The mid term congressional election is only five days away. The Republicans are expected to win the House and the Democrat are expected to retain the Senate with a reduced majority. The candidates of the two parties spent some 3.6 billion dollars in this election primarily on TV and newspaper ads, supporting the news corporations that own the network. The major contribution to their campaign came from big businesses and corporations who will control Congressmen through different means and methods.
Once elected, most of these congressmen would serve lobbies, foreign interests, business interests and what not. They would have the freedom to travel anywhere in the world and do whatever they want to as long as they are not caught by their opponents doing anything that is illegal. During the course of their stay in Congress, they will earn millions not through salaries, but through gifts or businesses they would own or launch.
You and I (taxpayers) spend $3.1 million to support each House member and $9 million to support each senator. In 1963, the entire legislative branch of the U.S. government only cost $192 million, but now the cost has jumped to $4.8 billion. The cost of the entire Congress has been rising 3 times faster than the price level index, yet the number of members has remained same. The cost of maintaining Congress is growing more than twice as fast as the population.
Our American Founding Fathers had envisioned serving in Congress as a part-time job. Then, members of Congress did not have personal staff and they wrote their own speeches and did their own homework
Congress spends about $300 million a year on the Capitol Police, which is a very big hunk of change to protect 535 people and a few buildings. It works out to about $560,000 per member per year. Congress also spends about $1 billion on the Library of Congress ($949 million to be more exact) -- which is a lot for books and papers (particularly when most stuff is now free on the Internet). It spends $524 million on the Government Accountability
There are $903 million for the 100 senators to spend on themselves, their staffs and expense accounts, leaving the 435 members of the House with only the remaining $1.35 billion to be divided among them selves.
What have these congressmen done for us. The following facts are self explaining.
We stand $12 trillion in debt. We see 15 to 20 million unemployed Americans. Another 35 million Americans subsist on food stamps. Black and Hispanic unemployed run into the millions
Some 13.4 million minority children live below the poverty level. Schools in big cities such as Detroit, Michigan and Los Angeles, California are among the worst performing schools in the developed world. An astounding 40 million Americans cannot read. Another 52 million cannot read past the 4th grade level!
Despite our overspending on security, we have over $100 billion of illegal drugs that continue flowing into the USA annually. They allow 900,000 U.S. kids to become dealers. We have 572,000 military personnel on 120 bases around the world, but we do not have enough troops to protect our borders to stop the over 20 million illegal aliens and we pay out $346 billion annually to illegal aliens and their kids.
With only 95,000 new jobs being created each month, according to Katie Couric at CBS, our Congress imports 100,000 new legal immigrants every 30 days. This year, as last year, our Congress will import another 450,000 immigrant workers with green cards. We cannot possible employ our own citizens let alone the 100,000 new immigrants monthly plus the 450,000 green card holders.
Most of our congressmen do not represent people. They represent big businesses. They are virtually acting as their employees serving their interests and always giving preferences to their profit. The average people matter the least. People were opposed to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet the defense industry wanted war and the war happened. Consequently, our country is spending roughly $50 million to kill one Taliban in Afghanistan. The tax money is going into the financial coffers of big corporations.
People are opposed to occupation of Palestinian by Israel, but the continued conflict serves the interests of multinational corporations. To pacify the religious sentiments of the majority of this country, every American administration donates billions of dollars to Israel and Egypt to sustain our defense industry.
Does it really matter who wins the election and who controls Congress. The answer is No. Congress does not represent people. It represents powerful interests and those interests are driven by profit motives than service motives. They do not care about average American. They use average Americans for their interests during the election and then they forget.
Do not expect anything from the 112th Congress. We have been befooled in the past and there is no reason that we would not be fooled again.
Dr Aslam Abdullah is director of the Islamic Society of Nevada, Vice president of the Muslim Council of America (MCA) and the President elect of the Nevada Interfaith Council. He has authored several books and published more than 400 papers on issues related with Islam and contemporary issues. He has taught at colleges in India as well as in the US.