The Collegian : the weekly newspaper of Behrend College. (Erie, PA) 1989-1993, February 08, 1989, Image 4

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    Page 4
Keeping Senators
Out Of Soup Lines
by Pete Weichlein
Collegian Staff Writer
Congressmen are only human.
They have financial burdens just
like everyone else. They have
bills to pay, mortgages to worry
about, taxes to file.
Congressmen like to drive
fast, big cars, like to sit by the
pool, like to vacation in their
own holiday house.
Congressmen are only human.
How could anyone expect a
normal mortal to survive in
Washington on less then
$100,000? Washington is an
expensive city, restaurants are
overrated and overpriced, a cab
plus tip costs 2 fortune. One has
to work a week to afford a steak.
Nobody can live in Washington
for under $lOO,OOO.
Therefore Congressmen need a
raise, a well deserved raise, a
badly needed raise to keep
Congressmen and their families,
away from the poverty level.
And a raise they shall receive.
When the average American
citizen receives a raise he can
expect anything between 5 to
10%. But Congressmen aren't
average, they're special. They' re
50 percent salary increase kind of
Congressmen will get a raise
of $45,000, which will bring the
salary of a member of Congress
to $135,000. Congressmen are
special and Washington is a
really expensive town.
This pay raise symbolizes the
perversity of our day and age.
What has happened to the ideals
of Franklin, Jefferson, and
Is being involved in our
government to shameful and
atrocious, that only the aspect of
earning a six-figure salary can
persuade you to serve your
Members of the government
say that all the gifted scientists,
all the genius economists, the
theorists and thinkers who this
nation could greatly benefit from,
Letter to the Editor: Reaction to Rob's View on Abortion
Dear editor,
The Love Rob column of the
January 25th Collegian leaves
something to be desired, mainly a
sick feeling of disgust. His approach
on the issue of 'so called', right-to
lifers, came across like the ravings of
an obsessed mad-man.
While I am not writing to take a
side on the issue, I feel Rob's
remark's against right-to-lifers are
visciously slanderous. He thinks it's
a joke that these people claim such a
are not tempted to work in the
government because it doesn't
pay enough.
A general pay raise would
certainly eliminate this problem,
but not the fact that working for
the government is neither
honorable nor reputable. the idea
that serving the nation as a
congressman is something to be
proud of and content with, has'
been eliminated by scandals and
And what has happened to
the men and women we voted for
not long ago? Those beautiful,
white-teethed candidates, who
were so full of ideas, so eager to
change the world to the better.
What has happened to those
candidates who seemed so proud
to represent their voters in
Washington? Why do they now
feel that their work is so
hazardous and disgusting that
only a 50 percent pay raise can
persuade them to subject
themselves to the atrocities of
Washington, D.C.?
There is only one argument to
this salary increase, only one
argument'which in my opinion is
justifiable. A Congressman who
makes $135,000 instead of
"only" $90,000 (I am sure,
however, that there are certain
economics majors on this
campus with the firm belief that
$90,000 is just small change)
will probably be less inclined to
risk his whole career by taking
bribes, or accepting lobbyist's
A pay raise would therefore
increase the uprightness of our
elected officials. In other words,
with a salary increase of 50
percent this nation will be able to
buy it's bureaucrats' honesty.
This raise has been called by
many names, including "a reward
for incompetence", "completely
unjustified", or sinply "a
disgrace". And Congress is
slowly recognizing the public
relations mistake it has made.
So now, in order to placate
America's tarnished opinion of its
government, it looks as if the
raise may be reduced to a 30%
increase only. Dear taxpayer, rest
assured that you have saved
another Washington native from
strong alliance with life. With his
incredible foresight and wisdom,
Rob asks us to envision "any young
girl you know, then picture that life
with a child." Are we to think such a
picture is the equivalent of
damnation? If so, God must be
whispering in Rob's ear, not the
Rob continues by claiming that
becoming pregnant while young,
results in "no school, no money,..."
basically the end of existence. I'm
50 Percent Raises For Everyone
by Rob Prindle
A few weeks ago I got very nice advertisement
from the good people at Popular Mechanics. They
wanted to sell me 'how to' books. Apparently they
had gotten my name from Jimmy-riggers of
For approximately $13,000 I could own the set
of books they called "The Do-It-Yourself
Encyclopedias." Although my financial situation
wouldn't allow me to buy the books, I did enjoy
The free gift that was included with the was a
handy wall reference guide showing standard lumber
sizes in one column and the actual size of the wood
in the other.
