Letters: End politicians’ perks
January 21, 2013 5:38PM
Updated: February 23, 2013 6:03AM
There seems to be great controversy about spending cuts. I have a suggestion on where to start:
We have four living former presidents who receive $450,000 per year for life. There are hundreds of House and Senate members — active and retired — who receive $124,000 a year for life. Present and past speakers of the House receive $223,500 a year for life, and majority and minority leaders receive $194,400 a year for life. After their deaths, their spouses receive one-half of the above figures for the rest of their lives.
Not only should these salaries be reduced, we should insist on term limits and reduced meetings of two per year, with a two-month limit to do the country’s work. Pay to be commensurate with time spent in session, not a lifetime gratuity.
Then, go home and work like others in this country, and be subject to all laws and restrictions imposed on the general population. They should also be subject to Social Security and Medicare like other Americans.
Why should elected officials receive exorbitant salaries to do nothing most of the year, when the rest of the population struggles to keep their heads above the rising tax burden they create?
Soldiers, who risk life and limb to fight for this country, average $38,000 yearly. Social Security recipients average $12,000 yearly, after paying Medicare insurance premiums. They also have to pay for supplementary insurance to cover what Medicare does not, costing hundreds per month. This is all because the government has stolen trillions of dollars from the Social Security lock box for years.
Blame society, not guns
Once again, anti-gun advocates are attempting to use tragedy to push their gun-control schemes upon America, paraphrasing Rahm Emanuel’s “never let a crisis go to waste” mantra.
Once again, they focus their attention and activity on firearms, as if they are solely to blame, while ignoring the wider range of troubling social issues that affect America today.
Where is the outrage regarding the lack of transparency with mental health issues and our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill? Where is the outrage when the mainstream media rewards monsters like Adam Lanza with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity they crave?
In addition, the anti-gun crowd fails to take Hollywood and pop culture into account for its corrupting influence on our youth.
Instead of positive role models and compelling stories, we get morally ambiguous “anti-heroes” and blood-soaked, “shoot-em-up” movies that portray life as a joke and murder as a way of life.
Then there are the vicious, violent video games where the killing of fellow human beings is glorified. A child growing up in America today witnesses 16,000 murders and 200,000 acts of violence by age 18. Instead of blaming guns and targeting law-abiding firearm owners, the anti-gun crowd need only look at the society we have created, with its breakdown of moral values, and put the blame squarely where it really belongs.