Thursday, December 09, 2010

I have to disagree

I've been hearing a lot about the deal that was cut recently concerning the extension of the Bush tax cuts and the extension of unemployment benefits. Most on the conservative side of the spectrum are very much against the extension of unemployment. I have to say that I disagree with this objection.

Regular readers know that I very rarely write anything of a personal nature. Well, now I'm going to.

If it wasn't for partial unemployment, I'd be fucked. Plain and simple. I have only a part time job and it wouldn't allow me to survive and keep my home. With the partial unemployment I get, I can keep my home, pay for my basic utilities and food, keep the payments up on my truck and keep it in gas, and feed myself and my cat.

Yes, there are some bills that cannot be paid at this time. Yes, I do need a better job, in fact, I would love a better job but this is Michigan and I'm not holding my breath although I do keep looking and hoping. No, it's not what I was hoping for and it's different than my life had been going but it's the way of things right now here at Casa de Warthog and one day at a time is the only way to handle it.

There is no perfect system but killing unemployment would be just stupid right now. How many million people would be in dire trouble if unemployment was ended? I understand the argument about how to pay for it but what is the price to end it?

I just happen to have an answer on how to raise the money for unemployment and it doesn't involve raising taxes on anyone.

The Senate, House of Representatives, the pResident and Vice President and all of the various Secretaries should take an immediate 50% pay cut and begin paying 100% of their own medical care in lieu of insurance coverage and pay for their own travel expenses.

In general, according to Wikipedia, the Prez makes 487,000 per year.
the VP makes 227,300
Congress makes 169,300
the Cabinet makes 199,700
and the Supreme court makes 213,900

Damn, talk about overpaid.

So, the cabinet alone accounts for 4,193,700
Congress eats up 90,575,500
Supreme Court 1,925,100

These are base pay rates, the Speaker of the House and President pro tempore and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and some others make more. I'm just going to deal with the base pay for right now to make it easier.

We're talking about 97,408,600 per year.

A 50% pay cut puts 48,704,300 back into the budget. Sadly, they're still making a lot too much money but this is a start. On top of this, they now pay for all of their own travel and medical expenses. Can you see the savings adding up? I sure can. We can ground the Presidential aircraft and all those executive aircraft and helicopters saving millions on maintenance and fuel costs while at the same time, putting money back into the economy by making our elected officials fly commercial. An extra bonus to that is that they have to go through the grope line just like the rest of us.

That's a hell of a lot of money per year. Given that they're supposed to be public servants, I could make the argument that they should be paid a hell of a lot less. In fact, it occurs to me that they shouldn't make more than the military does. I may even write my Congressperson and tell them that would be a great plan to save money. Congress should be paid the same as our military is and get the same medical coverage. First year in office = E-1 pay (17,364 per yr), Second year = E-2 (19,464 per yr) and so on with a 2 term limit. Can I get a hell yeah?

This is not the time to kill unemployment. Too many people need it for survival. It could be funded if Congress was really serious about doing it.

Post corrected due to faulty math 12-10-2010, sorry

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