Genocidal Austerity for Us While Congress Paid $174,000 for Working 126 Days This Year ($1,384.95 per day)

by Scott Creighton

Incomes in the U.S. dropped 3.6% in January, the biggest drop in 20 years according to Bloomberg as congress did nothing to halt the impending austerity medicine being imposed on the poorest Americans, students and workers.

But that’s OK because congress gets paid $1,384.95 per day for their good work. That’s $173.11 per hour IF they work 8 hours a day. And that is to say nothing of all the bonuses, sick days, personal days, free medical care for themselves and their families, free lunches, travel, junkets to Israel every now and again, car allowances, education reimbursements, off the books perks, and all the special interest cash they can stuff in their pockets. Oh yeah, don’t forget, they get to use the information they get as congressmen to commit insider trading without being charged. There’s a perk for you.

How do I come to that figure? It’s simple: they make $174,000 per year for working a total of 126 days according to the new congressional calender for 2013.

What’s the best job on earth? Why, of course, to be a Member of the United States Congress.

This week, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor proudly announced the calendar for the new Congress in 2013. Here’s the link. Working days for the entire year total 126, leaving 239 days off. This includes virtually the whole month of August, two weeks around Easter/Passover, not a single five-day work week and (God forbid) no weekends.

Members insist, of course, that they accomplish lots during those recesses — or “District work periods” as they call them. And Congressional staff members, to their credit, work extremely hard with plenty of late nights and long hours.

For this, Members of Congress receive an annual salary of $174,000 ($223,500 for the Speaker), and, if the past few years are any guide, they will enact no budget, no regular appropriations bills, nor other key legislation. (That is, the House will pass bills that die in the Senate, Senate-passed bills will die in the House, and occasionally they will agree on naming a Post Office if such things still exist in 2014.) They will, however, take plenty of taxpayer-funded “fact finding trips,” hold plenty of showboat hearings, and spend much of their time hawking for campaign contributions.

Wonder why public approval of the United States Congress stands at 16.4 percent in recent polls, up from 11 percent last March? Look no further than the calendar!! Huffington Post

Neoliberal News of the Day: March 2, 2013

Austerity Pushes EU Unemployment to Record Level @ 11.9%  –  “Even more dramatic is the rise in the level of youth unemployment for the eurozone to 24.2 percent, which raises the risk of removing a whole generation from the labor force. Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, said nearly 19 million people were unemployed in the eurozone following an increase of around 200,000 in January.”

Child Poverty Massively Increases through EU Austerity Programs – “More and more children in Europe’s crisis countries go to school hungry, Caritas declared for crisis countries like Greece, Spain, Italy, Portugal and Ireland. The study [1] by “Caritas Europe” analyzed the effects of the crisis in Europe on children and came to dramatic conclusions. Referring to data of the EU commission, the catholic relief organization notes that a third of all children in these countries on average live in poverty or at the edge of poverty

Spain’s jobless soars to 26%; 1.8 million households with no member employed – “Spain’s unemployment rate shot up to a record 26% in the fourth quarter of 2012, leaving almost six million people out of work, the National Statistics Institute said on Friday. The rate rose from 25% in the third quarter as the country’s recession deepened.”

Incomes in the U.S. dropped by the most in 20 years – “Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, climbed 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent gain the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 76 economists called for a 0.2 percent advance. Incomes slumped 3.6 percent, sending the saving rate down to the lowest level since November 2007.”

Why Does the US Chamber of Commerce Want to Train or Replace Your Elected School Board? – “A key role in the elite drive to privatize public education is being played by privately owned school “accreditation” agencies, which are immune from public scrutiny, and under the absolute thrall of pro-privatization forces like the US Chamber of Commerce and the Broad Foundation.”

EU Austerity Measures are Tearing Greece Apart… as they were designed to do – “We do not have six months. If the EU is going to change something, they need to change it yesterday. We even have problems burying the dead because people cannot afford the funeral expenses.” Refrigerators in the morgue were filling up with bodies until the church said that it would offer free burial for some families. “We are heading down the road of destruction.”

UK Defense Sec. Philip Hammond: cut welfare not troops – MORE AUSTERITY and MORE BULLETS!!! – “The Defence Secretary today warns that the Armed Forces cannot sustain further cuts and demands that the welfare bill is reduced to reflect rising levels of employment instead.”

EU Said to be Ready to Lift Restrictions Allowing Countries to Send Weapons to Terrorists in Syria – “Walid Saffour told the Guardian on Friday that following the amendment, “there will be a breakthrough that will end the restrictions of the European countries” for supplying militants with weapons by the next meeting of the so-called Friends of Syria, slated to be held in Turkey in late spring or early summer.”

The U.S.’s 60 Million in Aid to the Terrorists in Syria isn’t Enough! They DEMAND Weapons! – “”We don’t want food and drink and we don’t want bandages. When we’re wounded, we want to die. The only thing we want is weapons,” he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.”

U.S. has been providing weapons and cash and training to the terrorists in Syria since 2007 – “US assistance, cash, weapons, and covert military support had been ongoing in Syria since 2007 – in other words – before the current conflict even began. And the US has been providing this support not for moderates, but specifically and intentionally for the ideological foundation of Al Qaeda itself, the sectarian extremist Muslim Brotherhood, since the Bush administration.”

FSA Bombs Nestle Plant in Syria Because it’s Owned by an Alawite – “As for the reason behind the burning, it’s quite simple, the owner of the commercial brand Sameer AlHassan is an Alawite. The fact that this factory was the only manufacturer of powdered milk “baby milk” didn’t stop FSA from burning it. Now Syrians had to turn to Iran to get baby milk.”

US Claims Cuba is a State Sponsor of Terrorism – “The claim of being a state sponsor of terrorism is a mere pretext, a blanket accusation Washington applies to any government it doesn’t like (and one that ignores America’s own history of supporting and carrying out international terrorism). A State Department report last year found that Cuba’s ties to so-called terrorist groups are tenuous at best.”

NYPD Lied Under Oath in Order to Prosecute Occupy Protester (wow. there’s a surprise) – “Nick Pinto of the Village Voice says he was nearby during the December 2011 rally and recalls watching Premo’s arrest from a distance. In his report from court this week, Pinto explains how the details provided by the NYPD in this trial have been fabricated to such a degree that the allegations presented by the cops turned out to be literally the opposite of what occurred”

The U.S. and the 21st Century Resource Grab in Africa: It’s Bigger Than You Think – “Most Americans do not realize the extent to which the U.S. is becoming involved militarily in the welter of conflicts throughout Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa (check out the chaos as mapped here). Although recent reports have tended to focus on the French effort to kick Al Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) out of Mali — an effort that may now be devolving into a far more complex guerrilla war, that French operation is just one operation in what may be shaping up to be a 21st Century version of the 19th Century Scramble for the resources of Africa.”