Thursday, July 13, 2006

Time for a performance evaluation on Congress

Remember when we were all obsessing about how many vacations Bush was taking? Was anybody keeping track of Congress? Seems to me they take a lot of breaks too, but they call them recess instead of vacations. They obstensibly go home to connect with the constituents but translate that into full time fundraising. In a year already rife with extended "recesses," they just shaved another week off the work schedule in DC in order to go home and politic. Meaning the nation's business will go unattended from the end of September to the November ballot.

And what have they accomplished in the last year? I can't think of much besides accepting their automatic 2% raise and doing their level best to tilt the Bushenomic factor in favor of the top tier upper class with tax breaks that also happen to benefit the many members of the "Millionaires Club" on Capitol Hill.

One of the things they surely won't have time to address in the intervening few weeks is a raise in the minimum wage, something the working poor have been waiting for, for almost a decade. Our Congresspersons aren't quite ready to bring forward proposals so deeply unpopular with the big businesses that fund their campaigns.

They claim it would it would eliminate jobs and hurt the poor but one might ask how much more the poor can be injured than by this inequity as reported by the NYT.
For a family of three, the minimum wage of $10,700, set in 1997, is now more than $5,000 below the federal definition of poverty. In that same time, a lawmaker’s salary rose $31,600— better than 20 percent — while the purchasing power of a minimum-wage earner deteriorated by 20 percent.
The Congress' failure to rectify this imbalance is inhumane and unconsiounable. Yet they will be descending on their districts in a few weeks to ride the rubber chicken circuit, to collect the cash, to buy the ads, that claim they deserve to keep their job. The job we paid them $168,500+ to do. They may find this time around, that working Americans will be looking at their bank accounts and will remember that a decade of slick campaign promos that promise a better America -- haven't delivered for them.

One can only hope they won't be fooled again.
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3 Comments:

Anonymous lester said...

the heritage foundation gave it's report card a few weeks ago. It wasn't pretty.

3:57:00 PM  
Blogger Kvatch said...

I think that it's time that the minimum was indexed to congressional salaries.

5:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Libby said...

I think every blessed Congressman should be required to spend a year living on a minimum wage and then see if they don't find a greater sense of urgency in addressing it.

7:10:00 PM  

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