Some snippets from Cohen's comment:
Rick Santorum only receives 1.3 cents per Pennsylvanian, yet the national debt, a result of Congressional decision-making, is $35,000 per person, and the war in Iraq alone is now over $6 per person, with large increases likely in the future.
The Pennsylvania legislature annually passes a balanced budget, and has no fiasco remotely similar in per capita cost to the quagmire in Iraq.
The Pennsylvania legislature has played an important role in making Philadelphia a more attractive city, having been a major source of funding for the annual Welcome America Celebrations, the Avenue of the Arts, the Kimmel Center, the Constitution Center, the Convention Center, the Wachovia Center, the stadiums for the Phillies and the Eagles, and the conversion to productive peacetime purposes of the Philadelphia Naval Yard....
The Pennsylvania legislature, in short, has played a major role in the successful and continuing transition of Philadelphia from an industrial city to a post-industrial city. Those who have come here because of what our city has to offer should understand that the legislature played a major role in Philadelphia's successful comeback....
All this does not mean that Utopia has been achieved. Nor does it mean that Republican majorities in the state house and state senate have been converted to the Democratic philosophy of using governmental powers to help lift up the neediest. But it does mean that the recent flurry of legislature-bashing editorials, newspaper columns, and blog posts is both extreme and unwarranted.
I thought the fight against extremism was waaaaaay more than $6/person. From what I've read, the cost of the war is around $1B/day. That's about $4/person per day, $1460/year, $5840/4-person family per year.
If a person is making minimum wage, $5.15/hr, and working 40 hours a week, 51 weeks a year [7 days of being sick/personal leave/vaca], that person makes $10,506 before taxes.
I am not saying that the legislature didn't deserve a raise in that post nor this post. I have previously posted saying I agree that there should be some changes made to how things are done in Harrisburg. I am no insider. I am also very new to this state and it's politics.
I concur with Rep. Cohen that the PA legislature has done great things in this great state of which I am now a permanent resident. But I must respectfully disagree that the recent flurry of legislature-bashing editorials, newspaper columns, and blog posts is both extreme and unwarranted. Rather, I'd say that it seems that the editorials and blog posts have lit a fire under their feet.
Politicians, for what they do, [when and if they do it correctly] are probably underpaid. As underpaid as cops/firefighters/teachers? No, but underpaid nonetheless. Politicians are elected to represent their costituents and look out for them, to represent the sentiment of their section of the populace. When they do things that they are supposed to do, look out for the populace, there isn't much excitement, that is, after all, what they're paid to do. Recalling Chris Rock's socio-comedic observations: a Dad should not take pride in the fact the he takes care of his kids or not being in jail; a Dad shouldn't be in jail and he should be taking care of his kids. When a Dad doesn't take care of his kids or is in jail, that's when I'd question his parenting.
When the PA legislature passes a bill to give themselves a raise and does not pass a bill to also raise the minimum wage of their constituents [a bill that Cohen champions], I must cry afoul. I don't care if the legislature disagrees with me for crying afoul, whomever s/he may be, I'm doing it anyways. In this case, the legislature [as a whole] is not looking out for its constituents. I don't know how one could say otherwise.
I think that if Cohen had his way, he'd give himself a raise AND raise the minimum wage in this state of ours. I know that if I had the opportunity, I'd sure as hell give myself a raise, especially if it was the last time I could do so. But the rest of the House didn't feel that way. And that let the entire state down.