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By FreedomWriter
Anchorage, Alaska
March 13, 2001

As Congress considers Pres. Bush's proposed $1.6 trillion dollar tax cut and the Democrats' $900 billion dollar tax cut counter-proposal (both over 10 years, which means little money in the pockets of most people during the first few years), there has also been floated an idea by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) to grant Congress a "per diem" consideration. Yet both the Speaker of the House Denny Hastert (R-IL) & House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO) have opposed the idea for now. However, we still must be vigilant about Congress spending our projected budget surpluses to fatten their already bloated pocketbooks as they debate about doling out a meager phased-in tax cut to us taxpayers.

According to the Senate Historical Office & Senate Disbursing Office & the Congressional Research Service, Congress already has had 3 pay increases since 1993 (In 1993, 1998, & 2000) during the Clinton-Gore Administration. The Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress in 1995 but their fiscal discipline went out the door in 1998 through 2000. You can view Congress's entire pay history at this link. At the end of 1992 members of Congress who were not party leaders or the House Speaker or the Senate President pro-tempore received $129,500 per annum. Now they get $141,300 per annum. That's an increase of $11,800 NOT COUNTING THEIR OTHER BENEFITS & GENEROUS HEALTH CARE & RETIREMENT PLANS. It has been calculated that a new per diem rate of $165 attached to Congressional REIMBURSABLE or EXPENSE ACCOUNTS could add an additional $25,000 per year per Representative or Senator. HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU KNOW IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR ONLY EARN BETWEEN $11,800 & $25,000 PER YEAR? DO YOU THINK THE GENERAL PUBLIC GETS THAT MUCH MORE REPRESENTATION FROM CONGRESS? HOW MANY PEOPLE DO YOU KNOW IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR HAVE RECEIVED 3 PAY INCREASES IN THE PAST 8 YEARS? HAS YOUR COST OF LIVING ALSO INCREASED IN THE PAST 8 YEARS? Yet a large group (mostly Democrats) of Representatives & Senators are reluctant to give us taxpayers a break that Pres. Bush proposes. It seems that we no longer can trust either party in control of Congress when it comes to any fiscal discipline unless it's on the backs of us working, taxpaying people.

I maintain that we need a larger tax cut than the one proposed by Bush or at least implement his proposal much earlier by enacting his ending tax rates NOW rather than being phased-in over 10 years. This would not only stimulate the economy amidst current recession fears & the roller coaster effect of the current stock market but also would impose more fiscal discipline & restraint where it matters the most: on a spendthrift federal government. WHAT DO THE WORKING PEOPLE OF AMERICA WANT? A TAX CUT! WHEN DO THEY WANT IT? NOW! That is the cry our federal politicians need to hear!

Yet, we will hear the pleas from the politicians that they need our tax cut money instead to balance the budget, pay for defense & social programs, to pay for foreign aid for our allies, & to pay for their SECOND HOUSE in Washington, DC or it's suburbs. Most Americans are barely able to pay their first mortgage while Congress says they need their SECOND HOME. I say "B.S." to their argument. They only work 4 days a week now & most of their self-imposed protracted time & expenses are spent dealing with lobbyists who pay those alleged extra expenses anyway. Instead, I maintain we need to continue to cut back government -- not to make a new class of millionaires who occasionally throw some crumbs of meager tax relief in the faces of the working taxpaying Americans.

More money in the hands of working Americans means more freedom for the people, while more money in the hands of the government means more control for the politicians.

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