While most people agree that President Bush is the originator of most of the nation’s problems, personal, federal and global, we must remember that a president has limited powers without the advice and consent of Congress.

Congressional salaries are $169,000, plus expenses, plus another $188,000 if serving as a committee head, plus a pension, plus being allowed to keep all fundraising money upon retirement.

The Founding Fathers wrote that serving in the government should be a contribution for every citizen, not a career. By the way, there is nothing in the original Constitution that provided that members be paid.

If we really want change, we must give serious thought to the many career politicians who simply vote along party lines, with seemingly no thoughts of consequences.

The majority of congressional members’ time is spent getting re-elected, because they get group life insurance, free outpatient care, free parking, free mailing privileges, free long-term care and an annual 3.49 percent cost of living raise (while Social Security gets 1 to 2 percent).

Even the laws don’t seem to apply to them. Dan Rostenkowski spent 15 months in prison for a felony, yet he still receives a pension of $126,000 per year. Red (Duke) Cunningham was convicted of stealing $2.4 million, but kept his mansion and Rolls Royce, and still gets a pension of $64,000 per year.

Yes, change the administration, but getting rid of the career politicians would be more effective.

Dick Rosenberg, Lewiston


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