Congress is gonna help us…

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And one wonders who is “helping” them, and caring about their constituents? What you should wonder is how soon you can send them packing…


While Rome Burns, Congress Members Get Richer

November 28,  by Howard Portnoy

If you are among the 2 million Americans who lost their home to foreclosure in 2009 or have been struggling to make ends meet, maybe you’re just in the wrong line of work (assuming you have a job).

There is one segment of the workforce that has seen its aggregate wealth increase by 16 percent. It has managed this feat, moreover, despite employer evaluations so negative as to be immediate grounds for dismissal in any other industry. That group is Congress.

A recently released study by the Center for Responsive Politics reveals that between 2008 and 2009, members of the U.S. House of Representatives enjoyed a 19-percent increase in wealth, from $645,503 to $765,010. During the same period, senators settled for a more modest raise of 5 percent, from $2.27 million to $2.38 million.

The report further shows that nearly half of all federal lawmakers—261—are millionaires, a financial distinction shared by only 1 percent of the general populace. Of those congressional millionaires, 55 have an average calculated wealth of $10 million or more, and 8 are in the exclusive $100 million-plus club.

Lest you think the inequity follows party lines, it is worth noting that the richest Congress member is a Republican, Rep. Darrell Issa of California, who in 2009 reported holdings in excess of $303.5 million. Next comes fellow Californian, Rep. Jane Harman, a Democrat, who reported $293.4 million. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) finishes in third place with a mere $238.8 million.

Sheila Krumholz, Executive Director of the Center for Responsive Politics, explains the phenomenon of Congressional wealth thus:

Few federal lawmakers must grapple with the financial ills—unemployment, loss of housing, wiped out savings—that have befallen millions of Americans.  Congressional representatives on balance rank among the wealthiest of wealthy Americans and boast financial portfolios that are all but unattainable for most of their constituents.

Should you be wondering about those portfolios, seeking investment tips, the companies most heavily invested in were those that spend the most money lobbying federal officials, the amounts in some cases reaching into the tens of millions of dollars. Topping the current list of corporations in which Congress members have a personal stake is General Electric, stock in which is held by 82 members. Next comes Bank of America, (63 members), followed by Cisco Systems (61), Proctor & Gamble (61) and Microsoft (54).

At least 20 current members of Congress hold shares in companies that were targets of congressional or federal agency investigations, including Goldman Sachs and BP. Other companies that are favorites among Congressional investors are, not surprisingly, those at the center of legislative initiatives. At a time when Congress was putting the final ink on its 2,700-page health care reform bill before sending it to the president for his signature, a whopping 205 members of the legislature owned stock in the health care industry. As noted here, eight members of Congress own stock in a company that produces the full-body airport scanners at the center of an ongoing controversy.

It should be pointed out that not all members of Congress are sharing the wealth, if you can believe their personal financial disclosure reports. Among the anomalies is the financial report of Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FA), whose average calculated wealth for 2009 was minus $4.73 million. Equally puzzling is the case of Rep. Pete Stark (D-CA), whose 2009 personal financial disclosure report appears to indicate a decline in wealth of 368 percent. Then again, since parts of Stark’s handwritten federal report are illegible, it is impossible to know his true financial picture.

Benjamin Franklin, one of the greatest legislators in the nation’s history, believed that servants of the people in government should receive no fee or reward for their services above and beyond personal expenses. Maybe it’s time to follow that sage’s sage counsel.


Debating with a Progressive, is there a point?


On October 25th, I reposted a news article, and entitled the blog post “Relaxing on Illegals Voting, Here’s the Way that the Dem’s sneak In. Here is the original link to the post.  It unleased a war with a blogger named the other Mike on The Odd Blog.  You can read what he said originally by clicking the name of the blog.  I don’t repost often,..but I want you to see just how the twists on what I said were done to appease his view.

I appreciate that he has an opinion, albeit a warped one, and the resort to name calling to make a point.  I respectfully call for his comment on this article, and a debate, but when it goes beyond debate and becomes unsubstantiated rhetoric, it’s useless.

See for yourself:

Steve Hilton said

29/10/2010 at 12:18 am

Maybe you need to read it again. I didn’t post it, I reposted it from Fox news. This is what I wrote: This is an outrage, it’s a slap in the face of people who want to be citizens, who are citizens and those who fought and died for the right to be called a citizen. Oh, you noticed I said Dems…well, if allowed to vote, read WHO they would vote for…no reason other than I like.. Other than that line, and a few expletives that I won’t print…I know of nothing else to say, except this is from Fox News:

Get your facts right before you try to trash something. To many people forget what legal immigration is…it isn’t just another handout. Take it for what it’s worth, because you’re probably going to try to rewrite this again…but you might look at what the Constitution really says instead of what you want it to say.

Mike sez: I saw what you wrote, pal. I have reading comprehension skills, and I can certainly read well enough between the lines to know what you meant. You’re scared of minorities voting to begin with, and you’re extra scared because they might vote for Democrats. Goodness knows why they wouldn’t feel like voting for your chosen candidates; could it be the history of open racism and bigotry? Why, yes, it just might be!

And as for Constitutional meaning… Heh. At least you made me laugh. I’m not the one who’s a Teabagger, chief, and that goes hand in hand with ignorance, practically by definition.

Your comment is awaiting moderation.
30/11/2010 at 12:28 am

Really Mike, had you gleaned what you read…only if you read further than what you supposed it meant, then you would realize that I’m not scared of a minority…the conservatives have been that. It’s also looking like those folks that you classify as “teabaggers” are actually stepping up and voting against Democrats, and Republicans…well, at least the progressive ones.

The only thing that scares me is people like you who like to twist everything into something bad for this country while watching it fall around you Then you react by reaching back to blame someone else or bad mouth something you don’t choose to understand. Democrats did more to harm the racist movement than you’re willing to research to find out.

My chosen candidates? Ha…there’s my laugh. Until you and your friends realize what the Constitution allows and means…then, uh, chief, it’s you that has no comprehension of ignorance.

Idiocy of the Obama Tax Panel

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I overheard Megyn Kelly this morning on Fox bantering how good it would to be able to choose the coverage if she were a “healthy, non-smoker” with the acceptance of removing the “tax exempt” status of health care plans.  The Obama panel has discovered how huge the influx of money would be to retax health care benefits as provided by employers.  Ms. Kelly then added that Fox provided her insurance, so it really didn’t make a flip whether  that tax exemption was removed.

When will these talking heads and pundits listen to the people?  We didn’t set in motion this wave of Washington change to have another tax shelter for the government!!! We voted for LESS government, less taxation, and more representation.  Until they figure out that we don’t want a bigger government, or more ways to steal money from us, the more of them will come home election time.

Leave my tax exempt status alone on my health care…matter of a fact, leave my health care alone period.  Do what you were sent there to do…repeal, remove, unfund…whatever has to be done to get the monkey off OUR backs.

You can begin to recover the government by abolishing waste.  Quit talking about earmarks.  While that’s one of many things that can be eliminated, this government has plenty of fat to cut before trying once again to milk a dollar more out of us.  Listen to what the people said, no taxes, less government, quit spending our grandkids money and if you want more movement of dollars…start cutting in DC.

I get so tired of saying just how simple this is.  I keep hearing that the new people who are coming into Washington don’t know how things work there.  Obviously, there needs to be some retraining, because the ones who are there now forgot how it works too.  It’s not the government, it’s the people.

Forget us again, we’ll prove to the rest of you fat cats that you can come home. Obama is done in 2012,  and yes, eventually Barney and Harry, folks will get enough of you too.