What are my Reps doing anyway?

So, I was curious about things and wanted to educate myself, especially since it looks like we’re all going to hell in a handbasket (or is it hen basket?).  Regardless of who you voted for, even if you won’t admit it, you have to have some misgivings about the man who will become our next president.

I will always respect the position.  He is the duly elected leader of our country, and deserves our respect.  In this case, and I will not use his name here because I feel like he’s addicted to click-bait, I will respect him because of the position he will be in, but I will never respect him as a person.  Bush Sr, as much as I didn’t like his policies, I respected the man, and the position.  His son?  Okay, I respected the position 🙂

What really shook me was a realization I had the other day.  Something occurred to me that made me stop and think, which I don’t think i’ve really been doing enough of lately except at work.  Senators and Members of Congress are elected by the people.  All hollywood and TV stuff you’ve learned aside, they are our voices in DC when it comes to making and passing laws, making the government work, and generally getting things done.  I won’t pretend to understand what either of the jobs entail, but my understanding is that they are there to promote the common good of the state and people they represent and help us continue as a nation.

Again, I’m woefully ignorant and fully admit that I have not been keeping up with political things until it becomes some kind of crisis – for me that was the two Bush W terms, and now this fiasco that we find ourselves in.  From what I can see, people who were hesitant to come out and speak against the president elect, are even more so now.  People who have publicly spoken against him, are now praising him.  Sure, people like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are trying to shed light on what’s going on, but I think the tactic of those in power, is to shine lights on things that are not as controversial as what they’re trying to get away with and in some cases, the media is along for the ride.

More and more I see in all facets of this predicament, it comes down to one thing – Money.  Who can make the most, who can get away with the most to make the most, and who can hide the most to get away with the most to make the most.  I’m not going to go into all the ways I believe the American people are going to be shafted in so many ways.  I’m not going to get on my high horse and start asking why no one is accountable anymore.  I’m seeing the sons and daughters and the members of the cabinet starting to circle around like a pack of vultures on a carcass.  It feels like they’re going to be feeding on the US until it becomes said carcass.

Rather than sit and bitch and moan and wring my hands, I’m going to get educated.

So the title of this post is about Congress and the Senate.  I had to look this up, but a Senator’s term is 6 years, and a Member of Congress is 2 years.  Let me ask you this – do you even know who your Senators and Reps are?  Did you bother to look them up to see what they stood for, or like me, just voted party line?  I’m working on that, I am, truly.

So in my research, and yes, this is just me googling stuff and coming back with what I found, so it might be off, I saw that the average term of service of a Senator is 10 years and a Representative is 9.  So in most cases, the average is about 2-3 terms.  That average sounds pretty good, and I don’t have an issue with that.

What I do have an issue with is people who have been there for more than 20 years.  The longest tenure for both bodies was over 50 years.  McConnell has been in the senate for more than 30.  The issue is this – How can someone who has been in DC for that long, really understand what it’s like to be from the state they represent?  How can someone who is making an average amount of $174,000 a year really understand what it’s like living pay check to pay check?  And if you serve more than 5 years, you get most of that in a pension.  And yet, it seems that’s where they’re looking to make cuts – at the very heart of things they depend on.

I guess what I’m getting is the problem is money.  Why would they want to give up their jobs, threaten their own re-elections, if they have it pretty good?  I mean come on, once you get in office, it’s gotta be pretty cushy 🙂  I’m sure its a lot of work, and you have to have the right set of skills, but once you’re there it seems like most of them are more interested in staying there than doing their jobs.  Where most of us are working around 250 days (if you have two weeks vacation and holidays off) where they only work about 130-150 (in session).  Yes, I know that they are working on days that they are not in session, but the appearance is that they’re doing very little but passing stuff that will increase the profits of someone other than the american people.

Yes, this might have been a very naive post, and maybe I’m deluding myself into thinking I can make a difference, but it’s been on my mind and I’ve wanted to at least write it all out, even if it only makes sense to me.