Pay Cuts for Congress? & "Big" Governments Republicans Mandating Marriage......

budget imagesRep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) introduced a bill last week to slash pay for members of Congress 5% or $8,700 a year — and freeze their automatic cost-of-living increase. With Congress’ approval ratings “spiraling downward,”  Kirkpatrick said, “Families across the country are getting by on lower wages…so why shouldn’t senators and representatives have to feel the same pinch?” The cut would be the first since the Great Depression. She said she’s already started handing over 5 percent of her pay every month.  Hey, Congresswoman Kirkpatrick - how about instead of leading the entire country, including Congress, to ever-lower wages and bringing us all to Wal-Mart pay levels, how about instead increasing the minimum wage, change our trade and tax policies to bring jobs back to America, and break up the big vulture corporations that put out of business local companies and prevent entrepreneurs from even starting new companies?  Stop promoting the Republican idea that we should all be paid less, and take us back to an era when worker pay increased along with corporate productivity.

In Strange news - An Oklahoma state lawmaker is on a mission to save your marriage. Rep Mark McCullough is supporting State House Bill 2634 that would require every couple to go to at least 8 hours of counseling before they get a marriage license.  "Big Government" Republicans trying to force Government into your bedroom?  Wait a minute - I thought Republicans thought government should get smaller and go away.  Except when it comes to abortion.  Or marriage.  Or smoking pot.  Ah, those Big Government Republicans.  Can't live with them, can't get rid of them.

Comments

Craig Reid (not verified) 9 years 50 weeks ago
#1

It has crept up on us so slowly we hardly realized it. The purging of critical thinking skills from our schools and from our society in general. Over the last 30 + years the Cons have been pushing us to stop thinking critically and just accept authority without question.
It really started in the 1960s with the spread of activism and public protests. It was a movement in response to an unjust and unnecessary war. Our generation was the product of an affluent and successful middle class resulting from high taxes on the rich, enforcement of anti-trust laws, empowerment of labor unions and an educated and informed generation of young people. It was this generation of critical thinkers that scared the shit out of the Republicans. When we took to the streets and challenged the authority of the establishment a shock wave resonated throughout the conservative world.
Conservative thinking relies on unquestioning acceptance of authority as the way to keep socieity civil and keep the rabble from mucking up the works. That fear gave rise to a long and sustained effort to cleanse our country of the cancer of critical and progressive thinking. When President Nixon said that if the President does it then it must be legal, he set the mold for the future vision of conservatives for a rigidly ordered nation where dissent is not tolerated and punishable by all manner of penalties.
It really kicked into high gear during the Reagan administration when the Cons were able to eliminate most of the means of imparting critical thinking skills to students the elimination of civics classes, principles of democracy classes and any kind of format that would encourage students to question authority and make an attempt to improve their lot in life.
We now have an entire generation of young adults who have very little idea of what Jeffersonian Democracy is or what ideas and values our form of government and our principles were founded upon. They are ignorant of the great struggle throughout history between rigid, fear-driven, conservatism and forward thinking, progressivism. The demise of true journalism is one means by which the Cons have accomplished this change. We no longer have actual journalism taught in our schools and colleges - it's all been re-geared towards info-tainment - the battle for ratings, advertising dollars and PROFIT.
Our media, what the founding fathers referred to as the fourth estate - the independant journalistic means by which our representatives are held to account for their actions, has been completely swallowed by the radical right-wing corporate power structure. Through witholding enforcement of The Sherman Anti-Trust Act, corporations have been allowed to grow larger and larger until their wealth, power and influence has completely eclipsed the power and influence of we the people .
Jefferson believed that the only way this great experiment could succeed was if there were a literate and informed electorate. That is why he pushed so hard for public education and why he founded the University of Virginia. Without said informed electorate our experiment in democratic rule would be doomed to failure and this is exactly what we are experiencing now.
Critical thinking scares the holy hell out of conservatives because when people are able to think critically for themselves they don't need an authoritative government to keep them down, they tell them what to think or punish them if they step out of the limits set by their betters . When people are able to think critically they are able to understand what is happening and make informed decisions about how to govern themselves. The people take control of the helm and tell those who would be authoritarians how to steer our ship of state.
There are a few basic, root changes that must be made if we are ever to regain our power as a free and self-governing people. The re-learning of critical thinking is among the most basic of those changes. From that will stem a whole host of positive changes such as the ability to see when they are being manipulated and intimidated. When people are able to think critically about what is going on around them they will come up with amazing ideas about how to make things better.
It doesn't take a genius to see how we've been herded into a pen and manipulated and scared into doing the will of the rich and powerful, so that they may keep and increase their wealth and power. It's time to face our fears, gird our loins and push back in unison with the power of our numbers to take back what the Constitution and the Bill of Rights gave to every American, the right to be free to make our own choices about how we govern ourselves.
The government is not a them it is an us, we the people. We elect these schmucks, they are supposed to do what we want them to - that which is the very best for all of us. Reagan succeeded in creating a false demon - government. Remember when he said - The nine most terrifying words in the English language are - 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help' . It's time we turn that around and tell the conservatives - The nine most terrifying words in the English language are - I'm from the corporation and I'm here to help.

