The new 50 Richest Members of Congress list has been rolled out, along with the Forbes article on the “Millionaire Congress.” Personally, I don’t care how much money people make; this is the land of opportunity and a capitalist society, so if people are raking in the dough, that works for me. What I find troubling is that these are the people who are supposed to be representing us and making laws that work for us. What we know is that they exempt themselves from the same laws they pass for the rest of us (anyone really think that they don’t have an exemption or something set up in the laws they write to protect their own inheritance from being grabbed by the government by the death tax?). Without any skin in the game, without having to suffer the consequences of their policies and laws, they are free to do whatever the hell they please . . . usually to their own benefit, as well. The solution, I think, is not to ban millionaires in Congress, but to ban exemptions for all members of Congress (and their staff, who also, of course, enjoy being above the laws written by their bosses). Do that, and I suspect that we’d see an increase in members reading bills, understanding the consequences, and thinking about how they can best help the American people–because they’d be treated the same under their laws for a change.
The leftists who howl about the nefarious, greedy, self-interested motives of big business, big banks, big oil, and everything except big government (and big Hollywood and big fashion and big media) seem to believe, somehow, that the millionaires in Congress aren’t millionaire-millionaires. That somehow they got all that money absent the capitalist pig big businesses and by paying “their fair share” of taxes. And we all know that they don’t pay them; when they aren’t being called up for tax evasion, they’re docking their yachts out of state to save millions in taxes that they pushed in the first place. Tax evasion (including perfectly-legal and seriously-flawed tax shelters) is loathed by those on the left who seem to imagine, through truly bizarre self-deception and truly stunning intellectual lethargy, that somehow the millionaires of whom they approve are not doing the very things that they demonize big business, big banks, and big oil for. Oooh, they screech, big business hides its money off-shore to avoid taxes. Yep, that’s due to a tax loophole that was written into the bill by millionaires who want to continue making millions in their own investments in big business, big oil, and big banks and in order to evade paying taxes on their capitalist gains by hiding their assets off-shore (Charlie Rangel, for some reason known only to himself, actually violated the laws he wrote and was very sloppy about hiding his assets off-shore, but hey, that’s okay, he’s 80. Or something.). And these people want to raise our taxes, knowing full well that their own fortunes and standard of living won’t be affected, and they must be laughing their butts off at the loons who support them in this . . . because it’s the loons who lose, along with the rest of us.
So if money isn’t corrupting and doesn’t guide the decisions (and exemptions for themselves) in the government, how can it possibly be the big evil they think it is in the private industry? Put another way, if money IS corrupting in the private sector, how is not in government? For that matter, how do these people think that the members of Congress became millionaires? Looking over the list, it seems to me that every single one of them made their money by building their own big business, investing in other big businesses, buying up stocks and bonds on evil Wall Street, and essentially being the very players in the big evil capitalist system that they say they loathe. Oh, the dilemma.
And it is a dilemma for any thinking, intellectually-honest person. How do you demonize one set of millionaires yet give a pass to another set of millionaires, most of whom actually became millionaires and are growing their fortunes in private industry–that same private industry that is demonized?
This just in:
I just saw that the democrats are asking GOP lawmakers to forego their government health insurance in an effort to make them look like hypocrites. A few things on this: Lawmakers actually work for the government, we do not. As their employer (or one of them), the government should offer them health insurance (I personally wish that it weren’t so expensive and that this and other percs didn’t continue for life, but they make the laws, always to benefit themselves.). And as we have just seen, our nation’s lawmakers are far from poor and far from making a middle class salary, they can afford to pay for anything not covered by their plan (which wouldn’t be much, actually, unlike what is available to us or ever would be under any socialized plan–see above on exemptions for lawmakers and their minions).
As usual, the progressive loons are basing their attack on a logical fallacy (if conservatives hate the government so much, why do they want government healthcare?). Two things: one, we don’t hate government, we just want it to be smaller and less intrusive and less intrusive; and two, the government offering health insurance to its employees is not the same thing as, not even in the same universe with, nationalized health care. They actually know this, but are hoping that the rank-and-file koolaid-swilling Stepford zombies won’t.