Myths about Congress

Pete Lewis, Minot

I am as upset as anyone else with what is going on in Congress, however, I think we should quit dwelling on the myths related to the benefits provided to Congress.

They are not provided with their salary and health benefits for life. They pay into and receive Social Security like every other federal employee. Those elected before 1984 do not pay into Social Security on their government salary or receive social security on that salary the same as all retired federal employees hired before 1984. Those elected prior to 1984 pay 8 percent of their salary into the CSRS retirement system and about 1.7 percent into Medicare and are able to receive a retirement after 20 years based on their highest three years salary and years of service not to exceed 80 percent. Those elected after 1984 pay into the FERS retirement system and Social Security like all other federal employees.

They all have the option to enroll in the same health care programs as other federal employees. They do not receive free health care for life. All that said, they are doing a terrible job and should not be paid until they pass a budget.