2011 Shared Retirement Sacrifice

Act: or, Are Members of Congress Better than Us?

sponsored by aGREATER.US • co-sponsors: (1)Become a Co-sponsor

primary topic: Equality
secondary topics: Deficit (Costs), Entitlements (Other), Other

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88%
BIPARTISAN RATING

Submitted in the Senate by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-IL).

You canít make this stuff up. The debate over the national deficit rages on, with staunch fiscal conservatives trying to cut every program under the sun, and steadfast social liberals refusing to cut one iota of entitlements. At the same time, members of Congress enjoy the benefits of a ďwink-winkĒ retirement program that is way better than anything the average American can ever hope for. (Heck, most Americans donít even have retirement plans!) And why? Because of the back-breaking physical labor they perform every day? Because in their golden years, they will physically be unable to put food on the table for their families or provide for themselves otherwise? Please!? Itís simply because they can. Arenít most members and former members of Congress getting compensated far better than average? The private sector loves to have former members of Congress on the fat payroll. It makes for a competitive advantage. But that's another story.

And, we all know itís probably inevitable that the retirement age will be raised and benefits will be reduced, at least for healthy, well-heeled white-collar workers. Indeed, it is entirely possible those who worked long and hard to build successful careers may never reap any of their Social Security benefitsóuntil, perhaps, when theyíre well into their late seventies with less than average means. Wasnít Social Security supposed to be for folks who have no other options? Wasnít it meant to help average workers stay comfortably above the poverty line? I donít think it was meant to fuel the gas-guzzling luxury SUVs of the leisure class. They already have full tanks.

You have to admire Brown and Schilling, in a way. They created one of those rare things on the Hill: a bipartisan bill. The gentlemen rock!

Groundbreaking news: Tying federal pensions for lawmakers to the Social Security retirement age. Duh.

Now some lucky career politicians, who logged twenty years of service, can retire at age 50. And you want us to take you seriously? Of course, members of Congress currently enjoy the ability of serving 20+ years. If the Federal Term Limits 3.2.1. gets onto the GREATER BILL 2012, and passed into law, members of the House will only be able to serve 6 years, senators 12 years, and Supreme Court justices 18 years.

Op-eds

Duty

by Mary Kay Johnson on 10/10/11

Serving as a congressman or senator was never meant to be a career decision. It was meant for citizens to serve a term or terms much as you would in the military. It should be seen as a duty to your country. Perhaps we should choose our government officials like we choose our juries. Your name comes up and you serve. Now wouldn't that change things?!

equality

by Chrislee Stephens on 09/30/11

Any law passed by congress shall include members of congress as well as the ordinary citizen.

20 years?

by John on 09/12/11

Only 5 years of service is required for congressmen to "earn" a pension and that can start at 50 years of age. Purposefully convoluted programs with lots of options make exact benefits difficult to pin down. I feel those retirement programs should be rolled into social security and the medical benefits sections should be rolled into medicare/medicaid. Any legislation that they feel is good enough for their constituents should be good enough for them too.

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