mstaggerlee (not verified) 9 years 50 weeks ago
#2

@Ron Rutherford, re: "I know you think that productivity should dictate wage increases when the productivity goes up but are you then willing to concede that wages should in fact go down when productivity goes down???"

Can you show me one genuine example, Ron, of a time when productivity dropped and wages increased? I sincerely doubt it - certainly not over the past 100 years or so. We've ALL seen the graphs, man - wages & productivity track very nicely - reasonably parallel, and constantly increasing at about the same rate, until your hero, Mr Reagan, got elected. Then wages go flat, but productivity continued on its merry way upwards.

You'd be MUCH better off presenting arguments like this on a website run by Fox, Ron - those folks won't try to screw up your story with facts. Over here , we DO read "the whole thing" before replying.

John (not verified) 9 years 50 weeks ago
#3

I think Ron accidentally raised an interesting question, which might be: Does the pay level for Congress have any effect on the productivity of the Congressperson? I think it would be tough to determine what the actual rate of pay is for Congress, since a significant portion of the income derived from serving in congress is other than the pay issued by the treasury. The business contacts, book deals, inside information, and corporate board memberships generate the real income. Some of it only accessible after you leave congress, but nonetheless accumulating potential value during the term of office.

I would suspect that a good congressperson does much better financially than a bad one. the question is good for whom? citizens? Probably not so much. the money is in doing the bidding of the monied interests, right?

We need a better educated electorate, and campaign finance reform. Anything else we do is a band-aid on a gushing wound. Thom is doing his part on education. The rest of us need to spread the word and lead by example.

Ronald Rutherford (not verified) 9 years 50 weeks ago
#4

Here Thom. This is a subject right up your ideological alley.
Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Moorestown New Jersey Unions Highlight Union Arrogance
I just suspect that your attitude toward the politicians (more than likely middle class) "living wages".

Ron Rutherford (not verified) 9 years 49 weeks ago
#5

I see your minions are at it again, Thom. When you going to get more useful idiots/?????
Just don't spam me or any of my emails then I would not find a reason to come back...

Ron Rutherford (not verified) 9 years 49 weeks ago
#6

In case you missed, here is the summary...
Pay Cuts for Congress? & “Big” Governments Republicans Mandating Marriage……

budget imagesRep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) introduced a bill last week to slash pay for members of Congress 5% or $8,700 a year — and freeze their automatic cost-of-living increase. With Congress’ approval ratings “spiraling downward,” Kirkpatrick said, “Families across the country are getting by on lower wages…so why shouldn’t senators and representatives have to feel the same pinch?” The cut would be the first since the Great Depression. She said she’s already started handing over 5 percent of her pay every month. Hey, Congresswoman Kirkpatrick – how about instead of leading the entire country, including Congress, to ever-lower wages and bringing us all to Wal-Mart pay levels, how about instead increasing the minimum wage, change our trade and tax policies to bring jobs back to America, and break up the big vulture corporations that put out of business local companies and prevent entrepreneurs from even starting new companies? Stop promoting the Republican idea that we should all be paid less, and take us back to an era when worker pay increased along with corporate productivity.
Thom you are at it again. Too funny about your ideological support for minimum wages and "living wages", so I was surprised as to how you spun the latest.

