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Saturday, July 07, 2012

No Congressman has any business telling someone else to get a job
Posted by Jill | 7:49 AM
In this video, a young man who's supposed to be one of the people Congressman Bill Young's constituents, asks him to support an increase in the minimum wage:

Bill Young is a Republican representing Florida's 10th district. He served in the Florida State Senate from 1961 to 1970, during the early years of which his specialty was conducting investigations of "homosexuals, communists and others thought to be subversive" as a member of the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee.

He was elected to the House of Representatives in 1970, where he continues to serve today.

Bill young has been receiving a government paycheck over a half a century. Not for one day has he worked in the private sector in that time. Here are a few highlights from Young's record:

Why should he worry? He is guaranteed a pension. Bill Young makes $174,000 a year as a Congressman. Part of his pension benefits (PDF) are paid by taxpayers. He will receive this pension under the Civil Employees Retirement System. In 2002, this benefit would have paid him over $84,000 a year assuming the then-Congressional salary of $153,000. Today, the formula for CERS (assuming he is still in that program and did not switch over to the Federal Employees Retirement System in 1984, which was an option available to him), his pension based on his salary today would be $92,500.

I'd retire today if I were guaranteed $92,500 a year, wouldn't you?

The Federal Benefits Program (PDF) available to him also includes a wide variety of health insurance plans, flexible spending, dental and vision plans, group life insurance, and a federal long term care insurance program that does not have an ever-increasing premium. This is a benefit that must no doubt be of particular interest to someone Young's age. Because Young is from Florida, he is also eligible for a "Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan" under his federal benefits program, which will come in handy when he and his cronies and their chosen leader Willard Rmoney decide to get rid of the Affordable Care Act. Young's health benefits continue even after he is retired because he has "served" longer than five years. The government, that is, YOU (and the young man in the video, who contrary to Young's assumption, IS employed) pays 72-75% of the premiums for his health insurance.

All told, Bill Young has a pretty sweet deal, nearly all paid for by you and me, for the last fifty years.

And here he is telling someone he's supposed to represent, someone who is employed and is just looking for a wage he can live on, to "get a job". Unfortunately, Young is opposed this year by Jessica Ehrlich, whose endorsement by the New Democrat Coalition, about which Howie Klein notes:
They're pretty much Republicans with blue T-shirts. Problem there, of course, is all the anti-Choice, anti-gay and... well, the Blue Dog caucus is really extreme and barely even part of the Democratic Party at all. That leaves... a group that's kind of like the Blue Dogs but without the white sheets and hoods: the New Democratic Coalition.

The New Dems was founded in 1997 as the House affiliate of the corporatist shills at Joe Lieberman's DLC. It is financed by Big Business and corrupt K Street lobbyists with an anti-worker/anti-consumer agenda. It specializes in "free trade" policies. Most of the leadership has been made up of conservative Democrats with a nose for big money, like Rahm Emanuel, Chamber of Commerce ex-Rep. Melissa Bean, and corporatists Joe Crowley, Ron Kind, Ellen Tauscher, Harold Ford and Allyson Schwartz.

Some conservative Democrats, like Steve Israel and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, seeking to hide their true colors have officially dropped out of the New Dem Coalition in the hope of winning wider leadership positions in the whole party. A number of Blue Dogs-- Adam Schiff (CA), Loretta Sanchez (CA), John Barrow (GA), David Scott (GA), Mike McIntyre (NC), Kurt Schrader (OR) and Jason Altmire (PA)-- are members of both right-wing groups.

In other words, these are "Democrats" who are reliable Republican votes. The only question is whether Ehrlich too would tell an $8.50 an hour working man to "get a job" once she's on the government teat as well.

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Blogger D. said...
1. They don't believe that they will ever be in the position of their constituents, and, unfortunately, short of an alien invasion, they probably won't be. Pam Merritt (aka Shark-fu) has a concrete example.

2. Thinking about abandoning party labels and calling conservatives conservatives, full stop.

Anonymous e.a.f. said...
What I have never been able to understand is why people making very little money think guys like the politicians have their interests at heart. these politicians as you point out make way more money than their constituents ever will, have great pensions & great health care plans yet don't care about the well being of their constituents so why do the constituents continue to vote for them.

You'd think they would get smart & vote for some one who would get them something which would improve their lives & not the politicians' lives.