Oh, how I long for those good old days. When I was 7 or 8 in the mid ’50s, I and the neighborhood kids would ride our bikes to the “little store” that had no air-conditioning, on scorching days with a nickel or dime in our hands and head for the huge frozen food freezer. Better yet, we looked or waited for the bicycle ice cream seller. Do you remember them? A bike with a freezer and those wonderful skyrockets, orange sherbet, in a round cardboard container. The were wonderful.
Now, some 57 years later, a nickel or dime can’t by much. Skyrockets are obsolete. I haven’t seen one in years. Ice cream isn’t really ice cream anymore. But I have a better idea. A great investment for just 29 cents: a U. S. postcard with a handwritten message sent to every member of Congress. Don’t tweet, don’t email, don’t even call. Send a handwritten message.
Now I know that many of you out there will thing that this is a waste of time and energy. I can hear you; “Why bother?” Here’s why. Most of the middle class is struggling in this great country; millions don’t have jobs. And millions don’t have health care.
The annual salary for senators and House members is $174,000. Under the Civil Service Retirement System, an immediate, full pension is available to members of Congress age 60 or older with 10 years of service in Congress, or at age 62, with five years of civilian federal service, including service in Congress. As of October 2009, 275 members of Congress who had retired under CSRS were receiving an average annual retirement benefit of $69,012.
One of their perks, members of Congress are eligible to receive health services at an elaborate Navy clinic in the Capitol building, staffed by a least four Navy doctors, as well as medical and x-ray technicians, nurses and a pharmacist. For this care, members of Congress pay a flat fee of $503 a year and file no insurance claims; the rest of the cost is subsidized by us, the taxpayers.
Are you working harder than the average member of Congress? Tired of all the political fighting without results. Then write something like the following:
“I am sick and tired of the cavalier and lazy way that you are handling things in Washington, D.C. Do you really want to keep your well-paid job with all its perks and benefits? Then act like it. Work together as a team regardless of our political party. Get things done. I hired you, and I can fire you. It’s called my vote. Remember, It’s my money you are spending. You promised me jobs. You promised me a better future. Have a nice day. Sincerely, Your Boss [The American Electorate]”
If they can have taxpayer subsidized health care, then why can’t I? If they can have 5 weeks vacation at my expense, then why can’t I? If you can have one week vacation for two weeks worked, then why can’t I?
It is time to send a message. Send it loud and in great big block letters. Do your job and get gone.