Let's see people should get paid based on what Thom? Just because you want income to be high for all including our "elites" does not make it so. Why should the filthy "rich" in this case get more pay for obviously not performing their job? Do you think their approval rating means anything? If they were waiters, do you think they would get any tips? Of course you think they should get paid no matter how bad their "service" is? I am sure you tip the same for lousy service because you want them to have a so called living wage?

I know you think that productivity should dictate wage increases when the productivity goes up but are you then willing to concede that wages should in fact go down when productivity goes down??? Not likely as you want it both ways. You obviously have no understanding of labor markets.

This is obvious in the sense that on one hand you want more small business but unwilling to actually lower the barriers to their formation including but not limited to minimum wages. It is not large corporations {or as you call them: big vulture corporations} that fear rising minimum wages as they will just pass on costs. It is the small businesses that will have higher obstacles to formation of small businesses. Take a gander at a couple of points about minimum wages:
5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Minimum Wage
The Effect of Minimum Wage Increases on Retail and Small Business Employment | EPI Study

PS: 1. Hey Thom, I see your little minions are running around again censoring information contrary to your views. Very funny indeed and almost fascist in its applications. In case you missed them the first time, I will repeat them for your reading pleasure.,,

You could stop this Thom by first stop spamming all my email accounts. Sue is suppose to have a list that she so graciously decided to spread to the whole world. Yes personal information was spread around. Wonder if that is grounds for...

PS2: Uh, Craig. Are you a conservative or just playing one? As you have only shown yourself to be uncritical and to repeat other people’s words, I can only assume as much.
Which unjust and unnecessary war is he talking about? Probably the one started by Demos, no?
It’s time we turn that around and tell the conservatives – The nine most terrifying words in the English language are – I’m from the corporation and I’m here to help.Now that is just funny shit. I am really scared that a corporation is going to come into my house uninvited and help me out. Until then, I will be more concerned about the Police State as Antifascist was always concerned about also.

Keep up the spamming, maybe one day I will read the whole thing…

PS3:Thom would be better actually creating a valid argument.

Why not present the information mst??? I am talking short term effects. Thom wants short term productivity gains to automatically go to “labor” no matter the level of unemployment but when productivity goes down as new hires are added to the payrolls then I am sure that Thom will not consider that “fair”.

Thom just has no idea how labor markets work and likes to cherry pick data to confirm his own biases.

LOL, Not my hero. I have no heroes and find no reason to go looking for them in my life also. Maybe Thom is your hero and you need to defend him? No?

PS4: We can complain about the deals afterwards all we want. My point was that if approval ratings is a gage of productivity and their productivity is so low, why would we pay them so much???

How you going to force them to be better educated? Re-education camps? And yes, Thom is in the education business, although disinformation is more likely the outcome…

PS5: Here Thom. This is a subject right up your ideological alley.
Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Moorestown New Jersey Unions Highlight Union Arrogance
I just suspect that your attitude toward the politicians (more than likely middle class) and “living wages” would change drastically from your lead piece.

PS6: Hey Thom. Since you already spammed me on the latest blog post then why not post it here?
Compassion for CEOs?
The International Brotherhood of Electric Workers has filed a lawsuit against Bankster Goldman Sachs for overpaying its top executives. The lawsuit “seeks to stop Goldman from allocating roughly 47 percent of 2009 net revenue as compensation, saying such allocations ‘vastly overcompensate management and constitute corporate waste.’” Apparently the IBEW and their electrician workers don’t realize how hard it is to find employees willing and able to buy and sell stocks and only be paid a few million dollars a year for this brutally hard work. After all, these guys have to buy suits and ties. They have to pay for limousines and thousand-dollar-a-bottle champagne. Being a Goldman Sachs executive is tough work, guys – cut them some slack! Have some compassion!

–Thom Same dribble as always.
What do you do that is “brutally hard work”??? How much do you get on a book sold?

What do you have to buy??? A computer? Notepad and pen??? See how illogical your positions are with regards to your own standings?

Carry on…

PS7: We have another wiener!!!
Thom’s blog
Thomas Jefferson on Student Lending….
Six Democrats have sided with banks, against the Landmark Student Lending Reform. Who are they? Bill Nelson (Fl.), Tom Carper (Del.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Jim Webb (Va.), Mark Warner (Va.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.). The student lending industry has launched an “aggressive lobbying campaign” of senators representing states where big lenders are based, scaremongering about job losses resulting from passing SAFRA. Now, it appears that their lobbying is paying off. We’re a long way away from when Thomas Jefferson started the University of Virginia with the notion that part of building a middle class (necessary to a democracy, he said) would require people with some education, and advocated a national program of free education up to and including university levels, the last state to fall from that ideal was when Governor Ronald Reagan ended free enrollment in the University of California system. My question – how do these people sleep at night or look themselves in the mirror?

-Thom
Isn’t it so bad that your favorite bank along with your fascist promoter on your forum is against such propsals:
A Whole New World - US Banker Article
Bank of North Dakota makes about 70 percent of the student loans in its home state, but if the Obama Administration has its way, the $3.5 billion-asset bank would be out of the origination business by this time next year.

Ron Rutherford (not verified) 9 years 48 weeks ago
#7

Pay Cuts for Congress? & “Big” Governments Republicans Mandating Marriage……

budget imagesRep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) introduced a bill last week to slash pay for members of Congress 5% or $8,700 a year — and freeze their automatic cost-of-living increase. With Congress’ approval ratings “spiraling downward,” Kirkpatrick said, “Families across the country are getting by on lower wages…so why shouldn’t senators and representatives have to feel the same pinch?” The cut would be the first since the Great Depression. She said she’s already started handing over 5 percent of her pay every month. Hey, Congresswoman Kirkpatrick – how about instead of leading the entire country, including Congress, to ever-lower wages and bringing us all to Wal-Mart pay levels, how about instead increasing the minimum wage, change our trade and tax policies to bring jobs back to America, and break up the big vulture corporations that put out of business local companies and prevent entrepreneurs from even starting new companies? Stop promoting the Republican idea that we should all be paid less, and take us back to an era when worker pay increased along with corporate productivity.
Thom you are at it again. Too funny about your ideological support for minimum wages and "living wages", so I was surprised as to how you spun the latest.

Let's see people should get paid based on what Thom? Just because you want income to be high for all including our "elites" does not make it so. Why should the filthy "rich" in this case get more pay for obviously not performing their job? Do you think their approval rating means anything? If they were waiters, do you think they would get any tips? Of course you think they should get paid no matter how bad their "service" is? I am sure you tip the same for lousy service because you want them to have a so called living wage?

I know you think that productivity should dictate wage increases when the productivity goes up but are you then willing to concede that wages should in fact go down when productivity goes down??? Not likely as you want it both ways. You obviously have no understanding of labor markets.

This is obvious in the sense that on one hand you want more small business but unwilling to actually lower the barriers to their formation including but not limited to minimum wages. It is not large corporations {or as you call them: big vulture corporations} that fear rising minimum wages as they will just pass on costs. It is the small businesses that will have higher obstacles to formation of small businesses. Take a gander at a couple of points about minimum wages:
5 Things You Didn’t Know About the Minimum Wage
The Effect of Minimum Wage Increases on Retail and Small Business Employment | EPI Study

PS: 1. Hey Thom, I see your little minions are running around again censoring information contrary to your views. Very funny indeed and almost fascist in its applications. In case you missed them the first time, I will repeat them for your reading pleasure.,,

You could stop this Thom by first stop spamming all my email accounts. Sue is suppose to have a list that she so graciously decided to spread to the whole world. Yes personal information was spread around. Wonder if that is grounds for...

