Hold politicians accountable

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

Sylvania

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