Even if the sequester shuts down much of the federal government, including your Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid payments, and unemployment benefits, for starters, unlike other federal employees the salaries of members of Congress and the President will not be in jeopardy. Their salaries won’t be cut.
Isn’t that convenient? Not only does the DC political class get the best government-subsidized health insurance, and perks that haven’t existed in decades for working Americans, they also have nothing to worry about when it comes to the sequester.
This is yet another example of why DC politics is broken.
Senior politicians in Washington have nothing to lose by being extremists. Sure they might have to listen to a few complaints from the 99% about longer lines at the airport, or maybe additional people being out of work, but for them life is good. They live in a city where property values didn’t drop that much during the past decade, and have actually been increasing since January of 2009. Life as a senior politician in Washington, DC is pretty good, in addition to creating a false of sense of prosperity.
How many Americans can rest comfortably at night knowing that they have government-subsidized healthcare? How many friends do you have that enjoy luxurious retirement plans? Such easy-living retirement plans have been dead in the US for decades, unless you’re part of the political class.
And perks continue if you’re part of that group. Everything that’s gone away since the tide turned during the Reagan years still lives in Washington.
We shouldn’t expect answers to tough problems like healthcare and the budget when politicians in Washington have no skin in the game.
Republicans and their cronies on Wall Street are constantly talking about how we have to tighten our belts – but they mean us, not them. They want cuts to our health and retirement benefits, not to their corporate welfare. In fact, the most recent fiscal cliff deal included over $200 billion in corporate gifts. I didn’t see a lot of gifts for the rest of us. They get the bail outs, we get the cuts.
Since the GOP, and far too many Democrats, like to babble on about the benefits of the free market, let’s introduce the free market to Washington, DC. Make political Washington get its own health insurance on the open market like the rest of us. And when the government shuts down, make them face the same cutback in services, and benefits, and salaries as everyone else in the country.
The problem would be solved in minutes if political leaders in Washington had to suffer the consequences of their own inaction.