in the form of the same Variable Housing Allowance. No more! From that they should have to pay FICA, Social Security, and other taxes on Americans’ wages. Let them see what an effective 50% tax rate feels like.

When Congressmen travel, they should be subject to the Joint Travel Regulation. That means traveling cattle class on commercial airlines.

Congressmen should be subject to penalties for violating the Joint Ethics Regulation. Congressmen should get no special exceptions, caveats, or carve-outs.

I support the creation of military-style barracks for Congressmen. Take the plans for barracks at any Army base and construct barracks for Congressmen at Ft. Belvoir, VA. (Air Force barracks are too nice for Congressmen!!) The barracks are not plush Arlington townhouses; they are single-bed rooms with a shared bathroom between two rooms. Those barracks might even have a mess hall representing a typical mess hall on an Army base. (Air Force mess halls are too nice for Congressmen!!). Make Congressmen take an electrically powered bus from the barracks to Capitol Hill and back daily.

There should be no pension for Congressmen. Today Congressmen can collect a pension after a single two-year term!! They could pay into the SAME Thrift Savings Plan available to government employees and the military. No more.

They should get the same health care as the rest of us. Let them suffer with ever-decreasing quality and responsiveness of health care like the rest of us. They should pay into Obama Care like the rest of us are forced to do and get Medicare when the time comes.

Eliminate their ability to engage in insider trading. Penalties should be swift and severe.

Upon leaving Congress, they should be subject to the same proscriptions against working for organizations that represent back to the government that general officers are supposedly subject to.

That is starting to look like “service.”

Apply those same standards to ALL branches of the federal government, capping the salaries of cabinet secretaries, political appointees, the vice president, and the president at similarly paltry levels.

Most importantly severe limits must be placed on Staffers. Many people have proposed term limits on Congressmen. Be careful what you ask for. The problem with term limits is that they move power from barely accountable politicians to unaccountable staffers, bureaucrats, and swamp creatures. I have personal experience with staffers. Some are conscientious and capable, but most stick around long enough to have a bloated sense of self-worth and their own personal (nearly Papal) infallibility. Many (most?) speak disparagingly about the Congressmen they are supposed to be serving. In the military I watched many bloviating government employees apply passive-aggressive tactics against rotating military commanders and directors. If they don’t like an initiative, they will just wait them out. The federal bureaucracy, already out of control, will be emboldened to greater fascism and depravations if they know that they can just do whatever they want regardless of what their Congressman tells them. I have even experienced staffers working behind the scenes in direct opposition to their Congressmen.

Recent articles have expounded on the toxic environment and low pay of staffers. The notion of unionizing staffers has also been proposed. Even if you foolishly support the very idea of public sector unions, poor conditions for staffers seem okay to me. Do your time; perform something that resembles “service;” learn a little; stroke your ego; make some sort of contribution; convince yourself that you are smarter, wiser, and more worthy than the Americans who pay your salary; and then go get a real job in the real world where they expect results and don’t care about your woke ideology or your feelings.

In my article, the Federal Government is the Weakest Link, I propose other measures to drastically curtail the reach and power of the federal government. Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) recently stated that between 2019 and May 2023, the US population has grown 1.8% (thanks in part to 4 million illegal immigrants pouring through our non-existing borders) while the federal budget has grown 55%. That doesn’t even count the additional $500B in Biden’s 2024 budget proposal. The Foundation for Economic Education shows that per-capita federal spending has grown incredibly.

The federal government spent $16 per person in 1800, $27 per person in 1850, $109 per person in 1900, $1,544 per person in 1950, and $4,760 per person in 1990. Bear in mind, this does not include the cost of back door spending, such as mandates and regulations. If they were included here, the cost of the federal government per person today would easily exceed $10,000.

This article goes on to say that:

Unfortunately, federal spending is not keeping pace with economic growth—it is far outpacing economic growth:

• In 1900 the federal government consumed less than 5 percent of total output.

• In 1950 the federal government consumed roughly 15 percent of total output.

• In 1992 the federal government consumed almost 25 percent of total output.

With all this profligate spending of OUR money, can you name a single federal program that is successful? Is there any federal program that hasn’t made things worse? And when the federal government creates problems, the solution is always to steal more taxpayer dollars to create more problems pretending to solve the problems they created in the first place.

The bottom line is to remove all incentives other than job experience to be leveraged later in life and a real sense of “service.” That will encourage Congressmen and staffers to quickly exit and get a real job rather than becoming a career, licentious, degenerate, and reckless waster of taxpayers’ dollars. Eliminate all benefits for Congressmen and their staffers and make it actual “service.”

3 thoughts on “Eliminate Benefits for Congress”

  1. I would also add put Congress under the same ethics regulations the service is subject to. When I left, that was no more than 25 dollars per event with a yearly max out of 100 dollars. You can have all the coffee mugs you want.

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