Congressmen should work for $1 per year, too

    The other night on the news, I listened to our congressmen publicly blast the senior management of the Big Three automakers, and I thought, "That’s right, give it to them!"

    As an owner of small businesses, I know the heartache of keeping a business afloat during tough times. My brothers and I have gone without pay, eliminated our own benefits and have had many sleepless nights worrying about how we were going to pay suppliers and employees.

    We knew we were not going to get bailed out. We only have 130 employees and no one cared if we went bankrupt.

    Then I started to think, "Wait a minute, the people blasting these executives who are trying to get through the recession caused by this Congress are currently trillions of dollars in debt themselves and have been for years and years."

    They have been so irresponsible for so long that this has become the norm! If this Congress had come before themselves asking to be bailed out, not only would they have been publicly humiliated, they would have been put in jail.

    They make the Enron executives look like model businessmen.

    Now, don’t get me wrong. The Big Three deserved what they got and should be held accountable for their actions. Heck, the best thing may still be that they file bankruptcy.

    But this is still a case of our government being extremely hypocritical and pompous. They are asking that senior management of these companies work for a dollar a year until profitable. Has any congressman ever done this?

    They have asked that they give up their perks and extravagant benefits, all the while flaunting theirs.
    It is time that our government officials stand up and be accountable to the people they work for, the American public! I put this challenge to our Wisconsin senators and representatives to be the first to forgo their pay and benefits, until the country is no longer at deficit spending.

    I think it is high time we, the American public, stand up and hold our government accountable! Our votes are our power, and we need to seriously consider who we want handling our future.


    Jaime Maliszewski is vice president of the Airport Gateway Business Association (AGBA) and is the president of Reliable Plating Works Inc. and GM Elite Finishing LLC, as well as a founding member of Brilliance LLC.

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