Congress too rich to understand problems


If you’re like me you are absolutely exhausted of hearing about the “fiscal cliff” negotiations.

But you can’t blame members of Congress for not understanding the troubles of the average American because they are cordoned off from the plight of the working men and women of this country. Heck, these people don’t even have to wait in line at the airport because, along with the prestige of being an elected official, comes the perks of office, like taxpayer-funded junkets around the world, free limousine service, and non-stop wining and dining from K Street lobbyists.

Congress members have gold-plated benefit packages and health coverage exceeding that of the average citizen with no co-pay for doctor visits and no limitations on pre-existing conditions to prevent coverage.

How can you expect Congress to worry about middle-class Americans when over half of the membership of such an exclusive club is full of millionaires? Even rank and file members who are not already wealthy before entering office receive salaries of $174,000, well over three times the average salary of the ordinary Joe in West Virginia. It is not the individuals within the system, it is the system itself that is corrupting.

Politicians are always speaking about running government like the private sector but no successful business would retain or reward employees with the type of fringe benefits that members of Congress receive with such a poor performance record.

Congressional reform is fundamental if we are to return to a legislative system that is closer to the electorate and responsive to the people.

Nigel Evan Jeffries