ABC's Chris Cuomo Cheerleads Cutting Congressional Pensions

publication date: Nov 11, 2011

In the past, ABC's 20/20 has done an occasional useful or insightful story. In recent times, however, the program has gone downhill.

I was astonished at the stupidity of Chris Cuomo's recent piece on Congressional pensions (he is the son of former NY governor Mario Cuomo). He highlighted the fact that Congressman Howard Coble (R-NC) had gotten no co-sponsors to his proposed bill which would reduce Congressional pensions. The 80-year old Coble, who obviously has no interest in retiring, has said he will never take his Congressional pension.

However, for the rest of Congress, consider that the current pay is $174,000 annually. While that may sound like a lot to some people, it's not when you consider the importance of the job to our country and the fact that representatives generally must pay to keep up two residences - one in Washington and one in their home district and have travel expenses back and forth.

Don't get me wrong - I'm unhappy with the performance of Congress as most everyone else is. But, it's getting increasingly difficult to get the best and the brightest to run for Congress (and President) given the stresses and demands of the job and what you get paid for doing it.

Lowering the compensation will simply exacerbate the problem so Cuomo is wrong to cheerlead for this legislation.


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Eric Tyson is the only best-selling personal finance author who has an extensive background as an hourly-based financial advisor and who does not accept speaking fees, endorsement deals or fees of any type from companies in the financial services industry or product or service providers recommended in his articles, books and his publications.