“Welcome to the Club,” is how newly elected members were greeted this week to the United States Senate. Indeed, the Senate and House of Representatives have become extremely exclusive “Clubs.” They live and work in a rarified atmosphere, an exclusive class far beyond most other Americans.
That’s largely the motivation behind mortgaging the farm back home to get elected to Congress. Heck, it’s the easiest way to make a quick jump into America’s top one-percenters.
Members of Congress – 50 senators and 435 voting representatives – go through their kabuki theatre dance over important issues, such as healthcare and Social Security – or “entitlements” – as some members refer to public benefits, with much disdain. Yet, they are set for life. They no longer have to worry personally about medical care in old age or retirement. The “Club” takes care of its own. But, wait! There’s more!!
Once someone is elected to the Senate or House, they have primo benefits for life, regardless of how many terms they serve.
- An exclusive, premier level of healthcare for life that does not cost them a dime.
- Living and transportation allowances.
- Retirement benefits that cost them nothing, prorated by number of terms served.
- A fleet of corporate jets for congressional junkets. They never take off their shoes and belts.
- An army of armed security escorts.
- A fleet of black limos.
- Hobnobbing with generals, the super wealthy, celebrities and movie stars.
Best of all are the deals with lobbyists and political action committees that can make a wily politician wealthy beyond their dreams. Where else can someone draw a government salary and afford an $8-million house in the best part of Washington?
Best of all, you can get away with just about anything, and the media will treat you with kid gloves because they want to be your friend … and get invited to all those exclusive parties and events.
The Capitol Hill “Clubs” are on a cozy relationship with other exclusive, class-driven “Clubs” – the elite of military leadership, movies stars and celebrities, wealth corporate leaders, and the shadowy mob of lobbyists with access that no constituent from back home could ever dream of having.
So, boys and girls … welcome to the “Club!” Just don’t get caught.