Pay the bums nothing


To the Editor:

To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. It was thoroughly disgusting watching the House and Senate play the tune paid for by big oil, big coal, big energy, and big business in America.

I’m 70 years old. When I first started to vote, almost 50 years ago, I actually believed that when I checked the hire this guy/gal box on the election ballot in November, I was actually hiring members of Congress to work for me. That was then. Now, I’ve come to realize that when I check the box, I’m really sending members to Washington to work for those who fill their campaign war chests, not me. I must admit I have not been a big donor and have come to realize that the sound of my voice is no louder than the size of my wallet. How disappointing.

So, I’ve got a couple of requests. The first, I know, is impossible but preferable; the second, doable.

First, I would ask that you change the power and strength of my vote for just one election and give me the option of simultaneously choosing all Congressional members. I can reasonably assure you that incumbents will not come out on top.

My second request is doable: a permanent cost-cutting measure that will help reduce our national debt.

If Congress were run like a business, the members of Congress would all be fired for incompetence and lack of performance. But, since serving in Congress is an elected position with no minimum job qualifications, it is understandable that we shouldn’t expect performance from its members. With a starting salary of 170K plus the best perks in the land, it would be nice if they tried harder to earn the money we pay them with our taxes.

If they can’t stand up and do the hard work commensurate with the pay they receive, then their salaries should be cut: a permanent, 100 percent cut. If, with time, they (those whom we vote to work for us in November) can prove to us that they — as members of the House and/or Senate — can work together, then, and only then, should we consider increasing their pay in the future. Until then, they can learn to manage on unemployment or look for another job.

Peter Cabana

Vineyard Haven