Screw Obamacare, 'We the People' Want Everything Congress Has

Being an elected representative of the people is a sweet gig, chock full of cushy salaries, budgets, benefits and perks. Why would Americans bother with simply asking for a repeal of Obamacare when they could ask for so much more?

Here's what We the People should really demand: every perk and penny Congress enjoys courtesy of our hard-earned tax dollars --- and they enjoy a lot. Take a look at what our incompetent and insufficient congressmen and congresswomen get for doing the people's business:

Salary & Benefits

Annual Salary: $174,000

• Each Senator and Representative receives $174K per annum (the Speaker of the House gets $223,500, and the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate get $193,400).

• Permissible “outside earned income” for Representatives and Senators is limited to 15% of the annual rate of basic pay for level II of the Executive Schedule. According to the House Ethics Committee and Senate Ethics Committee, the 2016 limit is $27,495.

Tax Deduction Perk: $3,000

• Each Senator and Representative is allowed to deduct living expenses up to $3,000 per annum, while away from their congressional districts or home states.

Healthcare: $10,000

• For decades, congressional members had access to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). Started in 1959, a few years before Medicare, it was meant to cover some nine million government employees --- civil-service workers, the courts, the Post Office, members of Congress, and more. It wasn’t a single plan but, rather, as a Times story put it, “a supermarket offering 300 private health plans.” Heritage Foundation called it “a showcase of consumer choice and free-market competition.”

• Since 2014, lawmakers and staffers, except in a handful of cases, purchased health insurance through the D.C.'s “SHOP” exchange. They do this with an employer-based subsidy from the federal government, which some lawmakers have denounced as an “exemption” for Congress under the law.

• Under Obamacare, a middle-aged member of Congress who earns an annual salary of $174,000 from the taxpayers, and who has a wife and children, will get a $10,000 subsidy from the taxpayers (over and above his $174,000 salary) to buy a health insurance plan that a regular citizen making almost $80,000 less than the congressman will not get.

Short Work Week: Up to 239 Days Off

According to the congressional calendar released in late 2012, there were 126 congressional sessions on the docket without a single five-day work week, leaving members of Congress with 239 days to work outside of Congress. Sometimes this means working within their home state, and in other cases it can mean a vacation.

Budget & Office Space (Senate)

Personnel and Office Expense Account: $3,043,454 to $4,815,203

• The Senators’ Official Personnel and Office Expense Account (SOPOEA) is available to assist Senators in their official and representational duties. The allowance is provided for the fiscal year. The preliminary list of SOPOEA levels contained in the Senate report accompanying the FY2017 legislative branch appropriations bill shows an average allowance of $3,306,570 per senator.

Staff Salaries: $169,459 to $171,315

• The maximum annual salary for committee employees, as continued since the 2009 pay order, is $171,315. The salary of an employee in a senator’s office may not exceed an annual rate of $169,459.

Physical Office Space: 5,000 to 8,200 square feet

• Each senator is authorized home state office space in federal buildings. In the event suitable office space is not available in a federal building, other office space may be secured. The cost of private space is not to exceed the highest rate per square foot charged by the General Services Administration. The aggregate square footage of office space that can be secured for a senator ranges from 5,000 square feet, if the population of the state is less than 3 million, to 8,200 square feet, if the state’s population is 17 million or more.

Furniture Budget: Starting at $40,000

• Each senator is authorized $40,000 for state office furniture and furnishings for one or more offices, if the aggregate square footage of office space does not exceed 5,000 square feet. The base authorization is increased by $1,000 for each authorized additional incremental increase in office space of 200 square feet.

Budget & Office Space (House of Representatives)

Personnel and Office Expense Account: $1,200,000

• Members of the House receive a $250,000 budget for travel and office expenses.

Staff Salaries: $168,411 to $172,500

• Members of the House receive a $900,000 annual allowance for a staff.

• The maximum annual salary for employees of committees, as revised in the 2009 pay order, is $172,500 for up to three staff members (two majority and one minority); $170,696 for up to nine staff members (six majority and three minority); and a maximum of $168,411 for other staff. The salary of an employee in a member office may not exceed an annual rate of $168,411.

Other Perks

Members of Congress have long been treated as a special class with lifelong access to members-only parking spaces, elevators, dining rooms and exercise facilities (unless they become a lobbyist).

Grooming and Fitness Amenities

• Taxpayer-funded, members-only gym

• Taxpayer-funded, members-only tennis court

• Taxpayer-funded, members-only salon

• Taxpayer-funded, members-only barbershop

Airline Privileges

• Staff schedulers often times make reservations for members of Congress via dedicated phone lines that Delta and other major airlines have reportedly set up for Capitol Hill customers. Airlines also permit members to reserve seats on multiple flights but only pay for the trips they take. “We get on every single flight,” one congressional aide familiar with the process told Roll Call last month.

