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UNEMPLOYMENT HAS HIT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HARD, BUT CONGRESS AND THE FEDS BRAZENLY CONTINUE THEIR JUNKETS AND PET PROJECTS
March 26, 2010
I have been unemployed since May 1, 2009. I was a mortgage banker and lost my job with a small regional bank. They took TARP funds and then immediately began downsizing. I live in a Northwest Florida community where the military is our largest economic contributor. My husband is a small business owner whose business is on the brink of folding because of the real estate market. He is a Licensed Professional Surveyor. He and his business partners own a surveying and engineering company. Since 2007, they have been forced to lay off all but six of their nearly 50 employees. Besides the layoffs, they have been forced to eliminate all benefits and reduce working hours from 40 to 32 hours a week for their employees. My husband has gone months without a paycheck and we have had to cash in our 401K plans just to be able to buy our basic necessities. We have also had to stop paying any unnecessary bills like credit cards and health insurance. We have gone from having very high credit scores to having really stinky credit. However, that is OK; we are still healthy, or at least the rest of my family is. I have thyroid disease and diabetes and couldn’t find health insurance even if I could afford it. I broke my leg recently and was forced to use a chiropractor for treatment. Thankfully it was a very clean break and I was able to just use a boot and stay off of it. Everything is alright now, but things could have been very different. Having said all of this, my husband and I don’t want any of what is going on in our country now.
The reason I’ve told you all of this is because I have a question. We have had to sacrifice so much, and we are told that we are going to have to sacrifice more “for the good of the country.” My question is, “When are the employees of our federal government going to sacrifice something?” We keep hearing the country is on the verge of bankruptcy, yet our government continues to spend as if our tax dollars are monopoly money.
I would like to begin a campaign to reduce the salaries of all federal employees by 20%, including the President. I would also like for Congress to be made to reduce its budgets by 50%. I don’t think the American public should have to provide Congress and their families with free travel all over the world on private planes with all the alcohol they can drink and pretty flowers to look at. And let’s face it, they ain’t stayin’ at Motel 8!! I think if we banned Congress’ s families from traveling with them on Congressional trips that we could save billions of dollars.
My last job made me fund all of my activities outside of the office and then fill out an expense report. If congressional members had to spend their own money with the risk of not having it returned, maybe they would think twice about spending. In addition, jobs in the private sector don’t generally allow you to take your health insurance with you when you get fired. Your pension and 401K benefits also stop the day you get fired. I would also like to point out that no other job on the planet allows you to retire after just five years on the job. What’s up with that? If Congress knew their benefits and salary would go away if they lost their jobs, they would be more inclined to listen to their constituents, now, wouldn’t they? I could go on and on, but you get the drift.
I have never been into politics in my entire life. I’ve always been too busy working to provide for my family. This is the first time in my life that I have ever been AFRAID OF MY GOVERNMENT. I want to be involved in the solution for my children’s sakes, but I don’t know how. I am pretty good on the phone but I don’t know whom to call. Please, do you have any suggestions as to how I can do my part to get this fixed? I’ve written to my representatives but they just keep sending me the same canned responses. I guess they are too busy to listen. Too busy or preoccupied with their next trip halfway around the world at taxpayers’ expense or their next fundraiser with their elitist friends in Washington, DC.
I wish I had plenty of money so that I could just do what most do and throw money at the problem, but that is the one way I cannot help.
What can be done about the size, scope and spending of our federal government? How can we bring it back into line with the U.S. Constitution, which limited Congress to 18 enumerated powers? How can we stop the spending of borrowed money at a rate that is mind-boggling even to the best economists in the world? Where do we begin?