Sunday, March 1, 2015
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.

Comments

comments

.

News

Sheriff: Mother ‘sole person responsible’ for infant’s death

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Rifle Team has a blast with competitive shooting

By Savannah Holmes | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Child abduction case in jury’s hands

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1

 
Pipeline project will soften water in 2016

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Pig out at Farmers Market’s Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

 
Weekend storm drops snow, rain, hail in California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Christie to Republicans: No rush to pick 2016 nominee

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Bob Dunning: Colon prep can be hard to swallow

By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2

Scouts help fill STEAC’s pantry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
MU Games closing in late March

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Still no parole in toddler case

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
City offers wetlands tour

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

Parole denied in 1987 killing spree

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Explore Asia at Arboretum storytime

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Radio talk show moves to Mondays

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Assault awareness campaign kicks off

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

UCD student with meningococcal disease is recovering

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Young patients bond with special stuffies

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Diversity theater group continues creativity workshops

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
UCD student panel to cover anti-Semitism, Islamophobia

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Yolo Food Bank hosts thank-you breakfast on Pig Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
.

Forum

Milt Priggee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: B4

 
Rowing: PE as well as life skills

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Police complaint procedures drafted

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Clarifying energy update letter

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

Weekly claw pickup necessary

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

 
Mars or ISIS? Similar outcome

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

City may get charged up over energy choices

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

 
Design innovation centers for the 21st century

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

Speak out

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B5

 
 
A new perspective on life

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: A7

Distant water crisis has lessons for Davis

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Call for study to settle if anesthesia poses risk to babies

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

.

Sports

Winning close games is the key for DHS softballers

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men get a bounce-back win at Cal Poly

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
The mystery continues: lowly Gauchos upset UCD women

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils get a soccer win despite finishing woes

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Sports briefs: Razo throws well as Aggies get a baseball win

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Defending champion Blue Devils have diamond holes to fill

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Republic FC falls to storied New York Cosmos

By Evan Ream | From Page: B10

.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

Yolo Federal Credit Union honored for supporting business education

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
Online store will celebrate, mock People’s Republic of Davis

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A10 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, March 1, 2015

By Creator | From Page: B8