PS2: Uh, Craig. Are you a conservative or just playing one? As you have only shown yourself to be uncritical and to repeat other people’s words, I can only assume as much.
Which unjust and unnecessary war is he talking about? Probably the one started by Demos, no?
It’s time we turn that around and tell the conservatives – The nine most terrifying words in the English language are – I’m from the corporation and I’m here to help.Now that is just funny shit. I am really scared that a corporation is going to come into my house uninvited and help me out. Until then, I will be more concerned about the Police State as Antifascist was always concerned about also.

Keep up the spamming, maybe one day I will read the whole thing…

PS3:Thom would be better actually creating a valid argument.

Why not present the information mst??? I am talking short term effects. Thom wants short term productivity gains to automatically go to “labor” no matter the level of unemployment but when productivity goes down as new hires are added to the payrolls then I am sure that Thom will not consider that “fair”.

Thom just has no idea how labor markets work and likes to cherry pick data to confirm his own biases.

LOL, Not my hero. I have no heroes and find no reason to go looking for them in my life also. Maybe Thom is your hero and you need to defend him? No?

PS4: We can complain about the deals afterwards all we want. My point was that if approval ratings is a gage of productivity and their productivity is so low, why would we pay them so much???

How you going to force them to be better educated? Re-education camps? And yes, Thom is in the education business, although disinformation is more likely the outcome…

PS5: Here Thom. This is a subject right up your ideological alley.
Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Moorestown New Jersey Unions Highlight Union Arrogance
I just suspect that your attitude toward the politicians (more than likely middle class) and “living wages” would change drastically from your lead piece.

PS6: Hey Thom. Since you already spammed me on the latest blog post then why not post it here?
Compassion for CEOs?
The International Brotherhood of Electric Workers has filed a lawsuit against Bankster Goldman Sachs for overpaying its top executives. The lawsuit “seeks to stop Goldman from allocating roughly 47 percent of 2009 net revenue as compensation, saying such allocations ‘vastly overcompensate management and constitute corporate waste.’” Apparently the IBEW and their electrician workers don’t realize how hard it is to find employees willing and able to buy and sell stocks and only be paid a few million dollars a year for this brutally hard work. After all, these guys have to buy suits and ties. They have to pay for limousines and thousand-dollar-a-bottle champagne. Being a Goldman Sachs executive is tough work, guys – cut them some slack! Have some compassion!

–Thom Same dribble as always.
What do you do that is “brutally hard work”??? How much do you get on a book sold?

What do you have to buy??? A computer? Notepad and pen??? See how illogical your positions are with regards to your own standings?

Carry on…

PS7: We have another wiener!!!
Thom’s blog
Thomas Jefferson on Student Lending….
Six Democrats have sided with banks, against the Landmark Student Lending Reform. Who are they? Bill Nelson (Fl.), Tom Carper (Del.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Jim Webb (Va.), Mark Warner (Va.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.). The student lending industry has launched an “aggressive lobbying campaign” of senators representing states where big lenders are based, scaremongering about job losses resulting from passing SAFRA. Now, it appears that their lobbying is paying off. We’re a long way away from when Thomas Jefferson started the University of Virginia with the notion that part of building a middle class (necessary to a democracy, he said) would require people with some education, and advocated a national program of free education up to and including university levels, the last state to fall from that ideal was when Governor Ronald Reagan ended free enrollment in the University of California system. My question – how do these people sleep at night or look themselves in the mirror?

-Thom
Isn’t it so bad that your favorite bank along with your fascist promoter on your forum is against such propsals:
A Whole New World - US Banker Article
Bank of North Dakota makes about 70 percent of the student loans in its home state, but if the Obama Administration has its way, the $3.5 billion-asset bank would be out of the origination business by this time next year.

http://rdrutherford.blogspot.com/2010/03/thom-hartmann-is-hypocrite-1003...

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