Weiner’s Toast, But His Pension Lives On

It’s official: we won’t have Rep. Anthony Weiner to kick around any more. At his 2:00 p.m. press conference, Weiner announced his resignation from the U.S. House of Representatives. Unfortunately for We the People, his resegnation doesn’t mean our tax dollars have seen the last of him.

Evidently resigning in disgrace is not enough to prevent him from cashing in on the fairly generous pension our members of Congress have come to expect: Weiner can hope to see upwards of $40,000 (with cost of living adjustments) once he reaches retirement age. That despite the fact that he’s almost guaranteed to fall on his feet into a cushy consulting, lobbying, or talking head-type job which would likely pay even more.

This is definitely some budget worth cutting. And here’s a simple rule of thumb: if you are forced to resign your seat, your pension goes with it. If you decide not to run for re-election due to scandal (or mere criminality), your pension is revoked.  If you refuse to resign despite being censured or found guilty of ethics violations, your pension goes bye-bye.

Of course, this would include not only Weiner, but other recent scandal-ridden miscreants such as Ensign, Massa, and Lee, as well as Rangel, Frank, and likely Maxine Waters and the Sanchez sisters.

In fact, I have an even better idea: No pensions at all for our elected federal officials. It might ensure that only dedicated civic-minded public servants would run for office and serve. It would also solve the problem of term limits, as those elected would ultimately have to get a real job in order to qualify for a pension.

No, Weiner is roasted, but his pension will catsup with him eventually. And no doubt he’ll enjoy it with relish.

Stoutcat

4 Responses to Weiner’s Toast, But His Pension Lives On

  1. […] Read more at grandrants.wordpress.com … TOPICS: Government; PoliticsKEYWORDS: congress; pension; weiner; […]

  2. […] This just in… Weiner still gets his pension! So break out your wallet Joe Six […]

  3. I agree, better not to give them pensions at all. If we took the half-measure of creating a rule like that—“if you are forced to resign your seat, your pension goes with it. If you decide not to run for re-election due to scandal (or mere criminality), your pension is revoked”—wouldn’t people like Weiner try to hang on to office just to keep their pension? Members of Congress already cling to office too much as it is.

    (I also don’t know who would have the job of deciding whether a given resignation, or decision not to run for re-election, had been “due to” scandal or not, but I can’t imagine that it would be simple and straightforward to do.)

    • Stoutcat says:

      Yes, there are problems inherent with any rule like that. And when the ones creating the rule are the ones who have to live by it, you can bet your boots that they will build plenty of wiggle room into it.

      So we come back to the simplest and most clear way to avoid problems like this: no pensions for Congress. Contribute whatever they want to a 401(k) (but no matching funds from the taxpayer); give ’em health insurance, sure. But make it damn difficult and financially unrewarding for them to afford to stay in office for more than one or two terms.

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