House of Representatives: Pelosi Too Scared To Come Back To Work… still on vacation

Our esteemed US House of Representatives is still on …vacation.  

Their calendar is chock full of virtual meetings or web meetings that are typically scheduled four days a week at noon and consume 1 or 2 hours of their time – per designated Committee!  In addition to each ‘Committee’ meeting virtually once or twice a week, Chairpersons apparently enjoy releasing statements periodically which typically are aimed at denouncing something-anything President Trump..   Most of these duly organized web meetings have topics that ‘discuss’ or assess’ or ‘review’ stuff, while a select few ‘demand’ – money.

There are 435 members of The House, each assigned an assistant,  some are assigned press secretaries, schedulers, executive researchers, etc… and all continue to earn their full salaries and benefits despite not working for the last 3 ½ months.   The average salary for Congressional members is $175,000 – $230,000, and staff earn approximately $50,000.   Benefits include health insurance, stipends, expense allowances, and pensions.

Those tax dollars equate to $7,250,000 in Congressional salaries per month, roughly $4,350,000 in staffers, and unaccounted millions in allowances and insurance benefits.   Pelosi’s expense allowance alone is well over $1million per year.   If we estimate a total tab of roughly $15million per month, that would equate to having spent $52,500,000 so far to have Congress Not Work!

Today Pelosi announced that she still sees no way Congressional members can safely come back to work…it is just too scary!

Essentially, they have made themselves – nonessential – given President Trump is literally running the country alone.   But they still see fit to complain and shrew, and demand and denounce all things Trump.

Defunding Police is trivial in comparison.   On average, a Police Officer is paid roughly $53,000 per year or 26.5% of what a Congressional Member (dis)earns.   While one of the duties of a Congressperson is to introduce Bills, the amount of meaningful reform is negligible.   However, I would assert that a Bill introduced today by Republican Senator Tom Cotton makes perfect sense.   Named, “Better Community Policing Recognition Act”,the Bill calls for the same sort of reward for productivity that most professional businesses offer – performance awards in the form of cash.  Logical, rational – incentivized!

But the sludge docket of Bills is truly amazingly enormous!

To date there are 11,843 Bills and Resolutions that have been introduced by a Congressional committee that have received no action yet.   8 Bills have been vetoed, 21 Bills have failed, 560 Bills had a ‘significant vote’ in one chamber but have stalled, 546 ‘Resolutions’ have been passed, including;  1)  the designation of June 19thas Juneteenth Day,   2)  printing the senate Manual,  3)   a resolution recognizing the 199thanniversary of Greek independence,   4)   a resolution designating May 2020 as “Older Americans Month”…   In other words, a bunch of resolutions that have absolutely no true worth – more like the Academy Awards 546 times.   And 142 Bills enacted – most of which no one really gives a flying leap about.

Most of the Bills have little value other than providing a Congressional Member fodder for re-election by being able to state that they introduced x-number of Bills such as: National Historic Trail Study.   Securing NGO’s Against Terrorism Act.   Never Again Education Act.  Pirate Act.   And here is a doozy:   To Rename The Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge As The Congressman Lester Wolff Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge…Etc…etc…etc.  Whoa Cowboy – that was definitely worth an annual salary of $200,000.

Our Congressmen/woman hard at work!   No other business would ever allow such slack performance at full pay – But most career Congresspersons have never held a ‘real’ job and are completely ignorant with regard to policies, procedures, and performance reviews.   While most politicians regard re-election as a performance review, districts across the country have been redrawn so many times that there is really relatively little to no competition for a seat given left or right leaning means virtually 80% of the vote.

Certainly, term limits could help to weed Congress of those looking for a free ride, but the bloated sheer number of members is ridiculously nonessential.  And giving 3 1/2 months of paid vacation in addition to the two months for Christmas and the coming August ‘out-of-session’ holiday means Congress will have more paid vacation days than work days in 2020!

How’s That Working’ For Ya?

Pelosi: The Tabled Bills in The Senate

Now that the House has tabled their witch hunt of impeachment, they are attempting to fast track some bills before the Senate in order to improved their flailing incompetence and justify their salaries.   One such bill is making headlines as the mainstream media lavish in promoting a false interpretation.   The SECURE Act – which stands for “Setting Every Community Up For Retirement”.

