The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It


In an interview with Rep. Charles B. (“Charlie”) Rangel  (D NY 15th District), CNBC co-hosts Bill Griffeth and Maria Bartiromo got very little new information regarding the discussions on the “fiscal cliff” from the 82 year old congressman.  Ms. Bartiromo suggested, in much the way the Roman Catholic Church’s College of Cardinals deals with electing a new Pope that, “they should lock them all in a room until they work out a deal.”

The two anchors went on to observe that the parties involved seemed to be talking past rather than with each other.  It was obvious that the amount of non-information which Rep. Rangel and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had provided earlier was frustrating – which led Ms. Bartiromo to utter the quote of the day:

“Why are we paying these people?”

Now that’s a question for the ages.

Rep. Rangel has been a long term representative of the district seat that was formerly held by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. who spent more time at his place on the island of Bimini than in the House of Representatives where he might have done some good for his Harlem constituents.

Rep. Rangel has had his own problems.  Beginning in 2008 he came under investigation by the House Ethics Committee which focused on his improperly renting rent-stabilized apartment units he owned and for failing to report income he received in renting out his villa in the Dominican Republic.

Because of the investigation, in 2010 he was forced to resign his Chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.  (That’s the one that determines who and how much taxes we are all going to pay).  He was convicted on 11 of these charges and the full House approved a “sanction of censure” against the Congressman.  (N.B.  The Congressman never vacated his seat owing to these convictions and was again re-elected to another term in the November 6th election).

With people of this moral caliber integrally involved in the question of taxation and reducing spending, is it any wonder that we are at the precipice of a financial disaster?  Is there anyone out there who does not now understand why our official debt now stands at $16 Trillion?  Is there any rational person who would dispute Ms. Bartiromo’s question:

“Why are we paying these people?”

Comments on: "QUOTE OF THE DAY–11/29/12" (9)

  1. I could canvass my neighborhood or my church and ask people who they voted for. The neighborhood and my church would be split. Those who voted for Obama think anyone who voted for Romney was absolutely nuts. No middle ground. Those who voted for Romney think anyone who voted for Obama was absolutely nuts. There’s no middle ground. Your question is a good one. I do not have the answer.

    • UKIP in Great Britain seems to be making some real inroads both against the Labourites and the Tories. Both our established parties seem to be more deeply entrenching themselves in their philosophical positions. Sadly, the ones the Dems embrace have never worked and the GOP seems to have forgotten their own message.

  2. Since the Congress likes panels so much, perhaps they should create another one — a panel of everyday citizens that meets, say, once a quarter, and decides whether or not the congressional bodies earned their pay during the last quarter. If not, they go the current quarter without pay. Simple enough?

    Actually, the panel probably doesn’t really need to be sanctioned by the Congress to have something of an effect. All it really needs is to have mainstream media behind it, giving complete results and reasoning from the panel.

    • I have two thoughts which seem mutually exclusive of each other.

      The first is that we reduce the salaries of Congress to a non-living wage and abreviate their time in session. In that way, there would be no financial incentive to run for Congress and those who did would be motivated by civic duty and would have to work for most of the year to support themselves and their family. That real life experience would probably serve them well as they considered the implications of the laws they enact.

      The alternative is that we triple their salaries – but dock them two percent for every day that they meet. Given the display of self-interest that the Congress manifests, they would, out of self-interest selldom meet, thus accomplishing much the same end product as in the first idea. While this might nearly triple our costs of operating Congress, we would more than make up for this in savings owing to bad laws which would never get written and cost us far more.

      I also like your suggestion, but see a difficulty in getting the media to support the idea since they have their own self-serving agenda. I believe that is normally determined by their view of how they get the highest ratings.

  3. “Why are we paying these people?” And the answer is: “ZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz….” (Which also includes those ‘quiet’ ones who, finger to their lips, are receiving more than they’re putting out.)

    But that’s the long answer. The short answer is, “Duh.”

  4. […] QUOTE OF THE DAY–11/29/12 […]

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