Wednesday, July 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

No paycheck for Congress? It’s a hollow gesture

By
From page A8 | October 15, 2013 |

The issue: Our rich representatives won’t even feel the loss
There’s a lot of grandstanding going on during the government shutdown, but perhaps none worse than the hypocritical display by members of Congress offering to forgo their paychecks.

MOST MEMBERS make $174,000 a year, so a loss of one two-week pay period, and not counting various deductions, amounts to $6,692. While losing that would get most people’s attention — and that size loss in a year, let alone a few weeks, might hurt — consider two things: First, the average net worth of a U.S. senator is $11.9 million and of a House member is $6.5 million. Their salaries are a pittance to them. Second, members of Congress are paid on the last day of each month, meaning not until Oct. 31. It’s almost certain the shutdown will be over by then.

So the gesture makes headlines, but it is essentially meaningless.

Some of the same members who have shut down the federal government, initially to make a rhetorical point about preventing access to health insurance for the lower and middle class, were willing to throw 800,000 hard-working people out of work, including people who deal with infectious disease control (before a salmonella outbreak) and emergency management personnel (ahead of Tropical Storm Karen).

Some of these same millionaires have voted recently to cut billions from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — food stamps — while long-term unemployment persists. But the exclusive congressional gyms remain open.

What does it say about Congress’ concern for the little guy that members are orders of magnitude better off than even their well-off constituents, living like potentates? Is it any wonder polls show levels of confidence for Congress bordering on contempt when it comes to its ability to look out for the interests of the common man and woman?

What does it say about voters that this wealth gap might not be an issue come Election Day after such demonstrations of insensitivity.

THERE HAS BEEN a lot of finger-pointing about who is responsible for the shutdown, with some serious political scientists blaming insular voters for banding together more tightly than ever in gerrymandered blue and red districts. There’s something to that. But one thing almost all of our elected representatives have in common is that they seldom live as commoners. They’re immune to the harms they inflict. Meanwhile, their investment portfolios can make up their forsaken salaries in no time.

As of Friday, roughly 250 of the 535 representatives and senators have said they’d forgo their salaries, including one waiting until Day 10 of the shutdown. We’ve seen through their phony offer of sacrifice. So let them keep their paychecks. Empty gestures don’t buy respect.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
Second Mellon grant supports Mondavi events

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Are arachnids awesome or awful? Visit Bohart Museum to find out

By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
One hundred years at the State Fair for local shorthorn cow herd

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Police arrest suspect in robbery spree

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Madhavi Sunder joins Davis school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A2

 
Crews make gains on massive Washington wildfire

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

New safety rules proposed to curb oil train fires

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Kaiser awards grants to Yolo nonprofits

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

 
NAMI program offers mental illness information, support

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Backpacks for Kids launches annual donation drive

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Architecture in Davis, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Speaker will spin some fishing tales at Davis meeting

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Kids can paint their own Breyer horses at Davis store

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Grandparents support group meets weekly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Exchange program seeks host families

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Wine-tastings will benefit YCCC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Pedro party will benefit Yolo Hospice

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Car lovers will speak Sunday at gallery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Racial diversity crucial to drug trials, treatments

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A4

 
Enterprise is focus of Davis Roots talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Quaff a beer and watch the bats

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

They’re pickier than she is

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
U.S. is complicit in attack

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

Extinguish extremism for peace

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
With profound gratitude

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Someday, there will be peace

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Former Davis man at crossroads: biking or artwork?

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie golfer headed to men’s U.S. Amateur Championship

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Giants outlast Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
River Cats nip dogs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

A’s fall in extra innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Blue Jays hitting upends Red Sox

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Pyrenees please Nibali, Rogers in Tour Stage 16

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Albergotti to discuss Armstrong’s doping scandal

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B8

.

Features

Field to Fork: Skyelark Ranch, not a lark at all

By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A8 | Gallery

 
Name droppers: ASUCD hands out awards

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

.

Arts

Tomato Festival makes call for young artists

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Additional casting notice for ‘Hello Dolly’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

Hear Los Tres de Winters on Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Picott to play at The Palms Playhouse

By Kate Laddish | From Page: A7

Fairy-tale romance in Barnyard Theatre’s ‘Pinky’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
Soar to Neverland with DMTC’s ‘Peter Pan’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Village Homes to host Rita Hosking Trio

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, July 23, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6