While members of Congress receive excellent pay,health care, and expensive perks and benefits, they target the needy and want to make devastating cuts to programs like SNAP (food stamps), and "Meals On Wheels", that millions of citizens depend upon to put food on the table. They also want to make cuts to Social Security and Medicare, that we have paid for out of every paycheck.
They want to make budget cuts that will hurt the most needy individuals, yet they do not go without. Most Americans have experienced pay cuts. Members of Congress and the Senate should also give themselves a paycut, be forced to change health care benefits, and receive the same benefits under the Affordable Health Care Act as everyone else. They should be forced to forfeit pensions, and eliminate, or make cuts to perks and other benefits they reap, if they are truly concerned with saving the government money, and decreasing the deficit.
Here is a list of the perks and benefits they receive:
1. Free parking spaces at the airport in Washington, D.C.
2. A generous pension, which is guaranteed to all members of Congress and the Senate if they have held office for 5 years or more. They also are entitled to Social Security benefits. They should be forced to forfeit this pension, and receive only Social Security benefits like everyone else!
In addition to this pension, Speaker of the House John Boehner will receive an additional $1 million per year, for up to 5 years, after he leaves office, "to facilitate the administration, settlement and conclusion of matters, pertaining to, or arising out of" his tenure as Speaker of the House. This provision will also allow him to rack up huge bills, to "archive" and document materials related to his time in office.
3. Senators get to shop at the equivalent of Congress' IKEA, furniture supplied through the Architect of the Capitol. Every senator gets $40,000, and potentially more, for furniture in their home-state offices.
4. Members of Congress can deduct up to $3,000 for expenses while outside their home districts or states.
Taxpayers are paying for all of this! Time for Congress and the Senate to make cuts to their own salaries and benefits, to decrease government spending and the deficit!
I demand that my elected officials in the Senate and Congress look elsewhere to make budget cuts, starting with their own paycheck, health insurance and other perks and benefits they receive, instead of targeting the poor, elderly and disabled. If they expect others to go without, it's time they did also!