Tonawanda News

Opinion

October 6, 2013

DUVALL: Rough week all around for news, sports

Tonawanda News — A week of fits and starts, so you get the good, the bad and the ugly:

We’ll start in Washington where the political madness inside the Capitol has been matched only by the literal madness outside of it.

This shutdown has gone several days now without much of an end in sight. And all the while our congressmen are collecting paychecks while keeping 800,000 employees from collecting paychecks — or, you know, actually running the government.

A couple contrarian points you probably won’t want to hear but that are worth considering.

The reason legislators are still being paid despite the rather obvious lack of legislation is a law that was intended to have good-government effects and keep lawmakers more honest about what they’re paid.

Like most elected government positions, lawmakers aren’t permitted to alter their pay during their present term. The reason is obvious: If they’re going to give themselves a raise, voters should have their say on whether they deserve it. If voters give a lawmaker who supported a raise the boot, it goes to the next person.

The law, unfortunately, makes it illegal for representatives to alter their pay in any respect, meaning they can’t raise it or cut it.

Though I find it just as odious as everyone that they’re being paid to ruin everything, I would humbly submit I’d rather keep the law the way it is. Could you imagine them giving themselves a raise later this year and actually getting to keep the money for themselves without your getting to vote on their job performance? That might be the only thing worse than being paid while the government is shut down.

And, while we’re at it, voters share some culpability for this morass, too.

Everyone dislikes Congress — literally everyone, I saw an opinion poll with congressional approval at 3 percent, which was within the 4 percent margin of error making it statistically plausible no one approves of Congress. But most Americans still like their individual congressman.

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Opinion
  • Tucker, Barbara.jpg TUCKER: Oh, the joys of Sound Off Never thought the words "Thank goodness for Sound Off" would ever be printed here.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • adamczyk, ed.jpg ADAMCZYK: And now for something completely different... Last weekend I attended a local movie theater (a plushy, posh experience; they design these places now to get you out of your living room and away from your home electronics) to watch the sun set on the British Empire.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • OUR VIEW: Arson suspect never deserved bail Two of the 11 fires reported on Fifth Avenue could have been prevented with some jurisprudence in evaluating whether the suspect, Michelle Johnston, deserved to be offered bail. Given the obvious nature of a repeat offender who was charged with nine felony arson counts, bail never should have been offered in this case.

    July 25, 2014

  • wallace, amy.jpg WALLACE: Too much information? Is there such a thing as TMI or too much information anymore? Some might say yes.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: On reading and the lack thereof It was surprising to me a few weeks ago when a friend asked a group of us to estimate how many books we have each read over the last five years. The English teacher said 200 and he far and away led the pack. I was probably the median and my number was 20-25.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • confer, bob.jpg CONFER: A Con-Con would be a con game

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: Conflict in Ukraine now a concern of global proportions It seems increasingly clear Ukrainian separatists, with the help from the Russian military, are responsible for the tragedy. They, of course, have denied it. They've also denied access to the crash site to international investigators seeking to recover the dead and determine what happened. That's not something the innocent party does.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • ADAMCZYK: Personal development, rendered in steel Accepting the premise that everyone needs to fill the same amount of time every day (24 hours, every day), some people use theirs rebuilding things, tangible things, and thus fulfill a few intangible goals.

    July 18, 2014

  • WALLACE: Festival season is underway Summer is the season of fairs and festivals. From Canal Fest in the Tonawandas to the Allentown Art Festival and Italian Heritage Festival in Buffalo to the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, the Western New York area has no shortage of things to do with the family over the summer.

    July 17, 2014

  • duvall, eric.jpg DUVALL: King George's abdication leaves many questions I've covered Niagara County politics for 10 years and it's been a fascinating -- and often infuriating -- experience. With the news the man known with equal parts respect and cynicism as "King George" is walking away it's about to get more interesting.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo