Aaah …… perfect. Nicholas D. Kristof writes a stupendous piece in the New York Times today about elevating our country by showering our wealthy with even more riches and privileges:
Kristof did, though, omit some glaring additions. The middle and lower classes should be damn grateful for the minimum wage that has so generously been bestowed upon them. That $7.25 hourly wage is totally sufficient: working a typical 40-hour work week, take home pay, before taxes, would be just under $15,000 a year. If that worker should show some initiative and double up on his weekly work hours to 80 hours, his gross pay would be a whopping $30,000 per year. That is truly an extravagant number for a family of four, not to mention the inherent luxury of that salary if the worker just has himself to provide for. After all, the 2011 HHS poverty level for a family of four is $22,350 and for an individual is $10,890. Certainly the minimum wage provides for an existence well above these poverty standards.
Kristof also left out the fact that wealth and privileges come to those who earn it, e.g. our Congressmen. The salaries, raises and benefits they receive are surely appropriate for these public servants who work so long and hard to uphold our Constitution, enact laws and maintain our nation’s stellar economic standing and reputation. Some ungrateful people are actually calling for major changes to the pay benefits of our Congress:
Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
How ridiculous are these proposals? Imagine: outlawing the self-rule of the powerful and wealthy. Honestly. What’s coming next —- dunning the upper echelons of American wage earners by imposing new taxes to help the lower echelons through hard times? Is this democracy? Is this capitalism? Is this freedom?
Finally, what a great idea to rent out the Capitol for weddings. I will go one step further: make the White House available for such festivities and I will be first in line to rent that venue for a renewal of my 37-year-old marriage vows. If you thought the Obama election party was excellent, just wait. Just be sure to bring your own food and music because I refuse to pay even the minimum wage for the staff.