This was news to me. I always thought that the
wood was the size it said it was. Why would
anyone ever think that the size on the wood wasn't
the actual size? For some strange reason it isn't.
For example: a common 2 x 4 is actually only 1
1/2 by 3 1/2". Hard to believe isn't it? And the
chaos doesn't stop there. Almost all wood is
smaller then it says it is. If you can't believe wood,
what can you believe?
Once I found out about the 'wood conspiracy' I
couldn't wait to call my friend Butch to tell him
about the ridiculous inconsistencies. I thought he
would be hopping mad.
Well, I called Butch and explained what I had
learned. He didn't get mad, he didn't yell, he just
sighed and began to speak calmly.
"Rob, how can you worry about something as
stupid and trivial as lumber when a real life tragedy
is facing America. Don't you know that Congress
refused to accept their 51 percent pay raise? You
should be spending your time writing to your
Congressman demanding that he take the
astronomical raise."
I had to explain to my friend that I too was for
the raise. I believe that our congress preforms a
service which is vital to our nation. Congressmen
only make $89,500. Surely these people deserve to
be paid as much as some small time CEO or a
bench-warming major league baseball player. Why
in the world would the voting public yell and
scream and write nasty letters demanding that our
government be paid so little, and why would the
elected officials listen to them?
My comments did not make my friend very
happy. He let out a growl, then snapped "Give me
a break, Rob, voters are fickle, and Congressmen
want to keep their jobs and you know it. The only
work these guys do is during the election, and why
would they want to make that work any harder?
You gotta' know it would .be harder for
Congressmen to be re-elected when their opponents
can remind everyone that they gave themselves a
51% raise."
"After these guys get elected they spend the rest
of their time letting lobbies treat them to vacations
in Hawaii. Heck, most Congressmen would take
the job without pay. Go ahead and give them an
ultimatum like the voters did and they show that
their job is more important than the money.
Besides they'll still make plenty of money because
sorry to tell you Rob, that it is not the
end. Although for most I'm sure it is
a struggle, these women do try to
provide the best life for the child they
can. As a matter of fact, I know two
young single mothers that are
working on B.S. degrees right now.
They are surviving in this modem
world of ours, without having paid
"a few hundred dollars to have a
doctor shove a vacuum hose into
themselves," as you so eloquently
phrased it.
The Collegian _ Wednesday, . February 8
Rob Prindle
they're allowed to take huge sums of money for
speeches. I might add that most of that speaking
money also comes from political lobbies. Who else
would pay to hear Jim Wright speak? Those fees
are nothing but legalized bribes."
Butch had a good point. It does seem that, in the
long run, it would have been better for America if
Congress had accepted the raises and gotten rid of
the honoraria.
Everyone deserves a raise once in a while, and
anyone who refuses a raise is insane. The members
of America's House of Reps are showing that they
believe in re-election by voting to refuse the raise.
Anyone who refuses a raise is stupid in my book,
and I don't believe that we should have stupid
people running the government.
It would have been smarter for Congress to have
voted for a much smaller raise. I don't think anyone
would have been upset enough to write nasty letters
to their Congressman over ten percent. I think that
what this whole raise issue proves is that our
congress isn't much smarter then the people who
vote for them.
I have a theory. Maybe if the Houses of
Congress hadn't been so stingy when it came to
raising the minimum wage, they would have
encountered less opposition to their own raise.
Congress has repeatedly refused to raise the it
saying that they believe the minimum wage is just
fine at what it has been for the past 300 years?
In a perfect world, our government would agree
to take their raise, then abolish their sneaky ways
of making money from lobbies. Then The House
and The Senate would vote to raise the minimum
to get it back on par with inflation and restore
credibility to the word 'wage' in minimum wage.
• # •
The problem by the end of the
article was, that I could not decide if
Rob was a 'so called' pm-choicer,
pro-lifer, or, I hate opinionated
people person, (a category he fits!).
We are all anxiously awaiting t 6
know which person the man behind
the shaky sunglasses really is!
Mark B. Louis