All these years I never heard anyone call for Rep. John McHugh to take a 50% pay cut, scrap his pension or not get federal health benefits.
Now GOP Congressional hopeful Matt Doheny is calling for Members of Congress to do just that and face term limits as well.
Mr.Doheny harkens back to the days of the "citizen lawmaker", who put down his plow and trekked to the capital of the state or nation to do the peoples business, before returning to the field.
I don't know if thats the way it was, but I do know life is different now. We (voters) hire this person to represent eleven counties and some 700 thousand people. It's hard work, or it should be.
Nowadays, people expect much more from government and have a bigger stake in the decisions made. Congress is not something you can just drop what you are doing and have your current job protected, like a two week stint in the Army Reserves.
Your representitives need to be compensated, unless the people's house is going to become a place for the wealthy. It mostly is now.
Let the millionaires have the Senate. That was the intent until direct election of Senators was passed....I think that was the 17th amendment.
If the Doheny proposal were enacted, there would be an end run as Members would do their term and rotate into a staff job for their successor. It would still be about personal advancement and earning a good living. These people have families too.
What is appropriate for the someone who manages to get him or her self elected to a job that has to be renewed every two years. ?
Half of the current salary is about $87000. With no benefits, who would run ?. The new principal of Watertown High School was just hired for $107000 with full benefits. An assistant superintendent was hired for $118,000. A District Attorney is a bit more , as is a judge, and its commonplace in many cities for police and fire persons to make well into six figures.
Some say , 'whatever happened to public service ?'
It went the way of standing behind the plow.
Mr. Doheny's frustration with career Members who seem to serve their own interests comes at an opportune moment with the Rangel eithics flap on the front page.
However, we should live in an economy where people strive for better things and work hard to get there....Lowballing the value of our Member of Congress does not solve what many see as a problem. It will just vest more power in the unelected portions of government.
The hard work demonstrated by Mr. Doheny in his campaign is evidence he understands that as well.