A taxing situation

Your money goes to Washington to pay for officials' shenanigans

When Jack and Jill trotted up Capitol Hill, they had no idea they might be tumbling down it with more than just bodily scrapes.

According to Politico.com, in 2007 there were 38 cases of sexual harassment settled among congressional employees.

Congressional policies, and American laws, don't exactly discourage such cases. And when there's an unlimited sum of taxpayer money to be had, there's all the more incentive. to sue

There are undeniably some staff members who have been legitimately abused. Then again, with a pool of money nearby, some may be self-made victims armed with exaggerated or even counterfeit tales specifically designed to invoke pity.

No matter their validity, accusations can earn aggrieved aides gigantic amounts of dough.

If you think this is a matter that doesn't concern you, you're wrong -- unless you don't pay taxes. Ill-treated aides receive $1 million for their trouble, on average.

Of your money.

In contrast, when elected officials and their minions are charged with harassment, they often don't have to pay a cent. Everyday citizens are left to pick up the financial slack.

Why is it our responsibility to shell out so much of our own money as compensation for misdeeds that may not have even occurred in the first place -- and those that happened through the purposeful malfeasance of our supposed leaders?

The congressional officials themselves should exhibit enough integrity to take responsibility for what they've done, and make amends with their own wallets.

It's not enough that we elect these people and send them to Washington on our dime, where they often eat and drink and party on lobbyists, and then get re-elected ad nauseam until they're carted out kicking and screaming. But we're also on the hook to pay for their and their staffers' extra-legal shenanigans?

That needs to be made illegal.

It's our tax dollars that are being collected from us. Shouldn't they be directed toward more productive endeavors than covering adolescent backsides on Capitol Hill?

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