• Free parking at the two Washington-area airports (At a rate of $22 per day, that represents almost $740,000 in forgone revenue annually for Reagan National).

Retirement and Investment Benefits

• According to figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, the average Social Security recipient is going to net $15,000 a year in benefits while a public workers' pension will average around $26,000. By contrast, a retired member of Congress who's served 20 years will average $59,000 annually in pension benefits. In addition, Congress members (actually all federal workers) have access to the Thrift Savings Plan, a 401(k)-like investment vehicle with fees of just 0.03%. To put that into context, Bankrate notes that this means just $0.27 in fees for every $1,000 for the Thrift Savings Plan, compared with the average 401(k), which charges around $5 in fees for every $1,000. Over a lifetime, that can mean thousands less in fees for congressional employees compared to public- and private-sector workers.

• Despite passing the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, perhaps known better as the STOCK Act in 2012, Congress gutted the primary disclosure component. While still making it difficult to make trades on inside information, this means they don't have to publicly disclose their trades and potential insider knowledge. It's laudable they passed the restrictions, but it's hard keep them honest if it's difficult to access the information.

Death Benefits

• Family members of those in Congress who die typically receive a full year’s salary as compensation ($174,000). By comparison, the families of members of the armed forces killed on the battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan are only entitled to $100,000 for their loss.

Sources:

Congressional Research Service

The Center for Public Integrity

The Motley Fool

The New Yorker

OPM.gov

The Washington Post

CNS News

Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw of Texas joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to discuss the Left's current efforts to rid the U.S. military of "extremism," Democrats' push to separate President Joe Biden from the nuclear codes, and how conservatives can use government to battle the far-left, their policies, and their efforts to control Americans.

Crenshaw called the military's efforts to rid their ranks of extremism, "so obviously and clearly politically motivated," as the entire premise is based on reports that some active service members and veterans participated in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.

"Mathematically, that's not a good indication of where active duty military stand or where veterans stand more broadly," Crenshaw said of the generalization that military personnel are extremists. "And I thought we were against that kind of profiling. Right? I thought that was against the liberal values that supposedly the Left stands for."

"But, Glenn, you know very well the Left is not liberal," he added. "The Left is very anti-liberal. And I think as conservatives, we have to say that more often. They have become genuinely authoritarian. Progressivism is not in sync with liberalism. All right? There's a big difference between an Alan Dershowitz liberal and a Democrat Party progressive. They're totally different."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation with Rep. Dan Crenshaw:

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Glenn Beck: THIS is why Biden nominated Merrick Garland as attorney general

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Many will remember President Biden's attorney general nominee Merrick Garland as the man Republicans refused to hold a Supreme Court confirmation hearing for back in 2016. So, was Garland's AG nomination just meant to be a slap in the face to Republicans? Glenn Beck thinks there's a lot more to it.

Given how focused Democrats are on rooting out vaguely defined "right-wing extremism," Garland's work in supervising the prosecution of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing suspects gives us a hint, Glenn suggested on radio this week. He said he's "all for" stopping dangerous extremists, but couldn't help noticing how Garland isn't talking about any of the destruction that happened over the summer.

"I am all for justice. I am all for making sure we catch the bad guys, as long as the bad guys are not defined to be on only one side," Glenn said. "Merrick Garland said [Monday] that there was no comparison between what happened on January 6th and what happened over the summer. That is because the Washington elites see themselves as better than somebody who owns a taco stand. I don't. The Constitution doesn't. They are the same crime."

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:

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"All rich countries should move to 100% synthetic beef. You can get used to the taste difference," said holy anointed billionaire Bill Gates. Green activism has been around for decades. But what used to be wacky has now worked its way into the world's power structure. You must believe the science. You cannot question the science.

The Texas power failure provided America with a disturbing and deadly preview of the Great Reset. But Bill Gates, AOC, and other Democrats say this only proves we need to enforce MORE green policies.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck reveals how deep the Great Reset tentacles reach into government and business to strangle freedom and their efforts to control every aspect of your private life.

Watch the full episode below:

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Why are we letting criminals out of prison while putting pastors in? Pastor James Coates of Canada's GraceLife Church was recently fined, arrested, and put in maximum security prison for violating lockdown rules.

Rebel News founder Ezra Levant joined Glenn Beck on "Glenn TV" to discuss the story. Ezra said he's noticed a trend of government officials "picking on" Christians as "lockdownism" becomes almost a new kind of religion, and warned this might be just the start of more persecution to come.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.