As a losing incumbent representative, certainly realities have to be faced: first is that you are a loo-oo-ser; second that thousands, even tens of thousands of people think you totally suck, and third, you are now unemployed.
But it's not all bad because you get a guaranteed pension, lifetime health-care and you can probably snag a poli-sci professorship/think-tank fellowship/radio-show/regular TV pundit gig/ weekly columnist job from which you can plot your political comeback or simply talk smack without consequence (and hopefully get a book-deal).
The real victims of anti-incumbency aren't the suddenly un-re-elected representatives, but apparently their aides who by the callous whim of a public they've tried so hard to manipulate, find themselves now de-funded, filibustered, defeated, disowned and disinhereted at the brink of Christmas like Dickensian orphans, with only their cell-phones and PDA's to keep them warm.
The Hill reports that Nancy Pelosi is working on legislation that would provide two months severance pay to any soon-to-be-unemployed congressional aides while they look for jobs after the January 4th take-over of the House. Though bi-partisan in scope, the proposed legislation of course will initially benefit only Republican staff.
(The proposal is similar to S. Res. 478--authored by Bill Frist--which provides aides to senators who have failed to be re-elected a ‘cushion’ of two months salary).
I’m sure that’s really nice of Speaker-elect Pelosi, not to mention a shrewd “under the dome” political move but I’m not sure what to make of this.
I mean, every time I found myself unemployed I’d apply for social security and have to wait three weeks before I got my first (at maximum) $375 per week check (which of course would be taxed come April 15).
So why can’t these aides do the same? It’s not as though Washington is a more expensive place to live than New York or New Jersey.
I'm all for people getting a "living wage" sufficient to allow saving a month's wages without too much hardship whilst waiting for the first dole-check to arrive when unemployment rears it's ugly head, but why should they get a "severance package" when tens of millions of Americans who provide quantifiable services and products that actually add to the economy and the national welfare, don't? What makes them so special?