Thursday, March 31, 2011

Wisconsin Congressman Scraping By On His Salary

by Dick Mac

Congressman Sean Duffy (R-WI) did what many elected officials do these days: he went out to talk to his constituents.

As a Republican, I think he expected a lovely little tea party where folks listened to him whip-up their fears of socialism, brown people, abortion, and homosexuality, and that they would feed it right back to him. Tea parties these days are as predictable as cucumber sandwiches and petit fours.

Oddly, this one didn't go according to plan, even in Wisconsin, the land of the free and the home of the brave. I would expect a Republican congressman to get a warm welcome in Wisconsin, and what transpired is surprising.

Congressman Duffy engaged in a conversation with a constituent who was miffed that Duffy earns $174,000 a year representing his district, triple what this constituent earns.

Duffy then made the mistake of telling the truth: he has trouble making ends meet as he scrapes by on $174,000.

A video of the exchange has been posted and the congressman insists that it was edited to be out of context and that his statement that he would be willing to cut his salary was eliminated. However, his willingness to cut his salary by 5% is included in the video.

Republicans believe, however, that if they say it was wrong then everyone will believe it must be wrong, and Fox News will help them change reality so they can weasel out of their situation.

I don't think it's working this time.

Like all Republicans, Duffy feels entitled to this outrageous salary. Somehow, in the weird world of phoney conservatism, rich white guys deserve their salaries, but working-class people of any color need to have their workplace protections eliminated, their collective bargaining criminalized, their unions abolished, and their pay gotten under control.

Not the Congressman's, though!

He'll agree to a 5% cut as long as everyone else does. So, he'll sacrifice $17,400 of his salary (leaving him with $156,600) and someone making $35,000 will be expected to sacrifice $1,750. The Congressman is not getting hit nearly as hard as the poor guy; but because he feels entitled to his version of the American Dream and the rest of us are not, the taxpayer is supposed to continue paying him while slashing funds for teachers, firefighters, librarians, trash collectors, et al.

So How Rich Is Sean Duffy? Not Very...For A Congressman; but listen to his wife brag about having fresh fish flown-in to serve sushi in Wisconsin for the family holiday party!

One lump or two?

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