Pensions

Congressmen Propose Dumping House Pension Program

Taxpayers fund retirement for millionaires.

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Rep. Ron DeSantis

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), a founding member of the new House Freedom Caucus, introduced legislation today to end pensions for members of Congress. Yes, our fabulously wealthy members of Congress all qualify for pensions if they serve long enough. They start off modestly, but if the incumbent manages to stick around in office long enough, he or she can rake in $100,000-plus annual pension payments post-retirement.

If there's anybody out there who can afford to pay for his or her own retirement, it's a member of Congress. Besides, isn't "retirement" to a member of Congress a plum consulting gig at a lobbying firm anyway?

DeSantis named this legislation the End Pensions in Congress (EPIC) Act, and is joined by Reps. Rod Blum (Iowa), Trey Gowdy (South Carolina), Thomas Massie (Kentucky), Mick Mulvaney (South Carolina), and Reid Ribble (Wisconsin), all Republicans, as cosponsors.

In his statement, DeSantis notes: "The Founding Fathers envisioned elected officials as part of a servant class, yet Washington, DC has evolved into a ruling class culture. Pensions for members of Congress represent an inappropriate use of taxpayer money, especially when the idea of a pension in the private sector is fast becoming a relic from a bygone era.  How can Congress make private-sector employees pony up taxes to fund pensions for members of Congress when few of these taxpayers enjoy such benefits?  As we begin this new Congress, we must focus on restoring accountability in Washington and this includes ending pensions for members of Congress."

Read his full statement and quotes from other cosponsors here.  Back in the 1990s, then Rep. Ron Paul railed about the "immoral" pension program as well and refused to participate.

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  1. Wow, this bill is totally going to pass!

    1. Yeah, I’m predicting an EPIC fail as well.

      *Ducks tomato*

    2. No, but they’ll pass 20 new ‘Rape you for more crony bucks’ laws disguised as sex trafficking bills.

      This guy’s not going to be invited to any of the really good cocktail parties with free under aged hookers.

    3. Boy what a bunch of pessimistic doubting thomas’. Like they never do right by us belivers.

  2. Thomas Sowell made a good point somewhere on JOOOowish World Review about elected gov’t oficials needing to get a major pay hike to make them part of the wealthy class (i.e. millionaires) so they’ll be able to resist bribery (including being bribed with a high-paying consulting job on retirement), and so ethical smart people will be more likely to choose politics over corporate life (because if people aren’t motivated by greed they’ll be motivated by power)… this makes sense so I think increasing their pay by 10-20x might be a good idea, however I have to agree that pensions are a dumb idea for elected officials.

    1. I have a better idea, they get paid minimum wage and serve a maximum of 2 2 year terms. Then they go back to private life and can never run for public office ever again.

      Also, make cronyism a crime punishable by death.

      No, I’m not joking.

    2. No, they should have almost all of their power taken away. The fact that no one will want to pursue such a job means that eventually politicians will have to be drawn from a pool of eligible suckers candidates, like juries.

      1. I think this is what they do in Costa Rica. I may be mistaken.

    3. That’s not a good point at all. First, there is no arbitrary magic number that will satiate the desire for ‘more’ in human beings. Second, the idea that gaining elected office is a road to riches already attracts the worst kind of pandering. Pensions (for COngress) are just deferred income and should be abolished.

      1. This is correct. There is nothing that can satiate their lust for more power and money. They only solution is to take it all away.

        The problem is, is that they have a gang of sheep keeping them elected because of promises of scraps from their table. The sheep will get a big surprise when austerity time arrives. Then they will be told ‘Sorry, no more foodstamps and EBT cards for you, because did you think we’re going to sacrifice even a fraction of our extravagant life style? Sorry, sacrifice is for you peasants!’

        1. Lord help all of the rest of us when that happens. It’s all those perks that keeps us safe.

      2. Would you rather someone become a politician for the money or for the power?

    4. I love me some Thomas Sowell, but this shows a certain lack of understanding of human nature.

      1. Yeah, I would need to see a cite because I am having a hard time believing Sowell would say something so stupid.

    5. Regardless of what they get paid, if they have they have influence to trade, they’ll trade it.

  3. Replace the pension with a one-time all expense limo ride to K Street.

    1. Replace the pension with a one-time all expense limo ride to K Street into the Potomac?

      1. Just as long as you don’t use my currency.

      2. To China, where they can live in the kind of society they’re doing their best to bring about.

  4. Key-rist! How are our dedicated public servants going to be able to afford a career in public service if they face spending the end of their lives on Social Security?!

  5. This is such a tiny part of the budget, it makes no sense to worry about it. Just like all those other tiny line items. Why, there’s no real point in cutting anything at all.

    1. Where have you been? There’s nothing left to cut, the cupboard is bare!

      1. WE ARE PAST FAT, THROUGH THE MUSCLE, AND NOW CUTTING BONE

    2. Remember what old Molasses Chops said: “A billion here, a billion there…pretty soon you’re talking about real money”. (True, that was several decimal places ago).

  6. Paying Congressmen so much money they cannot be tempted is a great idea.

    We could also “elect” them to office for life, so they won’t ever have to feel beholden to their backers, or cast their votes based on crass short term political calculus.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Can we repeal the Bill of Rights also?

  7. The Founding Fathers envisioned elected officials as part of a servant class, yet Washington, DC has evolved into a ruling class culture.

    Exactly. It’s very, very clear from the writings of the Founders (not just the Constitution or the Declaration) that they intended political office to be a “public service” volunteer activity. Congress creatures used to provide their own staffs, too. I don’t see why I should pay for Nancy Pelosi’s legislative assistants who only serve to advance her personal political agenda.

    1. If congressman had to actually take some time to read and write the bills they vote on, they wouldn’t have to pass the bill to know what’s in it.

      1. “If congressman had to actually take some time to read and write the bills they vote on, they wouldn’t have to pass the bill to know what’s in it”

        Actually since the bills are so long, perhaps by reading all of them they’d have no time to do anything to mess us up.

        1. Hell, I’m assuming they can read…….

  8. I don’t see why I should pay for Nancy Pelosi’s legislative assistants who only serve to advance her personal political agenda.

    Crazy talk!

  9. There’s something to be said for having our congressman work for something well above minimum wage. If they earned $20,0000 a year, who is going to run for office? Millionaires, who don’t need the money, for one, and crooks who will be depending on graft, two. I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s hard to argue with Kent Brockman: “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Democracy simply doesn’t work.”

    1. If they earned $20,0000 a year, who is going to run for office? Millionaires, who don’t need the money, for one, and crooks who will be depending on graft, two.

      You say that as though that isn’t true now. I’m trying to see how paying them more per year is going to make them turn down other goodies.

  10. Social Security should be good enough + whatever they want to pay for on the side.

  11. I thought our native criminal class also got whatever was in their campaign fund accounts when they left office.

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