Of course a community doesn’t retire – but they might collectively under a Marxist regime.  I digress.

One of the main precepts in the Act is the push of annuities.   Brokers and advisors typically love selling annuities because the commission is far higher than any other classic investment.   Annuities are sold by life insurance companies not investment houses. Commissions on annuities vary but can be as high as 10% with higher than average annual management fees.  The younger the client, the higher the fee passed to the agent given an annuity has a minimum term, much like a CD and the longer the term, the greater chance the insurance company has of making big bucks.   In essence you are loaning your money to the insurance company, pay a commission to do so, and are charged a management fee for your money whether it increases or decreases in value.

The Bill encourages placing an annuity inside a 401(k) or IRA.  Why?  They are already tax deferred until you draw the money and are then taxed just as an IRA or 401(k), so this part of the Bill is actually quite nonsensical.   Of course it is no coincidence that the insurance industry threw all of its weight behind this bill – they stand to make a fortune as people are led to believe an annuity has some financial benefit!

It is a bit disconcerting that the Act claims it sets up communities for retirement instead of individuals…

Another point within the Act is that it pushes the age of retirement savings required withdrawal to 72 vs. 70.5 which means people will be required to work longer before they can tap their resources without a penalty.   Not sure why that deserves an applause.

Beneficiaries of trusts will have a potentially higher tax liability as the trust will have a ten year provision instead of a lifetime provision for the beneficiary.   Obviously this has zero impact on boosting retirement savings at all for those the Act was supposed to be helping and targeting, but then it is government.

A provision allows parents to withdraw up to $5000 from their retirement account to pay for adoption or new birth expenses.   Of course, this has absolutely no positive impact on retirement savings either – but it’s in the Bill!

“Millions more people will hypothetically have the ability to save at work.”   Is the rhetoric being spouted by  people with degrees in liberal art.   Theoretically, savings will increase as taxable income will drop as they put away more $$$$  into their 401(k).   Problem is, most people put in nothing because they are spending every dime they make.   One third of Americans have less than $5000 in a retirement savings account.   The primary reason is that real wages have remained stagnant for decades.   Nothing in the Secure Act addresses that fact.

In essence this is simply an insurance company’s heaven. And given that members of Congress have a penchant for profiting off legislation they pass, it would seem this might be just another attempt.  For Example:

In 2008, Pelosi made a fortune when VISA offered her shares of its IPO at $44 per share within the range of $1-$5 million total.   Today the price is over $188. While it sounds like she simply made a good investment, companies of that size typically sell their IPO’s to institutional investors and mutual funds. However, in order to gain favor, sometimes they will offer an ‘incentive’ to members of Congress.   In this case, the incentive was to quash a Bill in Congress that would have had a hugely negative impact on VISA’s bottom line – The Credit Card Fair Fee Act. The Bill sits idly on the House calendar 11 years later…

Another House passed Bill sitting on the Senate desk is “Voting Rights Advancement Act” which would essentially give the feds the right to infringe on state laws requiring voter ID and require states to get fed approval before they can adopt any law deemed to infringe on the right of voters who have no ID.

Another one Pelosi favors is “For The People Act”. This one’s a Beaut!   Specifically, the bill expands voter registration and voting access, makes Election Day a federal holiday, and limits removing voters from voter rolls.   The bill provides for states to establish independent, nonpartisan (an oxymoronic moron) redistricting commissions.  It calls for establishing in the legislative branch the National Commission to Protect United States Democratic Institutions, and other provisions to improve the cybersecurity of election systems. It enumerates a code of ethics for all federal employees and the creation of a legislative body to ensure compliance. And lastly it requires the President and Vice President to provide 10 years of tax returns.

“The Climate Action Now Act” which would essentially mandate/require the President to contribute to the Paris Accord.

“The Equal Pay Act” which would require ALL employers to provide to the Equal Opportunity Commission the sex, race, and national origin of employees as well as their pay data so that they might enforce penalties and civil suits for unequal pay.

