Editorial: Congress is not winning friends during shutdown

With some federal government workers not working because of the federal shutdown, we suppose it is noteworthy to point out that two of our three federal lawmakers who represent Northeast Michigan are foregoing their own pay.

U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Iron River and U.S. Debbie Stabenow, D, are foregoing their salaries during this time, while U.S. Sen. Carl Levin, D, is continuing his.

Benishek said he has requested that his salary be withheld, but if that is not possible, then he would donate it to charity during this period. Stabenow has said she would also be donating her salary to charity as long as the shutdown lasts.

“If Congress can’t get its work done for the American people, then there should be no paychecks. It’s as simple as that. Hard-working moms and dads up here in Northern Michigan earn their paychecks by getting their jobs done,” said Benishek.

While we appreciate the effort, pardon us if our enthusiasm over this news seems lukewarm.

At the same time most Americans are struggling with the new provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act and trying to gain access to information on a clunky internet site, Congress, their staffs and many federal employees are eligible for special tax subsides not available for normal taxpayers in the same income brackets.

This two-system approach to health care is ludicrous, and creates a “have” and “have not” system.

Most of our readers fall under one set of rules.

Congress appears to fall under another.

Until the two converge, we expect little sympathy for those in the D.C. beltway.

The mood of the country grows more restless each day.