Hold politicians accountable

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When elections are forthcoming, newspapers and TV shows slam us with political information. These reports and editorials blame everything wrong in this country on the incumbent president. We are led by our representatives to expect this person to correct these issues during his term. We sit back and let at least 500 members of Congress off the hook.

A few facts regarding our political system:

We have one president elected for a maximum of eight years. His salary is $487,000 per year. There are other perks such as expense accounts; traveling expenses; and health and retirement benefits. Members of Congress receive these perks as well.

There are 100 senators in Congress serving a minimum of six years with no term limits. Some stay 20, 30, 40 or even 50 years. and are constantly blaming the president for their inability to get things done. As of 2009, senators receive a minimum of $174,000 annually; the president pro tem and party leaders receive $193,400 annually. They all receive health-care benefits and are fully vested in the retirement program after five years, less than one term. In 2003, at least 40 percent were millionaires.

The president is one man, and his political affiliation has nothing to do with those senators sitting around waiting for the next scapegoat to arrive.

The House of Representatives is determined by population, but is fixed at 435 members by law. They are elected for two-year terms and are paid $174,000 annually. The speaker of the House receives $223,500, and the majority and minority leaders receive $193,400.

I would like news reports to let us know what these officials are doing to earn their money. It seems news reports and editorials regurgitate everything they read on the Internet and simply repeat it over and over. There seems to be no news in the newspapers, only opinions.

I would like reports to advise what elected officials are working on and how they are voting. It seems, when asked, they simply blame the president for their laziness and lack of action. As voters we need to hold their feet to the fire and not let them pass the buck. As consumers we need to require reporters to do their research and report the facts, not their opinions.

Do the math! We are not getting our money’s worth. Don’t let your representatives hide behind the president. Presidents go in with the hopes they can achieve something memorable and leave the country better than they found it. They don’t have a lifetime, only eight years. What about the others?

Emilie Bowles


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desertcat6 03/21/12 - 04:49 am
Votes, commitee work, floor

Votes, commitee work, floor speeches and positions on various issue are available via the internet. The house, senate and congressmen have websites showing everything the LTE needed/wanted to know. Lots of watchdog groups summarize info on each elected official. Yet, the LTE wants the unbiased media to spoon feed it to us. No thanks. I know what my congressman and senators are doing, and I'm proud that they've been pretty successful in preventing the President from imposing his agenda over the last two years. If I had more TP minded, debt busting, budget slashing, economy improving conservative choices, I would consider voting for them.

copperhead 03/21/12 - 06:04 am
How do you hold someone that

How do you hold someone that wants to pass laws "to see what is in them" accountable? How do you hold an entire party that blindly follows the "pass it to see what is in it" lead accountable?

Techfan 03/21/12 - 08:12 am
Our letters and calls have

Our letters and calls have zilch for influence compared to the corporations and special interests that wine and dine them, and fill their war chests. The only answer is to limit donations and make the names and ties of all donors public.

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 03/21/12 - 08:32 am
I have always questioned the

I have always questioned the value of making the names of donors public. I mean, who care who donates to whom? What is important are the ideas of the candidate. What is important is the voting record of the legislator. It doesn't make any difference who gives money — it does make a difference what the officeholder does in office.

Don't worry about the donations, Techfan. Just worry about the taxing and spending.

kissofdeath 03/21/12 - 08:55 am
Mitt Romney would be a

Mitt Romney would be a terrible president. Mitt Romney who likes " being able to fire people." Who said " corporations are people." Who laid off thousands and shipped jobs overseas. Who forced the family dog to ride on the car roof for a twelve - hour drive!

Retired Army
Retired Army 03/21/12 - 09:14 am
LL I'm sure that techfan will

LL I'm sure that techfan will be back to you, but I'll throw my two cents in here anyway.

You state "Don't worry about the donations". Does the word "corruption" hold any meaning whatsoever to you? Time and again cash paid by folks with vested interests over the entire course of human history has influenced politicians and public servants to go against the best interests of their constituents. That's a fact!

Take private cash out of our political system and the folks who would be interested in truly serving would be true servants. This in no way would eliminate any of our freedom. We all could still vote for the candidate who best voices our ideals, not our pocketbooks.

I would like to see many changes in how our government works. I would like to see Congress penalizied in the form of no recess or vacation or even days off until the people's business that they are elected to do is taken care of. That politicians can not even put together an anual budget in a timley manner is disgusting to both the left and the right.

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