Congress recently returned from another of its frequent, lengthy holidays. Meanwhile, did you enjoy your couple of days off for Thanksgiving? ... For years now, Congress has practiced and made nearly perfect its lame-duck status, as well as its do-nothing status.
The one current agenda receiving the most attention seems to be the fiscal cliff around which Congress and the White House continue to dance. Along with the dancing, rhetoric continues to focus on “entitlements,” which seem primarily to include Social Security and Medicare, both senior-oriented services. I spent all of my working years paying into Social Security and its associated Medicare. Many years ago, I petitioned the government to release me from the bonds of Social Security and allow me to take my money and use it to set up my own retirement. They refused. As you all know, you must contribute till you reach retirement age, at which time you immediately become a problem and a threat to the fiscal stability of the country because you expect to receive the benefits of years of mandated contributions.
As the debates continue as to how to rescue our nation from a fiscal crisis brought on by our government’s ever continuing thirst for more money to spend with abandon, you never hear other avenues being targeted. Have you heard anyone in Congress say that the government reduce spending, suggest that their pay be revised downward, getting paid only while in session, that their benefits not exceed those of the average working person? Ever hear anyone in Congress deplore the fraud involved in Medicaid, food stamps and welfare programs? How about doing away with earmarks, assessing severe penalties and cleaning house in agencies that take their staffs on million-dollar “workshops,” most of which is swept under the rug? How about doing away with do-nothing agencies and selling off excess government real estate?
We deserve and must demand better. Do you even care?
ALLAN W. RUSSELL