So the federal sequestration deadline has come and gone and bam: we’re under austerity measures here in the US. All because these chumps in Congress couldn’t find their ass with both hands and a map.
I’m pretty pissed off about this, and it’s my own fault: I went ahead and looked up the actual breakdown of what gets cut and by how much, and it’s absolutely infuriating. Not because of what’s been cut; that’s already been well-documented pretty much everywhere, as the sequester will lead to mandatory furloughs for many government employees, scaled-back availability to our national park system, less money spent on government contractors, and 70,000 less children being able to access the Head Start program. Instead, I’m up in arms over what hasn’t been cut: Congress’ payroll has emerged from the sequester completely unscathed.
That’s right – there’s not one single red cent that has been cut from the salary budget for both the Senate and the House of Representatives. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself:
There’s $24 million earmarked for compensation for members of the U.S. Senate, and not even a fraction of it is getting reduced by the sequester. Think it’s just one house of Congress that’s ensuring that they’re still getting paid? Think again: the House of Representatives covered their asses, too:
That’s right – another $103 million set aside for compensation for members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Taken together, Congress is paying themselves a total of $127 million. That’s $127,000,000. And not one single god damned dollar is getting cut from their salaries. This is outrageous and completely unconscionable; they’re essentially awarding themselves for a job well done by making sure their precious salaries remain intact, even though the country’s debt is so bad that nearly every other government agency and program is facing cuts of anywhere from 7% to 10%. It’s analogous to Wall Street executives walking away to multi-million dollar annual salary bonuses during the financial crisis, and it’s completely and totally out of line. Is it any wonder that Congress refused to act in order to avoid the sequestration from going into effect this weekend, considering that they don’t suffer in the least from this absolute travesty of a budget?
It’s time to tell these assholes that this shit won’t fly. The only message we can send to these politicians – the only one they actually understand, anyway – is to vote their asses right out of a job. When it comes to the House of Representatives, it’s easy enough: there’s a whole 269 idiots that voted for the sequester, and here are their names. On the Senate side, it’s even easier: the sequester passed with unanimous consent. That’s right, not even one US Senator voted against the sequester.
These are the people that we trust to act in the best interests of their constituents, not their own. They have failed us utterly and completely, and they need to pay the price: they need to understand that you can’t just line your own pockets and leave the rest of us out to dry. These assholes need to be fired.
And don’t think for a minute that I’m letting the other two branches of government off the hook, either. The executive branch – specifically the State Department – just promised some $450 million in aid to Egypt as a “reward” for supporting democracy. Not for nothing but if we cut back our foreign aid budget a bit more, we might be able to afford the things we need for our own citizens. That $450 million could have gone towards keeping the Head Start program in place, but now 70,000 kids across the country won’t have that program to look forward to – and that most likely will include my own daughter, considering the program is already wait listed as it is.
Meanwhile, he judicial branch has been working overtime to screw the average American citizen as well: the Supreme Court made a 5-4 decision in favor of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments Act and its ability to undertake warrantless wiretapping on U.S. citizens, so if you hear a clicking on your phone line, don’t worry; it’s just the NSA violating your 4th Amendment rights. Just another day at the office for the US Government.