MARCH 19, 2001
Pay raise for the parasites
© 2001

"Choose loss rather than shameful gains." -- A Greek proverb

Notwithstanding the fact that the economic turndown and potential for gloom and doom was known as far back as 12 months ago, the Democrats are again answering the refrain, "Don't they have any shame?"

As if the unbridled defense of the indefensible conduct, behavior and abuse of power under the color of authority of their rainmaker president was not enough, now Tom Daschle's dastardly denizens have the stones to actually try to blame President George W. Bush for the combined eight year work product of Democrats and their philander-in-chief.

Just as the Clinton regime benefited from the economic seeds planted by Reagan, the converse is true for G.W. Clinton and the Democrats soiled the economic sheets and, true to form, they are attempting to blame the new guy.

Have they no shame? Hell no! The Mutt and Jeff show (Daschle and Gephardt) seem intent on eschewing culpability and blaming their rival party and specifically the president for anything and everything negative -- past, present and future.

Eventually, after Frick and Frack get done gifting the new administration with the economic woes sowed by Bubba, G.W. can expect to shoulder the blame for the previously grossly inflated Nasdaq and the subsequent correction (that has been predicted for about three years).

Somehow, despite the legislative brain flatulence of the California bill mill and Al Gore's charisma coach, Gov. Gray Davis, despite envirowackos hobbling the state and inhibiting construction of power generation facilities (even when faced with a 25 percent increase in demand), you can expect the Democrats to eventually blame California's self-inflicted wound on G.W.'s oil industry buddies.

What next? Did Bush fix up Teddy Kennedy with Mary-Jo? Did Bush the elder get his CIA assets to pull the boozed-out Teddy away from Chappaquiddick? Or was it a teen-age G.W. seen with a rifle on the grassy knoll in Dallas? As John Stossel would say, "Give me a break!"

Meanwhile, Peter Roff's March 16 "Capital Comments" observed, "Congressional Democrat leaders Tom Daschle and Dick Gephardt met with the media on Thursday in a Daschle-controlled suite at the U.S. Capitol. The Senate leader is significantly shorter than House Minority Leader Gephardt, a fact all the more apparent as the two men were seated next to each other. The event was being televised on C-SPAN. Halfway through the meeting, Daschle aide Renit Schnelzer entered, carrying two phone books which she proceeded to place, with cameras rolling, underneath Daschle so that he could appear to be the same height as Gephardt for the TV cameras. Reporters in attendance could barely restrain their laughter."

No, these jokers have no shame.

Just two months after accepting a $3,800 raise, members of the U.S. House (the same crowd that is bucking public opinion to eviscerate the President's tax cut plan) want to supplement their own $145,100 annual salary with a $165 "per diem allowance" for every day they show up to work. The "per diem" is equal to about $25,000 a year in tax-free income. That's like a $50k raise, bringing their salary up to almost what Clinton was paid.

When Clinton was faced with an alleged surplus, his response to the suggestion that excess tax revenues should be returned to the people from whom it came was "... they may not spend it properly."


It's not the government's money!

Why don't our elected representatives support and "represent" their constituents' best interests? Apparently because the best interests of the citizenry is in conflict with the best personal interests of those presumably tasked with representing us.

Remember that congressmen already enjoy a pension nearly three times grander than similar positions in the private sector, a $3,000 second-residence tax deduction, and a wide array of additional perks.

For what? Congress, despite its constitutional mandate has routinely and consistently permitted and/or invited the executive (and more recently) the judicial branches to poach on its turf. Rather than defend its territorial imperative against encroachment, Congress willingly -- if not anxiously -- seems to want the other two branches to do its jobs, and it wants more money for doing less work.

As if greed, avarice and self-aggrandizement weren't sufficient, the additional slap in the face to taxpayers is that your congressman doesn't even have to cast a recorded vote to start collecting this tax-free raise. Talk about your plausible deniability come election time?

All it takes is for the House Administration Committee -- made up of congressmen (the self-same critters who will receive the raise) -- to declare that members of the House are eligible to receive it. Budda-bing, budda-boom!

Protests from those citizens who are aware of this finesse are reportedly starting to get House leaders nervous. Good! Although they have no shame they also want to remain impervious to culpability. So don't be surprised if begrudgingly they temporarily back off and back burner the per diem scam. However, given the hubris and chutzpah of Congress, you can expect when they do resurrect their "mo' money" grab that it may well be retroactive.

Meanwhile we need to increase the pressure, turn up the heat, and pick at the scab to compel the committee to permanently remove it from consideration.

Contact Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, Democrat leader Dick Gephardt, and the nine members of the House Administration Committee and tell them how you feel.

Libertarian gadfly and sometimes presidential candidate Andre Marrou noted, "'Politics' comes from the Greek 'poly' meaning 'many' and 'ticks,' which are blood-sucking parasites."