These are a sampling of Bills that the House claims the Senate is sitting on despite their feverish efforts.   Many have been sitting on McConnell’s desk for over 150 days… hopefully they will find their way into the shredder. But then the VISA bill that would have cost Pelosi millions in profits – is still active and waiting desperately for Pelosi’s approval… since October 8, 2008.

Presidential Executive Orders

As elections loom for 2020, Democrats are going to have to answer for their accomplishments since taking over the House majority.   Fixated on Trump demonizing, they have failed to actually do much of anything of importance.   While Congress typically averages the passage of 758 bills per session, a total of eighteen bills have been passed this year, including:

1)   Seven extensions of previous bills

2)   Two bills to further budget appropriations

3)   One bill to recognize a ‘reference’ as a bill

4)   A bill to clarify the pay of VA podiatrists

5)   A bill to authorize the honorary appointment of Robert Dole to colonel

6)   A bill to change the address of a postal facility designated in honor of Captain Humayun Khan

7)   A bill that directs the Secretary of Education to recognize school employees award program

8)   A bill requiring the Secretary of Interior to process agreements regarding Colorado River drought

9)   A bill to expand public target ranges in some states

10)   A bill to compensate federal employees affected by lapses in appropriations

11) A bill to amend the charter of Future Farmers of America

That’s it folks!

In essence what this highlights is the fact that the bigger the government, the less that is accomplished.   Immigration, infrastructure, Medicare, Healthcare, those issues that are most pressing according to The People, are blocked by the House through Pelosi and Schumer.   The only way Trump can bypass the moronic is through Executive Order.

During Clinton’s term he issued 364 Executive Orders.   George Bush issued 165 Executive Orders. And Obama issued 215 Executive Orders, but altered history by utilizing Executive Memorandums as a means to circumvent public outcry. As such, Obama asserted a historic 644 Executive Memorandums and 1186 Presidential Proclamations through January 19, 2017. A vast number of Obama’s orders included the establishment of new agencies within the government including; Office of Urban Affairs, National Economic Council, Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Council on Women and Girls, Office of Health reform, Commission for the Study of Bioethical issues, Council of Governors, etc…, etc…

Despite the fact that even the most liberal within government agree that Obama crossed the threshold of legality in many of his Executive Orders and Memorandums, these transgressions have gone without consequence.

Trump has signed 109 Executive Orders and 42 Executive Memorandums.

Of course, one of the more controversial executive Orders issued by Obama was the Iran Nuclear Deal and the billions in payments to Iran including a massive interest rate for funds held due to sanctions.   The deal was administered and signed by then Secretary of State, John Kerry. The same John Kerry who maintains a majority of his wealth in offshore tax havens, and the same John Kerry who has been found to be secretly meeting with Iran government officials promising to reinstate the Iran Nuclear Deal, despite this being potentially in violation of the Logan Act.

Enacted in 1799, The Logan Act criminalizes anyone negotiating with a foreign government having a dispute with the United States. In addition, Kerry avoided a $500,000 tax bill on his 76 foot yacht by docking it in Rhode Island instead of his home state of Massachusetts.   A move that was seen as rather hypocritical given his continual cry for imposing ‘higher taxes’.

With 23 Democrat contenders for President in 2020, citing their accomplishments for The People as opposed to their personal gains will likely become a dominant debate.

Despite the more obvious issues abounding, Democrats continue to state as their top priorities:

Kamala Harris:   justice for immigrants, blacks and LGBT

Joe Biden:   A mini New Green Deal, anti-Trump and Make America Great Again

Cory Booker:   Anti-lynching, carbon tax for climate change, and rental control

Bernie:   free everything for everybody including all illegals present and future

Buttigeig:   Medicare for all who want it, Green New Deal, LGBT rights

Of course Medicare for all who want it is essentially the package of socialist medicine for the middle class, while the elite will continue to embrace their own private health insurance. LGBT rights are already essentially in effect.   The New Green Deal is scary given the Roosevelt New Deal was administered via Executive Order…   And justice for immigrants is a bizarre concept that bears a load of question marks.

Unfortunately, none of the candidates espouse anything that would make them unique with attainable goals.   But they are united on one common goal – demonize all things Trump and all Trump supporters.