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U.S. politicians demand veterans sacrifice meager pensions to keep government salaries 300% higher than the average American's

Veterans benefits

(NaturalNews) One thing is for certain: The American political class – the self-anointed elite among us – is not merely well taken care of; they are pampered, much like the ruling class in 18th century England. Their healthcare is paid for, their pensions assured (even if they only serve a single term in office), their salaries go up every year unless they actually vote not to accept the pay raise (which is rare), they are afforded special treatment when they fly, they cannot be arrested or charged while performing their congressional roles, and they are wined and dined by the most powerful special interests in the country. Rarely does a U.S. lawmaker leave office as a pauper or worse off financially than before he or she was elected.

And what's really galling about this is that our political class has the authority, in the Constitution (Art. 1, Sect. 6), to determine its own pay and benefits, which of course comes at the expense of the beleaguered taxpayer. They are asked to give almost nothing while expecting and even demanding that "We the People" give them more – of our money, especially.

The moxie of some lawmakers reached a zenith about two years ago when one of the most pampered of the ruling class, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., actually proposed a measure that would have cut military retiree benefits as a way of forcing them to do their share to reduce the debt that guys like Schumer created in the first place.

Punish the troops but don't cut their own benefits!

And, as reported at the time by Newsmax, Schumer specifically wanted to exempt Congress from similar pay and benefits cuts.

"Civilian federal employees have been cut, cut, cut. I think there was a feeling, if you're going to cut them further, which was done, that the military retirees should have about an equal amount. It's small," the Senator told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"I think (Rep.) Paul Ryan and (Sen.) Patty Murray looked everywhere they could to try and find compromise. Everybody had to take a little," Schumer said.

"They're going to have to pay a tiny, little bit into it, which they never have," he added.

As for Congress? No way, Schumer maintained at the time, insisting that members of Congress had already sacrificed and had not seen a pay raise "in a long time." He also said that most were paying more for health insurance (which, if true, is partly his fault for supporting Obamacare, widely known to be causing substantial health insurance rate increases for ordinary Americans).

"We have taken pretty big cuts," he said.

Well, let's examine that. The average annual VA military retiree benefits in 2015 were about $6,000 annually. That compares to $174,000 for members of Congress.

And that doesn't include all the perks Congress has bequeathed itself over the years, such as taxpayer-funded overseas junkets, free access to an amazing gym, and cars leased or rented on the public dime. Lawmakers don't even have to pay for haircuts or going to the salon!

Are you beginning to understand why no one likes Congress?

What else? As noted by The Motley Fool, members of Congress:

-- Get free parking at Washington, D.C.-area airports

-- Enjoy the use of a massive gym that "comes with flat-screen TVs, a swimming pool, a sauna and stream room, and paddleball and basketball courts"

-- Benefit from recently weakened insider trading restrictions (goes to the part about leaving office much wealthier than when they took office)

-- Have as many as 239 days off per year (with full pay, of course – hey, they gotta campaign, right?)

-- Get subsidized healthcare under Obamacare (just like low-wage Americans)

-- Receive a much better retirement plan

-- Get most air travel for free

-- Receive massive death benefits (amounting to a year's worth of salary, compared to just $100,000 for military members killed – unless they pay more for the max benefit of $400,000)

-- Have an annual "allowance" of up to $3.3 million ($900,000 a year for staff and $250,000 for travel)

It's no wonder Congress has a 10 percent approval rating.





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