Senators Mike Braun, Rick Scott Work to End Taxpayer-Funded Congressional Pensions

first_imgWhile Congress remains stuck in gridlock and edges closer to the February 15th deadline for funding the government while securing our border, today U.S. Senator Mike Braun (R-IN) and U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) introduced legislation through the End Pensions in Congress (EPIC) Act.  Currently, Members of Congress are eligible for their federal pension after just five years of service. The amount of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary. For example, career politician Nancy Pelosi has been in Congress for 33 years, and if she were to retire today, her annual taxpayer-funded pension would be over $102,000.This legislation would end taxpayer-funded congressional pensions, aligning with President Trump’s agenda of draining the swamp in Washington.“It’s time we make Washington more like the private sector and the best place to start is to end taxpayer-funded pensions – like Nancy Pelosi’s six-figure annual pension – that senators and congressmen are entitled to in retirement,” said U.S. Senator Mike Braun. “If we remove the luxurious perks from Congress, we’ll get better leaders: that’s why I’ll never accept my Senate pension and, if forced to, I pledge to donate every penny to Hoosier charities.”“I’m proud to introduce this bill ending taxpayer-funded congressional pensions. I’ve been in Washington a month and I can already see how dysfunctional it is. When Congress failed to do their job and created the longest government shutdown in history, hardworking Americans were forced to go without pay while members of Congress were still collecting paychecks. That is wrong and is exactly why I’m fighting to reform Washington,” said U.S. Senator Rick Scott. “It’s time for term limits and it’s time to make those in D.C. realize that the era of career politicians is over. Americans should not have to foot the bill for generous salaries and pensions for members of Congress, and I’m proud to be working on common sense solutions to make Washington work for families across the nation.”FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more

A win for big marijuana is a major loss for children

first_imgMercatorNet 13 November 2014For decades, popular media has excelled in reporting the harms of tobacco use, and generated significant positive peer pressure to break and/or avoid the habit among adults and youth alike. As a result, Big Tobacco has been almost irredeemably demonized. Popular media’s treatment of marijuana, in contrast, is often characterized by sloppy reporting, and increasingly appears to have pot fast-tracked for canonization as the panacea to all medical, economic and social ills.Twenty-three states and the District of Columbia currently have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Midterm referenda earlier this month resulted in the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Washington DC, Oregon and Alaska, which joined the states of Washington and Colorado. This has been hailed by proponents of repealing the federal ban as a triumph in the march against the failed draconian policy of prohibition.Curiously, a few days later, the sleepy little town of Westminster, Massachusetts received kudos in the media for potentially becoming the first municipality in America to ban the sale of all tobacco products. Exactly why is this “Prohibition” being championed as “progressive” rather than disparaged as “draconian?” According to the article it is because this prohibition will prevent tobacco from impairing and/or shortening the lives of 5.6 million children. While I applaud this focus on children’s well-being, I sorely wish children’s health were the focus of a battle against an enemy with far more dire consequences to children than tobacco : Big Marijuana.Even medical marijuana alone, which remains scientifically problematic as explained in a previous MercatorNet article, increases the availability of pot among adolescents. A 2014 survey of Colorado teens in substance abuse treatment centers found that 74 percent obtained their pot from a medical marijuana patient. A recent multi-state study, involving thousands of high school seniors, found that 10 percent of non-users would try marijuana if it were legal in their state. Among those seniors in the study who already used marijuana, 18 percent said they would smoke more if it were legal. Already, by 2011, more kids were smoking marijuana than were smoking cigarettes. It seems kids, like their parents and many American adults, view marijuana as less harmful than tobacco. This is a myth with potentially grave consequences.http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/a_win_for_big_marijuana_is_a_major_loss_for_childrenlast_img read more