Most Americans - the bottom 95%, anyway - feel that Wall Street businesses which played a role in the economic crisis should not have been giving out any bonuses whatsoever for such epic failures. If the individuals running those businesses had any conscience at all, they would never have needed this fact to be explained to them via the media. It is unacceptable to reward such egregious behavior with bonuses that in many cases represent more money than many Americans earn in a year.
So, why do we give Congress similar treatment as those same Wall St. businesses? Congress has been doing a piss-poor job of working for the American middle class for how many decades now? While American middle class wages have been stagnant, Congress has consistently voted for its own pay raises, along with gov't benefits like taxpayer-funded healthcare, while running the country into the ground.
I say it's time to put an end to that entitlement completely: Gov't and Congress, like Wall St., should be rewarded according to how well the country is doing. Why should taxpayers continue to pay congressmen close to $200k (and rising) for such shoddy work? Maybe all political leaders in America should work on an incentive basis? I'd like to see an independent panel decide if Congress deserves any sort of pay raise, and a pay cut should always be on the table.
Reward for competence, not failure
The better a politician's city or state is doing, the higher his or her reward. When their district, city or state is failing, political leaders should be penalized accordingly. That payscale is precisely the way most Americans feel it ought to be with Wall Street. So, why not Congress as well? After all, middle class Americans have always been held to that standard. When a business isn't doing well, Americans get a pay cut or lose their jobs altogether. Not so with Congress or the government. This is a disconnect. Wall St., Congress and gov't big wigs don't have any clue what it's like to have to take a number and stand in line at the unemployment office. If they did, they would have a better understanding of what middle class America is going through.
America needs more accountability in Congress and across the political realm. Maybe then, our country will be number 1 again. Until then, it's blatantly obvious that big business, special interests and lobbyists are running the country. That sorry fact certainly does not inspire me to respect the way my country is being run or the leaders running it. Nor big business running it into the ground.
"The Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited special-interest intervention into our elections made a broken political system much worse. Only one bill currently under consideration is strong enough to restore public trust in Congress. No other reform could be as important right now as passing the Fair Elections Now Act."
Senate probe: Goldman planned to profit from bust