.

Taxpayer-Supported Lobbyists?

Congressman Israel has introduced the Congressional Double Dipping Pension Prevention Act to prohibit former Congressmen-turned-lobbyists from collecting their taxpayer-funded retirement pension.

It’s no secret that times are tough for many Long Islanders. And while families across New York struggle to make ends meet, many former Members of Congress are earning millions as high-powered lobbyists – while, at the same time, earning a taxpayer-funded retirement pension. That is unacceptable especially as estimates show taxpayers pay roughly $25 million annually in pensions for former Members of Congress.

After serving in Congress for five years, Members are eligible to receive a benefit at retirement age. But, if you ask me, the taxpayer shouldn’t be subsidizing the retirement costs of former Members of Congress who are working as millionaire lobbyists.

That’s why I’ve introduced the Congressional Double Dipping Pension Prevention Act. My bill would prohibit former Members of Congress who become lobbyists and earn more than a million dollars a year from receiving their congressional pension.

Taxpayers are having a hard enough time paying their bills with their salary or their own pensions without having to worry about paying for millionaires too. In tough economic times such as these, we need to find ways to make our government more efficient. Common sense cuts must include former Members of Congress turned-lobbyists who need to make sacrifices alongside their former constituents.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Nassau Taxpayer June 22, 2012 at 09:58 PM
Great start, but why not means test it at the far lower thresholds applicable to many other programs?
JSC June 23, 2012 at 11:44 AM
I wrote back to Israel after getting his e-mail about this bill. I feel he's got it backwards. For example, we've gone through pension double-dipping in the education field in NYS, where former teachers and administrators can't earn more than $30,000 if they get another job in education after retirement. That's like 1/4 or less of their final salaries. Why should congressmen get to keep their pensions and earn upwards of a million dollars? I felt that keeping the pension was right as they've earned that through their service to the country. However, being a lobbyist is trying to influence congress, so it's in the same "field". Therefore, the salary earned as a lobbyist should be capped at say $80,000, or about 1/2 of their former congressional salary. Or, an alternative would be to not allow them to become lobbyists either at all or after say five years or so. Earning $1,000,000 just because you are an "insider" to a congressional past shouldn't be allowed.
paul caplan June 23, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Who has a job that gives them a full pension [salary plus free health care] after 5 years of service? How nice to be able to lobby your former colleagues for up to a million dollars annually before this bill kicks in? Mr. Israel cleary represents the disconnect politicians have with the American public.
Dad of Three June 23, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Good idea, but I'd still prefer that neither Labate nor Israel post anything until late November, well after the election. If they care so much, they will still keep writing, and then I may be inclined to listen to either of them. For now, though, anything that Labate or Israel post is simply political posturing, and cheap campaign propaganda.
Laura June 24, 2012 at 12:32 AM
Preventing cogreessman from doubling pensions in the first 4 years was a good idea. The obama health care, stimulus bills, more and more higher taxed, under employed and unemployment for 99 weeks plus. Instead of creating jobs, people were given food stamps. The list steve israel's failures are endless. It is the economy. What planet does steve israel live on ? Where does he live ? I say the land of broken promises. 0bama and Israel can you more off the same lies. Wake up ! Steve Labate will work for us in Washington. Steve israel will blame everyone but himself... Too late we know the truth. Laura
Goin' Commando June 24, 2012 at 05:16 PM
Total horse manure from Laura. Long Island has, what, five members of the House, including the two best known, Steve Israel and Peter King. It is just as stupid to credit any member of the House for things that go right, as it is stupid to blame one of them for things that go wrong. But, that's what happens in an election year; the political clowns will do just what some posters on this site have done. So, for those praising Israel, and for those complaining about Israel, you can expect the truth to be twisted and distorted all over the place. As for me, I may not vote for Israel, but I sure the hell won't vote for this Labate wing-nut radical. I wish we still had Jerry Ambro to represent the 2nd CD, or I wish that a logical non-nut-job fiscally responsible & socially rational moderate would be nominated by the Republicans.
Laura June 24, 2012 at 07:09 PM
commando did you have a bad day. Thank god we have freedom of speech and the word police did not read your email (coming soon). I sending you a bar soap, for your mind(only kidding). As for stupid, you should vote for jerry ambro in cd 2. Suffolk county was redisticted. We are now cd 3. Please vote in cd 2. Vote for steve labate...he ls the best. Laura
Frankly Speaking June 24, 2012 at 07:40 PM
We prefer you post something meaningful, oh wait, no need to post anything since you're not listening.
Frankly Speaking June 24, 2012 at 08:00 PM
Let me just say for the record that I am no fan of lobbyist at all, but with that said, what I find disturbing is that Israel would actually put forth a proposal to restrict an individual’s earnings. We are talking about someone in the private sector, not someone within government......typical liberal. How about he offer a proposal for term limits so we can toss out the dead wood like himself and while he is at it he can add the elimination of all pensions for elected officials along with the other benefits they receive after leaving office.
Just The Facts June 25, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Amen!!!! Term limits would eiminate the need for pensions and lifelong benefit packages since politics would no longer be the bottom feeding, cash guzzling, country destroying career it has become today. Know what a second term congressman would call his greatest accomplishment? Getting reelected!!
Laura June 25, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Presidents can only serve terms. All elected officials should have term limits. Give them 2 terms, if deseved. what have they done? The longer in office, the more they forget why they were elected. If we vote them out, we send a clear messege. Maybe a law. We have the power to change something if we do not like it...vote. Laura
andrew tyler June 26, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Mr. Israel here is looking just to score points with voters in an election year. If he thinks wer'e foolish enough to believe anything he proposes has a snow balls chance in Haites of passing he's in for a rude awakening. Perhaps he should stick to renaming Post Offices. In 12 Years as our failed congressman the only 2 bills he authored that we're signed into law was the renaming of 2 post offices.
Laura Bart June 26, 2012 at 12:45 PM
What congressman is going to support that bill?
Laura June 26, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Thank you andrew tyler. My husband liked your email. It was great. One more reason not to vote for steve israel. Laura

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something