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Column: Congress Faced With Personal Budget Choices Just Like Us

The trickle Down

The Trickle Down is Salute Magazine‘s weekly column by Political Writer Amanda Godula.  The Trickle Down is a weekly look into what’s need-to-know, fresh takes on trends, and the inevitable controversies from the political arena. Let’s dig in and see what’s happening this week.

Congress is so poor, our representatives sleep in their offices.  Boo-hoo.

“Washington is too expensive,” said Rep. Dan Donovan (R-SI).  “If we go to the point where you have to rent or have to buy [in D.C.], then only millionaires would be members of Congress.”

Members of Congress are poverty stricken.  Most of them only make $174,000 a year.  These representatives are in such dire straits, they can’t afford a D.C. apartment so they are staying in their offices,

These representatives need to maintain residence in their home state and find a place to live in Washington, D.C.  They need to prioritize and choose what bills to pay for – like a normal American.

Congress wants empathy for its problem.  Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) recommended a housing stipend or raising the Congressional pay raise, because Congress has had stagnant wages since 2009.  Both require more money for politicians.

But, Americans are facing similar problems as policymakers, too.  On average, an American near retirement age makes approximately $50,000.  That’s more than three-times the average income.  And poverty numbers are on the rise.  Things like declining wages and cuts have contributed to this problem.

Our policymakers want sympathy, but offer little to none for most of their constituents.

Politicians like Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) said Americans should “invest in their own health care” instead of “getting that new iPhone.”

But we know the government doesn’t see health care as important.  Our President called for a $15 million spending cut.  This severe cut slashes funding to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP ), which helps provide affordable health insurance to needy children.

Health insurance for the struggling doesn’t make the priority list for politicians.  But, unfortunately, most Americans don’t have alternative living situations, like a D.C. office to sleep in when budgets don’t allow for affordable life choices.  We have to prioritize, pay, and sometimes go without in order to make our expenses.

Congress is experiencing what most Americans face, except with more of a budget.

Because of those taking advantage of office welfare, some feel are proposing a bill preventing policymakers from office living.  Seriously.

It’s hard to take politicians’ problems seriously when they haven’t lived like their constituents, not their donors.  If they want sympathy, maybe they should invest in their own budgeting and not buy a new iPhone.

Dear Congress: Stop living like an elite and more like your constituents – we’ll show you real American problems.

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