"Peg congressional salaries to the average Social Security recipient's monthly benefit and watch the dough roll in."

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Today's L.A. Times letter to the editor, because our voices matter:

Re "Cable TV, the right way," Opinion, May 23

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) says he's a certifiable sports nut and could never go without ESPN, so he wants to make it less expensive. In fact, he's willing to go up against "well-paid lobbyists" and seems to favor more regulation of the cable TV industry to keep the American people from being "ripped off."

Frankly, I find all this a bit self-serving, but then I've noticed that the problems with the best chance of being addressed are those that directly affect members of Congress.

I don't fly much, so I didn't lose a lot of sleep when there were too few air traffic controllers, resulting in widespread delays. But after jet-set congressmen shuddered at the idea of waiting at the airport, a solution was quickly found.

So if Social Security is underfunded, peg congressional salaries to the average Social Security recipient's monthly benefit and watch the dough roll in.

Errol Miller

Chino

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  • mellowjohn

    as someone who got his first social security check last december, i'm all for this idea ;-)

  • clayton139

    Great article!

  • RustyCannon

    Errol, I couldn't agree more. I'll need to do some research to see what the percentage of increase in congressional salaries has been over the past 30 years, but I'm sure it is a huge increase. Then, we need to look at how that tracks with the cost of living over the same period. I bet that congressional salaries beat cost of living! Anyone want to bet? Now, let's take workers wages and social security. Some workers are lucky enough be represented by unions that bargained for them and won cost-of-living increases yearly, based on a particular cost-of-living index published by the government. But there is cheating going on. I was lucky enought to be one of those workers and our pay still never kept up with the realy cost of living. We always lagged by a percentage or two or three. That add up over a decade or two or three.

    Now some want to use a sneaky new way of figuring the cost of living called Chained CPI (Consumer Price Index). Chained CPI posits that if you can no longer afford beef, you eat pork. Can't pork? Maybe you can afford chicken. Chicken too expensive? Tuna to the rescue! Can't even afford tuna? How about some Nine Lives tuna treat? On and on it goes, shorting disabled veterans, military pensioners, and Social Security recipients when they're old and have little or no opportunity to supplement their income with labor.

  • Urbane_Gorilla

    Well, you do have the little issue (ignored completely by the Constitution reading House Republicans who seem to ignore the amendments when it suits them..) of the 27th Amendment which prohibits any law that increases or decreases the salary of members of the Congress from taking effect until the start of the next set of terms
    of office for Representatives. Then there's the little matter of getting Congress to slit the financial throats of the next Congressional session. The biggest problem though is that our Congressional whores would just spread their legs for the next lobbyist to make up the pay differential anyway, which defeats the purpose of penalizing them when they don't act in the citizen's best interest and sell out to various moneyed interests.