If your teeth aren’t too brittle and your blood pressure’s not real high, today’s Reading Eagle carries this article, “Pennsylvania lawmakers get generous pay, benefits and job security” – reading it will make you grind your teeth harder and send your blood pressure into the stratosphere.
An obviating factor for these health conditions is the article is truncated and blocked by a paywall.
If you could read it, you’d find that these elected public servants are comfortable in their roles: they keep getting elected and they keep on piling benefits on themselves. And who pays for those benefits?
Here are some quotes and passages from the article that might just set you off:
- “Among 604 who ran in the last three general elections, 588 — more than 97 percent — won.”
- ” … (these) leaders are insulated from a populace where the median household income is $53,115 a year, many people must work past age 65 and jobs are not 97 percent certain.”
- “Legislators do not fear reprisal. They do not fear retaliation. They have a guaranteed lifetime job.”
- These “elected public servants” get to pick the voters (by “redrawing of legislative district boundaries”) who’ll keep pulling their levers.
- “A poll last week by Franklin & Marshall College found voters are more frustrated with politics and government.”
- One “elected public servant” observed, ” … lawmakers’ salaries are lower than those of some local elected officials, such as magisterial district judges, who are paid $88,290 a year.”
- Gotta’ like Lebanon County’s Senator Mike Folmer’s take on it though: “It was never meant to be the best job you can get with the best benefits you can get.” Folmer “doesn’t want the pension in which he will be vested after this year, his 10th as a lawmaker. He also does not want health care benefits from the state.”
A commenter following the article makes a common sense statement: “Very simply ….If you want responsive state government, then every legislator should be replaced in every election. There should be no such thing as an incumbent. Turn them out constantly, and we’ll get responsive government. Keep returning them, and they get fatter and stupider and further away from the people. Every one of them needs replacement.”