Sunday, June 7, 2009

Call It What It Is: Un-American

The American people have let this madness go on long enough. The problem is, too many of us have become desensitized to the numerous transgressions of our elected officials, ignoring their wanton spending of our tax dollars and the lavish lifestyles they lead while we struggle to make ends meet.

Consider that there are 435 congressmen and women and 100 senators, for a total of 535 people. Each one of those people has a significant staff serving them. House members have a government expense allowance of $1.3 million to $1.9 million annually. Senators get $2.9 million to $4.5 million. Combined with each members' salary, which averages around $184,000, and an average staff salary expenditure of $1.6 million for representatives and $3.7 million for senators, and just running the government is very expensive, roughly $1,330,040,000 per year. That's $1.3 billion dollars. And that's just for salaries. Those numbers can be verified here.

It's a lot of money, but it is fully understood that people should be paid for their work, if that's what it's called on Capitol Hill. I would not be so hasty to begrudge our elected officials their compensation if they were acting in the best interests of the people they represent, as they were sworn to do. That, however, is not the case.

Congress in May of this year authored a bill - H.R. 2346: Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2009 - ostensibly to fund the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq but, true to form, they were incapable of passing a bill for one, specific purpose, instead trying to tack on other spending. That in and of itself would be bad enough, but it's what they wanted to spend on is what really got to me.

Congressional Democrats tried to strip funds from the troop support aspect of the bill and add on $108 billion to bail out foreign governments through the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Republicans naturally balked at such an idea and the bill now languishes in limbo. The kicker is this: the U.S. government would have had to borrow the $108 billion from China and then give it to the IMF.

Our government is supposed to work on our behalf for the betterment of its own citizenry and country. To be concerned with helping poorer nations - particularly with our economy in the shape it's in currently - is simply ludicrous. To do it at the expense of our military overseas in harms way is patently un-American.

I am not afraid to say it, and I certainly do not regret it. Click this link to write to your congressman or senator, and let them know if you agree with me.

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