Last week, the U. S. House of Representatives voted, by a count of 285-144, to approve a three-month extension of the debt limit in a bill that concurrently pressures lawmakers to adopt a budget or have their pay withheld. The bill, known as the No Budget No Pay Act of 2013, directs both chambers of Congress to adopt a budget resolution for fiscal year 2014 by April 15, 2013. If either body fails to pass a budget, members of that body would have their paychecks put into an escrow account starting on April 16 until that body adopts a budget. Any pay that is withheld would eventually be released at the end of the current Congress even if a budget doesn’t ever pass. Is this a joke?
No, it’s just another example of Our Legislature’s deceptive practices. This is one of the best examples of the difference between the way a government treats it’s subjects, and how self-serving politicians treat themselves. For most of us, no work means no pay. It doesn’t mean our un-earned pay is held in a savings account to collect interest, or as security for a loan. It means, if we don’t do our job, we lose our job, and any money withheld is gone forever.
Our position is simple. If these so-called public servants don’t do their friggin’ job, they should forfeit their pay. No escrow, no pay for the lapsed time, period. Apply their forfeited pay towards the deficit they created and as restitution for their breach of trust while habitually dipping into the Social Security Trust Fund. We all need to understand their true motivations for putting Social Security in play. They don’t plan to make the trust fund whole, for the money they stole. They squandered our security by paying their puppeteers through tax gimmicks. No matter which political persuasion we each embrace, we can at least agree on the fundamentals, that poli + tics = many + blood sucking creatures.
We cannot go directly after the pay of our pampered politicians. After all, each branch of government has all kinds of extra-constitutional conveniences and immunities borrowed from the days when the King and the Pope were considered infallible. We can, however, hold every legislator accountable for any pay they take from the escrow fund, and for all the ways they have prostituted themselves politically. We can force them to answer for it at all future political events. We can follow them and follow up with questions about their automatic pay raises. We can teach the lemming-like press to ask probing questions. And we can eventually pry the most self-serving incumbents from their form fitting-seats.
Let’s get it done! Contribute your opinion to this web log. Subscribe, to consider a variety of viewpoints in a world of competing ideas. Post your favorite opinions to Facebook and Google+. Tweet and re-tweet those posts and comments that resonate the most with you. And, don’t forget to help us build the School of Statesmanship while calling upon our elected representatives to start acting in accordance with the principles of true statesmanship. — Robert H. Kalk