Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Mini-Snopes: yet another congressional pay edition

Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about this one. It's back. If you see it, help kill it.


Let's be clear. Neither members of Congress, nor the President, nor the Vice President get their pay for life. That is bullshit. Think about it for a minute. Do you really think some one-term, House member is going to get his pay for life after only "working" for two years? Even if you're going to be extra cynical and say "they would if they could," the correct answer is, they couldn't and they never will.

Members of Congress get a civil service pension just like the person delivering your mail, processing Social Security checks, or sending you your tax return. It's a formula based on the number of years they worked for the government times their highest pay grade times a fractional multiplier. The total cannot equal their final pay, even if they were boyhood friends with Jefferson Davis, like Strom Thurmond was. Ever since they began to pay for Social Security and Medicare in 1984, members of Congress been part of the civil service pension program.

I'm all for economic populism, but let's focus on the right things. How much pay Congress makes is not important. How much pay you make is. How much Social Security and Medicare your parents, grandparents, or you collect is. How much food, rent, and medical support other vulnerable Americans get is. These are the issues and people that are important. You should care more about what they aren't getting than you should about what a few hundred congress members get. If you've fallen into the the trap of hating the poor, then do it for the veterans. Many of them are poor, old, hungry, and sick. Everyone loves the veterans, in theory. It's too bad they don't care as much for the civilians that the veterans were protecting.

There are good reasons to cast a jaundiced eye on the benefits package congress gets. A lying internet meme is not one of them.

1 comment:

Fred de Vries said...

http://news.sciencemag.org/paleontology/2014/03/did-inbreeding-doom-mammoth

The Extinction of the Mammonth by Charles Ginenthal: http://www.immanuelvelikovsky.com/mammoth.pdf