THE SWAMP IS OUT OF CONTROL…


BLOG POST 1A - Bloated Gov

When I say “Swamp” I am including virtually everything in Washington, D.C. and the massive number of federal employees who make six-figure incomes.  We have allowed the federal government to become the behemoth that is going to bankrupt our Republic and fulfill the prophecy of John Adams,Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.”  He and our Framers and Founders understood the incredible danger of the governmental experiment they were undertaking and the necessity of WE THE PEOPLE maintaining a tight rein on the government.  WE HAVE FAILED and now it is OUT OF CONTROL.

It should disturb every American citizen to their core to learn that there are tens of thousands of federal employees who earn more money than ANY U.S. Governor.  The government watchdog group “OpenTheBooks” released a 40-page report titled “Mapping the Swamp” and the revelations of both the size and scope of the federal bureaucracy are alarming.  The number of federal employees continues to grow and the rise in the number of those employees earning six-figure income is increasing at an alarming rate.  THAT MUST STOP!

This report revealed that the number of federal employees earning more than $200,000 annually increased by 165% between the fiscal years of 2010 and 2016.  Those making over $150,000 increased by over 60% and the number being paid over $100,000 by 37%.  I would say earning but I’m not sure earning is the proper word and paid is probably a more accurate description.  I’m not sure they EARN anything!  This report indicates that almost 30,000 rank-and-file federal employees received more than $190,823 annually were higher paid than ALL 50 State Governors.  There were, according to this report, 406,960 federal employees being paid six-figure incomes and that amounts to one in five of all federal employees.  NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT, RIGHT???  Amazingly, the minimum wage for federal bureaucrats at 78 departments and independent agencies averaged $100,000 or more. 

In the fiscal year 2016, the USPS and VA employed more than half of the federal employees with the Postal Service employing 32% of all disclosed employees (621,523) and the VA was second (372,614).  The situation is probably worse than what the report indicates because there were a number of federal employees whose salaries were not disclosed.  Imagine that!  The report and others that I have seen clearly reveal that there are many “gaming the system” for personal gain at the expense of the taxpaying public.  The federal government pays its disclosed workforce at the tune of $1 MILLION per minute and more than $500 MILLION per day.  Is there any wonder why they want to TAX, TAX, TAX?  To spend that kind of money, which is a drop in the bucket of what they spend overall you must have an incredible revenue stream.  We could fix the problem, but it would take massive cuts in all departments and agencies of the federal government and restructure the total packages for those in Congress.  I might add, needed cuts and restructuring.  Will it happen?  Not if the Establishment Politicians are in control and Entitlements continue to buy votes.  Federal employees receive 10 paid federal holidays, 13 paid sick days, and 30 vacation days per year.  If each of them took all their allotted time it would cost the taxpayers $22.6 BILLION annually. 

BLOG POST 1 - Bloated Government

The base salary for those in Congress is $174,000 but that is just the beginning.  They have a very large “piggy bank” called their “allowance”.  In the House of Representatives, the members are allowed to spend more than $900,000 on salaries for up to 18 permanent employees.  They receive about $250,000 more for office expenses, including travel, and additional money for the congressional perk known as “franking”.  That is for the mass constituent mail sent out by members of Congress at our expense.  Senators get the same privileges but with a much larger “allowance”.  According to the Congressional Research Service report, the average allocation for the fiscal year 2010 was more than $3.3 MILLION.  The amount they get is connected to the size of their state but at the base, each Senator is given more than $500,000 to hire up to THREE legislative assistants. 

But, it does not stop there, they get lots of office space too both in DC and in their home state and district.  Senators get up to 8,200 square feet of space and there is no restriction on the number of offices they can open in federal buildings in their home states.  This perk also includes furniture for those offices and each Senator gets $40,000 or more for furniture in their home state.  Next, they are allowed to deduct up to $3,000 for expenses outside their home districts or states.  Then, regarding insurance and retirement, it is a Rolls Royce plan.  Forget Cadillac it far exceeds that descriptor.  They can sign up for the same health and life insurance plan as all other federal employees, but it does not stop there.  They are allowed to sign up for a 401(k)-style “Thrift Savings Plan,” a tax-deferred investment with a 5% matching by you and me.  Then, there is social security and a pension plan to boot.  The pension payments and eligibility vary but the members of Congress are eligible for an immediate, full pension at age 62 if they’ve served 5 years or more; they’re eligible at age 50 if they’ve served 20 years, and eligible at any time if they have served 25 years.  They do not have a one retirement plan but have access to three.  Any Senator or Representative elected after 1986 has access to Social Security, a 401(k) program that matches 5% of their contributions up to $17,500 and FERS, which as the name implies covers anyone paid from the federal till.  According to one calculation, an elected official’s FERS accumulation rate is almost double other employees.  NICE!

Their work schedule is such that they could hold down another job and still show up for all the sessions of Congress.  They get up to 239 days per year off.  The Congressional calendar of 2012 indicated there were 126 sessions on the docket which left members of Congress with 239 days off.  The vast majority of their air travel is FREE.  This does not mention the kickbacks, under the table funds, campaign donations, and many other perks that are often if not usually illegal but since it is Congress it is ignored by the rest of Congress.  You do not look your gift horse in the mouth or do you bite the hand that feeds you.

Patriots, if we do not find a way to regain control of this behemoth called the federal government we are driving the final nails in the coffin of the Republic.  The Never Trump Republicans, the Establishment GOP seem to be perfectly willing to cede control of the House and Senate to the Democrats to defeat President Trump.  Talk about cutting your nose off to spite your face.  I cannot fathom how they cannot see how this hurts all of us and what would be best for America to FULFILL the campaign promises that got Donald Trump elected in 2016.

I want to say, “God bless America and God bless you” but I think I should say, “God help America and God help each of us who are footing the bill for the Swamp.” 

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