DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, also a congresswoman from Florida, wants you to know that Congress’ gigantic army of tax-paid staffers trembles on the verge of starvation due to the heartless ravages of austerity. Paul Bedard at the Washington Examiner bravely tried to hold back his tears long enough to record her words for posterity:
Two senior Democrats complained at a House Appropriations Committee hearing Tuesday that the combination of cuts over the past two years has robbed them of nearly 11 percent of their personal budgets, which average $1.3 million.
Now House officials are looking at an additional 8.2 percent cut, or about $100,000. Total cut over three years: nearly 20 percent.
“If it’s a $100,000 reduction in your [allowance] you really need to start preparing for a staff change,” said Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. “That’s a whole person!”
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said Congress has had to reduce constituent services because of the sequester. “We’re really starting to see the effects of that in our office,” she said.
The cuts have also affected the quality of life for congressional aides, said Wasserman Schultz, whose defense of Capitol Hill staffers amid budget cuts has won her unofficial den mother status among many. At the hearing, for example, she said prices of meals in House restaurants are getting so high that aides are being “priced out” of a good meal.
And, she added, the cuts demanded by House leaders over the past three years have lessened the attractiveness of Hill jobs. “The more we rob Peter to pay Paul,” she said, “the tougher it is for us to compete not only with the private sector but with other federal agencies.”
Oh, my dear Lord. What have we done? In our selfless refusal to sacrifice our own ambitions and send more cash to Washington, we have condemned these poor staffers – who swarm around the royalty of Washington in enormous numbers – to a miserable life of deprivation. Why, some of them might even think about going to work in what’s left of the private sector. As Dr. Ray Stanz famously warned his colleague Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters, “You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results!”
Sobbing so hard it’s a wonder he was able to hang on to his laptop, Mike Flynn of Breitbart News raced over to the cafe, to see if he could save any of these starving congressional employees before the vultures descended upon their emaciated corpses. This is the horrifying sight that awaited him:
At the carry-out cafe in the Cannon Office Building, where Wasserman Schultz has her office, you can get an 8oz bowl of Ham and Bean soup for $2. You can buy gourmet sandwiches and wraps for around $5. Both of these are cheaper than I can get at delis down the street from my house.
Her aides could walk across the street to the Longworth Building, which has a large sit-down cafeteria. Today, it is featuring a roasted stuffed Chicken, with asparagus and mashed potatoes, for around $7. Or, one could opt for a heaping 12oz bowl of Chicken Chili for $3.
There is also the tried and true method enjoyed by millions of workers around the country: a brown-bag lunch.
Well, that’s easy for us fat-cat high-rolling diamond-studded One Percenter pundits to say. How much do the pitiful, impoverished wretches who work for Debbie Wasserman-Schultz make?
Wasserman Schultz’s top aide earns around $160k a year. She pays two additional aides around $120k a year. She has five additional aides who earn between $60-100k a year.
I’d like to introduce Reps. Moran and Wasserman Schultz to someone:
His name is Rand Paul. He’s the United States senator from Kentucky. See that giant check he’s standing next to? That’s a five-hundred thousand dollar refund to the Treausry. As you can see from the date, he wrote it in January 2012. Why? Because he wanted to refund the unused part of his Senate office budget. That’s roughly a 15 percent voluntary budget cut.
And here’s the punch line: he did it again this year, and the check was even bigger. He gave back $600,000 this time. “It’s the only budget I control,” said Senator Paul. “It’s not enough, but it’s a start.”
Moran and Wasserman Schultz couldn’t be more out-of-touch if they had just tumbled out of a flying saucer, but don’t worry, you’re going to hear this sort of thing a lot more. Out-of-control Washington spending, including deficit spending, has created a vast Army of Debt. Any serious effort at spending reform – and nothing they’ve done so far has been serious – is going to be met by howls of protest about the reduced benefits, lower pay, and lost jobs inflicted on the mighty government workforce. A great deal of the money seized and borrowed over the last few Administrations was used to hire people, and you can bet your bottom dollar that every proposed spending cut will be given a human face. People like Moran and Wasserman Schultz could not care less about the harm they inflict on the private sector – enjoy your ObamaCare! – but every nickel we try to claw back from them will be accompanied by the kind of sob story they’re not interested in hearing from private enterprise.