MN-06: Does Bachmann’s Core of Conviction Include Honest Pay ?

Many Conservatives point to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher for inspiration, and while America has Presidential candidate Michelle Bachmann to consider.

Consider these quotes :

“My policies are based not on some economics theory, but on things I and millions like me were brought up with: an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay”
— Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher – September 20, 1981

“Government has really been growing at — a lot of largesse, but the people in the real world aren’t. And that’s what has to change. Government has no conformity at all with the real world.”
— Michele Bachmann (R-MN-06), August 14, 2011

“I think you earned every dollar, you should get to keep every dollar that you earn. That’s your money, that’s not the government’s money.”
— Michele Bachmann, September 22, 2011

“The ‘Great Society’ has not worked and it’s put us into the modern welfare state. If you look at China, they don’t have food stamps. If you look at China, they’re in a very different situation. They save for their own retirement security…they don’t have the modern welfare state and China’s growing. And so what I would do is look at the programs that LBJ gave us with the Great Society and they’d be gone.”
Michele Bachmann, November 12, 2011

If these quotes typify what is contained in Michele Bachmann’s book entitled Core of Conviction, then the implication is clear … America’s problem is that the Federal Government has too many workers that are overpaid yet they should keep their pay and use that pay to save for their retirement.

Somebody in Washington is listening as Speaker Boehner is proposing payroll tax cut extension bill that includes an additional pay freeze for federal employees (including Members of Congress) and increases the amount the employees contribute to their pensions.
SIDENOTE : A little history. President Bush recommended across-the-board raises, which Congress approved, resulting in boosts of 3 percent in January 2008 and 3.9 percent in January 2009. By contrast, Obama in 2010 recommended the smallest federal pay raise since 1975 — 2 percent — and then froze salaries in 2011.

The 369 page Boehner legislation addresses the Medicare Physician payment problem and some non-related items such as permitting the Keystone XL Pipeline (Minnesotans know about this since the Koch Brothers refinery in Rosemont currently receives Canadian oil through it), broadband expansion, flood insurance, and other programs.
Yep, just another example of the Pillars of a New Majority crumbling as Speaker Boehner pledge to end these “catch-all” mega-bills.

How the tax cut will be pay for includes extending the current two-year federal pay freeze through 2013 for federal workers and also applies to members of Congress and increases their retirement contributions. For example, Members of Congress who participate in the Federal Employee Retirement System, would see their pension contribution rate increase from 1.3 percent to 2.8 percent over three years, starting in 2013.
House Republicans estimate that the extended pay freeze and the changes in the federal retirement system will save $62 billion.

Let’s ignore the pension contribution rate change … after all, the Federal Government has a long way to go to catch-up to the States … state employees contribute between 5-9 percent of their salaries to their pensions and that was before Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio, et al started to re-work the programs. Besides, they won’t change until 2013.

Instead, let’s focus on Prime Minister Thatcher’s statement — “an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay” — and candidate Bachmann’s “you should get to keep every dollar that you earn” and ask the question : Are there some Federal Employees that are not “earning” their pay ?
You know, taking advantage ?
Maybe excessive time-off “work” ?
Maybe not addressing their assignments … shirking the work for others ?
Maybe overcompensated ?

It has been well reported that Representative Bachmann has been absent from Washington … missing committee meetings, legislative debates, and roll call votes.

Representative Bachmann is not the only one to miss those activities … yet, considering the $174,400 annual salary, should she “get to keep every dollar” that she was paid ? Is she giving “an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay” ?

Actually, there are some Members of the House of Representatives that make Gifts from their salary to United States for reduction of public debt … for example, in the Third Quarter while Ms. Bachmann was accepting full salary while campaigning, others were taking less pay :
Spencer Bachus (R-AL-06) $ 414.39
Christopher P. Gibson (R-NY-20) $ 12,301.20
E. Scott Rigell (R-VA-02) $ 6,525.00
Steve Stivers (R-OH-15) $ 2,175.00
Tim Walz (D-MN-01) $2,196.00
A total of $23,611.59 was returned by these five Representatives in just a three month periond … and for the record, Tim Walz has been doing this since his first Congressional paycheck vowing not to accept a pay increase until the budget was balanced.

Representative Bachmann has indicated as recently as Saturday night’s debate that she is opposed to an extension, saying that the payroll tax “shouldn’t have been put in in the first place” … so much for that “I think you earned every dollar, you should get to keep every dollar that you earn. That’s your money, that’s not the government’s money.”

I guess the Bachmann Core Conviction is “I’ve got mine” (including farm subsides and student loans), “You’re on your own.”