People Have Endured, Now It Is Time For Congress To Feel The Pain

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Editor

Mr. President, at one time, you said we all have to share the pain of the worst recession (the 1930s being a depression) in our country’s history. “We the people” have endured the cost of the cash for clunkers program.

“We the people” have bailed out the troubled banks and homeowners. “We the people” are enduring the worst unemployment rate in our history. “We the people” have had our share of the pain and then some.

However, “we the people” have not seen those of you who live on Easy Street share the pain. On the contrary, Congress voted themselves a pay increase during this time. You continue to receive full health care insurance at no cost. You, who live on Easy Street, continue a retirement benefit that pays you lifetime income at your salary upon retirement.

The company I worked for imposed pay freezes, a moratorium in hiring, and a freeze on travel expenses and pay cuts when the future of the organization was in peril. If you truly empathize with those of us who do not live on Easy Street, you would ground Air Force One and no more nights out at taxpayer expense (ie., your trip to N.Y.). You would lead by example and show us that you and Congress are willing to truly share in the pain. For instance, you would eliminate expenditures for travel by Congress at taxpayer expense (i.e., Nancy Pelosi’s) jumbo jet. “We the people” have spoken.

We have spoken in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Virginia. Let me be perfectly clear, the time is long overdue for you and Congress to stand up and endure the pain. Enact pay cuts; start paying for your health care and increase taxes on Congress rather than the rich. And lastly, you need to face the reality that you are not Robin Hood and we the people are not your merry men.

Alan Kline

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