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politics and culture > Pay Raise for Congress?

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message 1: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 218 comments Mod
Please tell me other people here are outraged by this. They already make enough money, and this congress has one of the lowest approval ratings ever. If I had a 9% approval rating at my job I certainly would not get a raise.... I would probably get fired. This is disgusting.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12...


message 2: by Tanjlisa (new)

Tanjlisa Marie (tanjlisamarie) | 234 comments Ugh!! They need to separate the Executive branch pay raises from the rest of government employees!! The Executive branch should get pay cuts and everyone in Congress and the Senate should be fired! I am so ANGRY at the bill they came up with as far as the tax cuts and whatnot. [Me angry typing] They allowed for a 2% increase on payroll taxes!!!!!! So, people who make over $250k don't even have to pay into social security and medicaid but I have to have an additional 2% come out of my check!! I want to spit on someone!!


message 3: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 218 comments Mod
Tanjlisa wrote: "Ugh!! They need to separate the Executive branch pay raises from the rest of government employees!! The Executive branch should get pay cuts and everyone in Congress and the Senate should be fired!..."


EXACTLY! And this anger is felt by so many people, yet somehow these stupid mother f***ers think they deserve a raise. Fire them all. That bill was ridiculous and does not fix anything.


message 4: by Tanjlisa (new)

Tanjlisa Marie (tanjlisamarie) | 234 comments Jenny wrote: "XACTLY! And this anger is felt by so many people, yet somehow these stupid mother f***ers think they deserve a raise. Fire them all. That bill was ridiculous and does not fix anything.
"


I mean - and please explain to me future running mate - why the HELL do they wait until the final 30 days of a deadline to fix anything? Is there some kind of reality show America is on that the American people don't know about and its airing everywhere else but here so the world is laughing at us while our lame azz politicians are destroying our country while feeding their greed?! Seriously. I just don't get it. These a-holes knew this deadline was approaching and they just batted around the blame and kept stating what they weren't willing to do until December rolled around and then they were like 'oh, I guess we better get something done before we fall off a cliff. Not physically, you know. Oh, that's good...we should call it the fiscal cliff'. I am so disturbed right now. It sickens my stomach that these azzwipes who are so far removed from reality can have such a devastating effect over my livelihood!!


message 5: by Ed (last edited Jan 02, 2013 08:45PM) (new)

Ed Wagemann (edwagemann) | 992 comments Its amazing that Congress even has an 8% approval rating. I really wonder who makes up that 8% that says, "Yeah, you know - I think Congress is really doing a reall dandy job there." Maybe their friends and family???


message 6: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 218 comments Mod
Ed Wagemann wrote: "Its amazing that Congress even has an 8% approval rating. I really wonder who makes up that 8% that says, "Yeah, you know - I think Congress is really doing a reall dandy job there." Maybe their ..."

Right? It was probably congress and their family members included in that vote, plus maybe some people who checked the wrong box somehow.


message 7: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 218 comments Mod
Tanjlisa wrote: "Jenny wrote: "XACTLY! And this anger is felt by so many people, yet somehow these stupid mother f***ers think they deserve a raise. Fire them all. That bill was ridiculous and does not fix anything..."


Thank god I am not the only appalled! My friends and family do not seem very concerned about what happened.

The bill included things like tax breaks for NASCAR & Hollywood..... Why? IDK, don't ask me.....

Also, anyone who thinks the middle class did not get screwed here is wrong. While our taxes might not technically be going up, we will be paying for tax increases on the rich. Just yesterday I went to Panera for lunch. I always get the same thing there and it has always been $6.07. Yesterday, it came to $6.27. I did not order anything different so I asked the girl behind the counter and she said prices were going up. Now, an extra .20 cents does not break me, but if I am paying an extra .20 cents here and an extra .50 cents there it will add up. Probably still not enough to break me, but that is the rich pushing their tax increase back on the middle class.


message 8: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 69 comments Well the thing that also annoys me is congress gets paid FOR LIFE!!! what other job does that? And they do such a horrible job. Imagine if those future years salaries were applied toward spending......


message 9: by Gary (new)

Gary | 134 comments Unfortunately they do now appear to be paralysed by Partisanship, which means every vote is going to come down to brinksmanship based on ideology. Of course both sides are now complaining that their leaders sold them out over the compromise that was made.

