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Time for Congress and president to cut some perks

Published: January 19, 2013

Regarding “Debt fight may delay seniors' checks” (Associated Press, Jan. 15): Why is it always seniors and veterans who are first to have checks delayed when the nation's debt and spending are at a stalemate? Social Security isn't an entitlement any more than veterans' benefits. We worked for those benefits.

It's time Congress and President Obama tighten their own belts and start cutting some of their perks!

In the past two years, the House of Representatives passed budgets that would place our country back on the path to fiscal solvency, save Medicare and Social Security from imminent collapse and ultimately pay off the entire crushing national debt by the time today's college students are retiring. These budgets have been killed by the Senate, which hasn't adopted a budget of its own in more than three years.

Members of the House reported up to $6.1 million in staff bonuses between January and March of 2011, giving bonuses as they debated spending cuts. They came within minutes of shutting down government over fiscal problems, according to a CNN investigation. The CNN analysis shows members gave bonuses in those few months, ranging from under $100 per staffer up to $16,000 and $17,000 each. These are congressional staffers getting bonuses while many constituents of the lawmakers are actually looking for jobs.

These bonuses came from an annual budget each member of Congress is given that averages $1.5 million per year per office.

Patti Koch, Oklahoma City


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