Ken Collins: Why are we surprised?


We seem to be surprised at the behavior of Congress. “They are out of touch,” and “they have no sense of reality,” and “they have no idea what’s it’s like to have a real 8 to 5 job.” And that’s true. But think about it. How about a lot of professional athletes and some highly paid entertainers and top CEOs. These people have the same lack of a sense of reality.

What is the common denominator here? Education? No — all over the board there. Age? Nope again. Childhood upbringing? That always has some influence. But the real common denominators are the amount of money they make and the way they are treated.

Money, of course, can ruin most people when you’re talking that kind of money. Let’s be clear here, that Congress makes a whole lot more than their legal pay. Deals, lobbyists and secret contracts double, triple or more their pay. And athletes and entertainers and CEOs are in leagues of their own. So money is an easy reason to figure.

How about the treatment they get? Entertainers and athletes are treated like gods in our world. They may not do any or very little of the common everyday stuff we have to do. Someone else does it for them. There are exceptions, of course. A lot of them don’t even drive, do laundry or grocery shop on their own. The same for Congresspeople. Remember when H.W. Bush went to a grocery store and had never seen a bar scanner?

Congress folks are catered to in every part of their lives. They are sweet talked and surrounded by sycophants. They work, at most, 100 days per year. Everything is on an expense account. They expect, since we voted them in, to get their way. One or two terms is all they need to get a lifetime Social Security check, a fat one.

As we see now with the debt crises, the press, for the most part, gives them nearly a free pass. An almost single-digit approval rating doesn’t even phase them. Why? Because we, the people, think they all are bad, but we re-elect them at an 80-plus percent rate. Who wouldn’t feel that way?

So again, why are we surprised?

Ken Collins



jerry carlton 3 years, 6 months ago

They do not get a social security check unless they had a real job before they became part of the ruling elite. They get a lifetime retirement benefit that they have set their own terms on. Their benefit exceeds social security or any private retirement benefit by a factor of hundreds. They do not belong to medicare or Obamacare like the rest of us serfs. They have gold plated medical benefits for life. They set their own salaries, allowances for staff, working days {I use the term work loosely}, vacations, and any thing else they want. They can do this because they confiscate money from the serfs {American taxpayers} and put it in their pockets. They will do this as long as the serfs let them get away with it.


Fred Duckels 3 years, 6 months ago

This all may be true but having a president that can lead would solve most of this monkey business.


Dan Hill 3 years, 6 months ago

@Fred Duckels

The problem is not one man or woman. Our system of government is fundamentally broken. The American people have shown time and time again that they expect to get lots of goodies from government for which someone else will pay. The ACA is just the latest in a long line of programs based on this kind of thinking (of which the Repubs are equally guilty), where we redefine affordable not to mean reducing the actual cost of providing a service, but instead use it to mean reducing the cost to me by getting someone else to pay!

Politicians are no more able to resist pandering to this kind of thinking than a dog is able to resist chasing a stick when you throw it. If you want the dog to stop chasing, you've got to stop throwing the damn stick. If we want a different kind of politicians, we need to be a different kind of voters, ones who recognize that the beauty of our Constitution was designing a system of government that would mostly leave us the hell alone, not be our mommy and daddy.


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