Man, what a week! Fortunately, I was able to get quite a bit done, but I did have a great Memorial Day weekend and I hope you did as well. So, it’s Friday and time for our weekly shoot the shit; by the way, the reason we didn’t have one last week was to celebrate Memorial Day and honor our fallen.
So what is a shoot the shit? Quite simply it’s a social interaction open to any topic or topics of discussion. They are in lieu of seeing a therapist, who is a jackass that studied psychology so he or she could understand themselves. You’ll end up paying $150+ per hour without the benefit of the more traditional sexual services.
Shoot the shits have no rules; participants are not required to know anything about the topic being discussed, they can make any unsupported comment, use uncensored profanity, insult anyone they wish or change the subject at will.
So, let’s get started.
Undoubtedly, you’ve all heard that Congress wants a pay raise, and leading the pack of pay raise advocates is Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. What’s interesting about this is that most Americans, and I say that from independent research have no idea what the Congressional compensation and benefits package consist of. So here it is for your edification…
This member of Congress singlehandedly lost NYC 25,000 jobs paying on average $150,000 per year, wants a cost of living increase! She has also proclaimed the end of the world in twelve years, and is a veritable fount of unending ridiculous comments.
So, here’s how Congress is being compensated today. Let me know if you think you’re getting your money’s worth.
Days Worked: The House of Representatives averages 138 “legislative days.” It’s been like that since 2001. The rest of the time, they are at their districts and traveling overseas etc.
Rank-and-file members of the House and Senate $174,000 per year.
Senate Majority Leader – $193,400
Senate Minority Leader – $193,400
Speaker of the House – $223,500
House Majority Leader – $193,400
House Minority Leader – $193,400
Members of Congress receive retirement (vested after 5 yrs. of service) and health benefits under the same plans available to other federal employees.
As of the ACA was passed in 2014 members of Congress are required to purchase health insurance plans offered through one of the Affordable Care Act-approved exchanges in order to receive a government contribution toward their health coverage. The government pays from 72% to 75% of their premiums.
Members of Congress are eligible to receive a pension at the age of 62 if they have completed a total of 5 years of service.
Members who have completed a total of 20 years of service are eligible for a pension at age 50.
Members who complete a total of 25 years of service are eligible to receive a pension at any age.
The amount of the members’ pension is based on their total years of service and the average of their highest three years of salary.
the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.
Congressional retirement is funded by taxes and the member contributions. Members of Congress under FERS contribute 1.3 % of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2% of their salary in Social Security taxes.
As of 2016 335 members who retired under the Civil Service system receive and average of $74, 028. The 276 members retired under the Federal Employee system saw $41,076. These payments are for life.
Members are allowed a $3,000 tax deduction for living expenses, while they are away from their home states or congressional districts.
Members of Congress are allowed outside sources of income. This was limited in 2018 to $28,400.00
Members of Congress are also provided with an annual allowance intended to defray expenses that arise from carrying out their congressional duties; for example, “official office expenses, staff, mail, travel between a Member’s district or state and Washington, DC, and other goods and services.” The average amount available to each member is between $1,207,510 to $1,383,709, with an average of $1,268,520. Senate members receive as substantially higher amount of $3,043,454 to $4,815,203. The average allowance being $3,306,570. These allowances may not be used for election campaigns.
Moving on to jewelry…
Your loved one buys you a beautiful diamond ring which you accidentally smash damaging the setting. You don’t want to loose your stone so you take it to a jeweler for repair; however, all jewelers are not created equally. In a week or two, you get a call letting you know that your ring is ready for pickup. It’s a lovely 3/4 Carat VS1 or VS2 diamond. You pay the jeweler and pick up your ring.
So, far so good right? Not even close! That jeweler switched out your VS clarity diamond for a VVS or even lower of the same shape and weight. You may even be able to note a slightly different color. In some cases you can even see the carbon imperfections with your naked eye, but you, the customer, have no clue. So, what do you do?
If you’re traveling, wait until you get back home to have your diamond ring repaired. When you get your diamond back from repair have a know jeweler examine it to make sure it’s your original stone. And, last but not least, pick your jeweler like you pick your proctologist.
Readers, have a great weekend but be safe! Give the smartphone a break and have your own shoot the shit with buds and/or family, it’ll be the most fun you’ve ever had.