A. Jacobs: Politicians are public servants

The public needs to wake up. If the Affordable Care Act (debatable that it is affordable) is so great, why are all Washington legislators and their staff exempt from the individual mandate forced on the public? And why wasn’t President Obama the first to sign up?

Washington is also trying to scare people into thinking that the U.S. will default on its loans if the debt ceiling isn’t raised. The nation can’t default on the loan payments — it is unconstitutional to do it so, therefore, it won’t happen.

What will happen, though, is that Congress will be forced to balance the budget, which has not been done in years, and the government will have to live within its means, just as the rest of us have to.

Why do voters continue to give them a credit card with no limits?

On March 16, 2006, Barack Obama was quoted as saying, "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our government’s reckless fiscal policies. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit."

Interesting how it is OK for him to increase the debt limit in 2013 under his own administration.

Members of Congress have forgotten they are public servants, not an elite class of citizens, and voters have let them.

Alison Jacobs, Auburn

What do you think of this story?

Login to post comments

In order to make comments, you must create a subscription.

In order to comment on SunJournal.com, you must hold a valid subscription allowing access to this website. You must use your real name and include the town in which you live in your SunJournal.com profile. To subscribe or link your existing subscription click here.

Login or create an account here.

Our policy prohibits comments that are:

  • Defamatory, abusive, obscene, racist, or otherwise hateful
  • Excessively foul and/or vulgar
  • Inappropriately sexual
  • Baseless personal attacks or otherwise threatening
  • Contain illegal material, or material that infringes on the rights of others
  • Commercial postings attempting to sell a product/item
If you violate this policy, your comment will be removed and your account may be banned from posting comments.



Jason Theriault's picture


There is no exemption

There is no exemption. Please provide documented proof of your claim. Said documentation must be a copy of the legislation or a link to an article from a legitimate news source, not a half-assed analysis from Brietbart or Drudge or similar right-wing outrage manufacturing blog. (Come to think of it, I think some of the left-wing outrage manufacturing blogs have been spreading this lie too.)



How interesting that Republicans have their panties in a bunch because of Congress being in or out of the ACA but not a mention of the fact that they are exempt from insider trading laws and since their gym is open today and they are getting paid, exempt from the shutdown. There are a lot of laws that Congress have made themselves exempt from. It doesn't make the laws bad it makes Congress elitist. Nothing new there.

 's picture

no exemption

There is no exemption for Congress: "Q: Does the health care bill specifically exempt members of Congress and their staffs from its provisions?
A: No. This twisted claim is based on misrepresentations of the House and Senate bills, neither of which exempts lawmakers." http://goo.gl/ce97u
And there is no special subsidy:
"And the “special subsidy” to which Pittenger refers is simply a premium contribution that his employer, the federal government, has long made to the health insurance policies of its workers." http://goo.gl/7IbDxq

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Cannot members of congress

Cannot members of congress take their "special subsidy" and purchase healthcare on the open market (i.e. not through the exchange)?

 's picture


H.R. 3590: D) MEMBERS OF CONGRESS IN THE EXCHANGE.— (i) REQUIREMENT.—Notwithstanding any other provision of law, after the effective date of this subtitle, the only health plans that the Federal Government may make available to Members of Congress and congressional staff with respect to their service as a Member of Congress or congressional staff shall be health plans that are— (I) created under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act); or (II) offered through an Exchange established under this Act (or an amendment made by this Act).

MARK GRAVEL's picture

P.S. Apparently you have be

P.S. Apparently you have be hoodwinked by members of Congress!!!

A healthcare allowance is not a healthcare plan. Careful wording from congress to provide an out perhaps?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Read it carefully. "only

Read it carefully. "only health plans that the Federal Government may make available"

The law does not preclude members of Congress making non-exchange healthcare plans available to themselves.

The law does not preclude members of Congress from spending their healthcare allowances on non-exchange healthcare.

The law only covers healthcare "PLANS" offered to congress. Hence, no plan need to be offered
for members of Congress to use their allowance to purchase outside of the exchange. What if the plan members of Congress purchase are not offered by the Federal Government?

 's picture

you're still wrong

"All Members of Congress, including representatives of U.S. Territories, and their
designated staff will be required to purchase health insurance via the DC SHOP in
order to receive a Government contribution." http://goo.gl/oKB2D9

 's picture

Another quote from the same time period.

How can the Republican majority in this Congress explain to their constituents that trillions of dollars in new debt is good for our economy? How can they explain that they think it’s fair to force our children, our grandchildren, our great grandchildren to finance this debt through higher taxes. That’s what it will have to be. Why is it right to increase our nation’s dependence on foreign creditors?
- Harry Reid, March 2006

It's amazing how their thinking has "evolved".

MARK GRAVEL's picture

We are of the same mind when

We are of the same mind when it comes to handling the debt ceiling - do nothing. It will force government to balance the budget. While the current administration will make the adjustment as painful as possible, the country will be better off in the long run.

Why doesn't Obumma care about is previous stance on the debt ceiling? It will ostensibly be the death of Obummacare.

 's picture

Can't get the truth out of Washington or the Tea Party, but

here it is. Default on America's debts. Force a major depression to force the government to balance the budget i.e. reduce, eliminate all those things the extreme right hates - Social Security, Medicare, Obamacare, the social safety net. Solve the elderly and homeless problem in one step. As Alan Grayson said, the republican policy is if you get sick, die quickly. To paraphrase that a little, if you get sick, or old, or economically obsolete, die quickly. The sooner you do, the sooner the Second Coming of Christ will occur and all us Republicans will go to heaven.
The debt ceiling faux-crisis is another strategy by conservatives to destroy the US Government and the Constitution as we know it.
But its also shows the ridiculous myths of the right. Obamacare adds nothing to the debt - unlike Republican programs its paid for, nor does Social Security, nor Medicare.
All three - Social Security, Medicare, and Obamacare - will one day soon be viewed as the most successful public programs in history.

 's picture

I'm happy to destroy ...

... the Constitution-as-Albrecht-knows-it, which is just a prequel to the Communist Manifesto. No conservative - Tea Party or any other variety - wants to destroy the US government. We want to make it smaller, less intrusive, more efficient and - especially - less expensive. The obvious place to start is a pre-bloated program like ObamaCare.

You must have missed the news that SS and Medicare now pay out more than they take in from payroll taxes. They went over the hump in 2011, I believe. The difference is made up by adding it to the debt - your definition of "paid for". In theory, ObamaCare is paid for, if everyone in the country buys in. But the administration hands out waivers and exemptions like candy, to unions and big business - and politicians. And like too much candy on Halloween, the result here will be a national morning sickness when the people realize what's been done to them. Friends of Obama get treats, the rest get tricks.

 's picture

They don't?

Rick Joyner September 30th on his radio program ask Lt. General Boykin (thrown out of the military for preaching holy war against muslims while in uniform) to overthrow the US Government. One of a long line of Conservative secession, revolution, ad arachistic proposals in the last 10 years.
SS and Medicare do not pay out more than they take in in payroll taxes. According to SS reports that I get monthly that will happen to SS in more than 25 years ad Medicare has been delayed by Obamacare from 2 years to 6.
The few wavers issued have been due to program problems associate and normal for such a large IT project.
"We want to make it smaller, less intrusive, more efficient and - especially - less expensive." None of these are Constitutional issues. They are also vague in the extreme. They are also meaningless in Constitution terms. Be specific. What departments and programs do you want to eliminate. How less intrusive - are you saying that you reject the Republican platform that calls for the federal government to control woman's sex lies, or that you support Obamacare's preventive women's health care steps like co-pay less birth control. More efficient - just another phrase for less costly. And less costly is just another phrase which really means "I don't agree on the government's mision". The last is fine. That's what political discussion should be about. But underneath as revealed by your "pre-bloated program by Obamacare" is the assumption that you can do it better, more efficiently, if your and only your decisions mattered. Dictatorsdhip is best. The core of some conservatives attitude. A matter of personality not policy. I too agree Obamacare and any Government program is filled with items I'd rather not see included. But that is the inherent result of group decision making in a society through political processes. Opposing it is like opposing the weather. The alternative is dictatorship and that is much more unacceptable.


Stay informed — Get the news delivered for free in your inbox.

I'm interested in ...