As for the rich pushing price increases back on the Middle Class, well that's were the much vaunted "free enterprise" should come in. If they charge .20 more and another company doesn't then they will lose business. So hopefully market pressure will favour those businesses that don't do that. If that doesn't happen then the whole Republican model of free market pressures doesn't work anyway.

Ways to fix Congress? Deliberately break the 2 party system somehow? Alternatively pay them according to their approval rating?

(Actually the latter doesn't work, as this will then create a situation where only the rich or corrupt can afford to do the job, rather than it just being a perk...)


message 10: by Jenny (last edited Jan 04, 2013 10:22AM) (new)

Jenny | 218 comments Mod
Gary wrote: "Unfortunately they do now appear to be paralysed by Partisanship, which means every vote is going to come down to brinksmanship based on ideology. Of course both sides are now complaining that the..."

None of it has anything to do with free enterprise because these companies are not operating in a free market. If the government just stays out of everyone's business prices would be lower. So, Panera CEO's do not want to pay for their tax increase..... they just push it on the middle class.

My Grandma owns a bakery in my hometown, she is not part of the upper class however her business taxes have gone up in this deal.... She also has to raise some of her prices in order to stay in business so she is not going to be able to compete with Panera and grab their customers.

There is no free market when the government makes it so hard and expensive for any business owner to do business. This is not about supply and demand, and market price values this is about the government manipulating costs which really only hurts the middle and lower class.

Oh, and do not let the republicans fool you they do not stand for free market principles any more or less than the democrats do.


message 11: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 69 comments But it is the free market system that drives big business to outsource jobs to keep prices lower but then that hurts American workers. Yet will we pay more if they keep american jobs - history says no for the most part


message 12: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 218 comments Mod
It is a free market choice that allows big business to outsource jobs, but if the government would leave them alone they would have more incentive to keep jobs here.


message 13: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 69 comments what incentive?


message 14: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 218 comments Mod
Letting them make money and not telling them how to run their business.


message 15: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 69 comments That isnt an incentive. They already make money. They make more by paying less for labor. American labor will always cost more than third world countries so they will make LESS money no matter what by having american workers.

Many restrictions are for safety or protecting the environment. And judging by the fact many companies are constantly trying to get around those, free enterprise will not make them 'do the right thing' by workers or the environment.

During the industrial revolution, workers were treated horribly in many cases because there WERE no protections for them. This was in the name of free enterprise.

I am all for encouraging competition, and some regs probably are excessive but some are absolutely necessary because it is not profitable for the company.

This is where I think each regulation needs to be discussed specifically instead of generally - let them make money.

The fact is they DO make money and some make millions and pay no or little taxes (GE I think was one recent one). That is exploitation of the laws in the name of profit but who does it really benefit? The shareholders yes, not so sure about workers or the GDP.

My fear of excessive deregulation is that workers will be exploited, quality of goods will decrease etc.. because history says that is what happens.


message 16: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 218 comments Mod
Oh no, the industrial revolution was NOT a free market example. There was way too much subsidizing major corporations and rich people there. If we do not subsidize these companies and let them go bankrupt other companies will be able to break in and make a name for themselves.

Yes, workers from that time were treated horribly and we needed some regulations on how workers were treated.

Yes, the rich can be corrupt. However, when we regulate and tax them they just find ways to get out of it and or take their business elsewhere, or.... put the pain back on the middle class. We demanded a tax increase for rich people this time around. Who will be hurt the most here? Middle class consumers. Small business owners. We take the excessive taxes and regulations off the small business owners they can prosper, hire more people, and compete with bigger companies.

