Friday, April 01, 2011

Way to stick it to the man

Barbara Boxer and other Senate D’s are sponsoring a measure to ensure that if the government shuts down, members of Congress and the president are not paid their salaries. Sigh.

This same provision was included on a ballot proposition here in California in November, the faux populist sauce to make passing a budget by a mere majority in the Legislature more palatable to sceptical Californians. Here was my argument against: This is precisely the same thing, morally speaking, as offering legislators a bribe in a brown paper bag in a parking garage: it is an economic incentive to vote a certain way. Any politician this would work on is not worthy of holding public office. It would put a coercive weapon in the hands of obstructionist wealthy legislators to use against any of their brethren who might actually need their pay. Do we really want to drive out of politics everyone who isn’t a multi-millionaire?

(Also, it would be unconstitutional: the Constitution says the pay of a president cannot be altered during his term, and the 27th Amendment says the same for Congress.)

Ten UN workers massacred in Afghanistan (and 5 Afghans). It’s Pastor Terry Jones’s fault. Just had to burn a Koran. Jones denies any culpability.

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