RIP-OFF: U.S. Congressional Pensions; Perry's Pension Double-Dipping; Health Benefits and Retirement Pensions for 'Part-time' Texas Legislators
I have been writing for the past 11 years, trying to inform the public and getting some of these ridiculous benefits, pensions and procedures changed. Obviously, a lot of people who could do something about these issues are not interested in changing them.
Texas Governor Rick Perry in many of his campaign speeches and debates complains about the U.S. Congress and that it is dysfunctional, too much of a full-time process and that members receive too much of a salary and too many benefits without really earning them. Perry wants to create a part-time Congress and to cut salaries in half. It may be the only time I agree with Rick Perry on an issue. The problem is that Perry basically is doing the same thing re: pay and benefits. He also is ripping-off the public. Even if it's legal, that doesn't make it right. It's just another "good ol' boy" system.
The one thing that many people do NOT focus on is that members of the Texas House and Senate who are designated as 'part-time' state employees, even Governor Rick Perry admits they are part-time state employees who meet every 2 years for 140 days, get health care benefits and large pensions when they retire. Why on God's Good Earth should they charge Texas taxpayers for such pensions and benefits for the rest of their lives?
The reason is that there are still too many “good ol’ boy” laws on the Texas books is that they not only protect our elected and appointed officials, but the laws enable them to earn big dollars while keeping all this veiled from public view.
Several years ago, the Texas Legislature and Attorney General Greg Abbot made a big deal about approving laws that are supposed to ensure “Open Government” but the reality is that Texas Government is about as closed as it ever was. It still protects the very people and agencies that the public is supposed to have trust in. However, that trust has been obliterated and the people are being "milked dry" and it doesn't stop.
What we really need to do first thing as “the People” is to finally demand new laws that prohibit wealthy individuals and corporations from contributing to campaigns and PACs. In fact, PACs should be prohibited. In addition, laws need to be approved to eliminate wealthy gifts and miscellaneous perks. Officials are collecting huge coffers at the expense of doing what is right for the Texas community and for average citizens.
Read 'The Best Perk in Politics': http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/05/opinion/collins-the-best-perk-in-politics.html
Will it happen? Heck no! After all, those wealthy dollars go to the very people who manipulate and approve our legislation, so why would they voluntarily opt to cut their own greedy throats?
Then we need to demand that ALL state actions and documents be open to the public.
After all, these people work for Texas voters and taxpayers and we should be able to see EVERYTHING that they do since we hired them. We need to have the laws in our favor to monitor and oversight all of our officials much better than the current special interest laws permit us to do.
The “good ol’ boy" laws need to be revoked, dismantled and brought into the light of the 21st Century, if Texas residents are ever to be treated fairly and professionally. So far that’s just not happening in the glorious state of Texas.