Would you tip the 112th Congress? | AspenTimes.com

Would you tip the 112th Congress?

Dear Editor:

We are a warring nation, not a nation at war but a nation divided by ideological differences being used to exploit the passing of a budget. A budget that I must remind you is over six months overdue. Our representatives are fighting over the budget of a year that we are more than halfway through.

I for one cannot believe that these knuckle-heads cannot get anything done. We talk about the declining productivity of American business but we certainly cannot look to Congress for an example of how to get things accomplished.

Let me put it in terms that everyone can understand: If congress were your waiter would you still be sitting in this restaurant named “America?”

If the nation is in such financial straits and we need the cuts proposed by Rep. Ryan, why does he propose a tax cut for corporations and the wealthiest individuals in the country? Shouldn’t everyone bite the bullet and feel the pain equally? If we are going to sacrifice for the betterment of the nation, shouldn’t this burden be shared equally by all citizens?

And if the burden is not proposed to be shared equally, then that budget is full of hooey and a child of four can see the duplicity in its creation.

Now a quick question: If a government shuts down from its own stubbornness and none of its citizens are around to care, does it make a difference?

Both sides of the aisle are not thinking about the country. They are playing political chicken. Do we need to reduce the deficit? Yes, absolutely. Do we need to keep helping the economy? Of course, without question. Do they need to put their thumbs in each other’s eyes? Eh, not so much.

It is so transparent that the Republican Congressional leadership is going after Democratic programs. Yes, they are discretionary spending programs but it seems to me that some of the Republican spending is discretionary as well. Certainly the 2011 proposed Republican tax cuts are discretionary.

America spends $628 billion dollars a year on defense. Now in all fairness Secretary Gates has seen fit to cut $78 billion from that budget to reduce the deficit, but does any one nation need to spend almost a half a trillion dollars for defense? We spend more than the next 13 nations combined in defense spending. Are we truly that insecure? Does anyone need that much security?

Does Medicare and Medicaid need a thorough overhaul? Absolutely! Do we need to get over the idea that just because we can keep Aunt Ginny alive with breathing machines and tube feeding that we should? You got that right. America needs to give up its addiction to entitlement. But does this mean that we should entirely dismantle programs that have aided American citizens for almost a century?

Your grandmother probably told you “moderation, everything in moderation.” How about we try to apply a little old-fashioned common sense to the problem and employ a little moderation. Should we cut the budget? Sure. Should we cut spending? Yes. Should we throw the baby out with the bath water? That is against the law in most states and some parts of Canada.

Let the Congress cut all the discretionary spending it likes as long as the sauce for the goose is as rich as the sauce for the gander. Slice the crud out of the government; it is too big and too wasteful anyway. But while we cut programs for the public, why not cut the amount of representatives employed in Washington, D.C.? Let’s cut their benefits, their travel budgets, their pay, their pensions. Why not impose a moratorium on lawmaking altogether? Let’s charge senators and congressmen a desk fee, make them pay for their own secretaries and staffers, I propose a co-pay for all their visits to the congressional clinic.

Let’s pay them for the actual work that gets done and make them pay a fee for endless bickering. After all they are working for us and if nothing gets accomplished, then their pay should be docked. “Speaker, there is a fly in my legislation!” Lousy service deserves no tip!

Is this a bit over the top? Perhaps, but so is the lack of cooperation of Congress.

You see moderation; perhaps employing some of it would help solve the problems we all face.

Write your congressperson, let them know that you are sick of their BS and next election will vote accordingly.

Chris Vecchiarello



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