Excessive taxation and regulation does not hurt the rich the way people fantasize that it will.


message 17: by Gary (new)

Gary | 134 comments Jenny wrote: "Excessive taxation and regulation does not hurt the rich the way people fantasize that it will. "

It's nothing about hurting the rich, it's about responsibility and fairness. Yet you hit the nail on the head there, higher taxes and regulation does not hurt the rich. In fact by paying more in tax the rich would then support the infrastructure and spending that will give the wealthy their customers that then generate them more wealth, all in return for what? A slight reduction in the money that they are not using anyway.

If the rich avoid taxes and regulation, that doesn't mean that the idea won't work, it just needs to work better and the rich need to have a change in attitude. The wealthy in the US used to know this and paid huge taxes after WW2 because they felt that they could afford it and that it was part of their patriotic duty to help their country recover. Switch to now and the rich are hell bent on grubbing every last cent they can squeeze even though their taxes are already at an all time low, and they have no concern about their country, just their country club.

Taxation and regulation led to tremendous growth after one of the biggest economic and social disasters in history. Since then the tax and regulations have been stripped until the point that lack of regulation and oversight led to a massive market crash not seen since before WW2 and now the US is struggling to get out of it despite not having a WW2 level of government expenditure, debt and dead citizens.

"Excessive" taxation is not the answer, but shrugging your shoulders and saying taxing the rich won't work so we'd just better except the whims and greed of our economic masters is surely the opposite reaction to what true "Tea Party" people should be doing. A few of the wealthy have already stepped forward and said that they think it's wrong they pay record low tax when their country and their countrypeople are suffering, perhaps a little shame and responsibility is needed.

Failing that, the wealthy need to realise that a 1% cut in tax personally comes at the cost of decimating the customer base on which their future income depends. Is it worth paying 1% less now if 10% of your future profit vanishes?


message 18: by Robb (new)

Robb Bridson I have no emotional stake in the pay of Congress. Theoretically Congress should have decent enoug hpay that people who aren't independently wealthy can afford to run and hold the position.
But when it comes down to it, we get wealthy folks either way, and the real riches of Congress are the legal gifts they write their industries and the lucrative careers in lobbying that follow.


message 19: by Jenny (new)

Jenny | 218 comments Mod
Robb wrote: "I have no emotional stake in the pay of Congress. Theoretically Congress should have decent enoug hpay that people who aren't independently wealthy can afford to run and hold the position.
But whe..."


No emotional stake? You pay their salary and they do not do anything.


message 20: by Robb (new)

Robb Bridson When a company is built on a ridiculous model and has terrible policies enacted, you don't withhold pay from the workers. Congressmen are doing exactly what should be expected given the system's design and current rules.

Now congressmen have control over the rules, unlike most groups of workers. But a blanket reduction in pay provides no incentive for them to do anything about these rules. Particularly because the salary is not the main perk of working in Congress, but also because collective punishment makes the responsible pay with the irresponsible.
Not to mention there's a whole huge faction in the House whose primary goal is to undermine government.

We're really screwed and finding out-- much later than should have reasonably been predicted-- how terrible our "exceptional" system is.
Now that the norms keeping the system from blowing up are violated, there is a MAD dynamic.

Not only that, but the only solution people ever come up with that even kind of addresses the problem is "vote the bums out".
It's a ridiculous suggestion because it either prescribes nondiscriminatory collective punishment or overlooks the fact that most districts pick people they like.
The fact is that the average person has effectively NO say in the makeup of the House. In true hilarity, the Senate has become more democratically representative due to election by popular vote at the state level (leading to relatively moderate candidates, much as presidential candidates).

It's a design flaw.
It can be forgiven since we were early adopters.
But there's a reason newer democracies don't copy us.
And it's not that we're just too awesome.


message 21: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 69 comments A fair salary WHILE in office I can support - pay for the rest of their life after they leave office - absolutely not. Wouldn't we ALL love THAT deal ousrselves?


message 22: by Robb (new)

Robb Bridson If we tied it to barring them permanently from work in lobbying, it might be worth it.


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