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posted: 10/7/2013 5:00 AM

Durbin should rethink his 'pigs' remark

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During the contentious Senate debate on cloture and defunding the train wreck that is Obamacare, per Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), our own Sen. Dick Durbin referred to all those who oppose this increasingly unpopular law as "squealing political pigs." This is the same Sen. Durbin who not so long ago compared our military, charged with the thankless task of guarding some of the world's worst terrorists at Guantanamo, to Nazis, Soviets in their gulags or some mad regime like Pol Pot's Cambodia. He only went to the Senate floor and recanted his statement with a mealy-mouthed apology after then Chicago Mayor Richard Daley publicly criticized his outlandish statements.

According to Webster's Dictionary, the third meaning of a pig or a hog is a "gluttonous person" -- in slang, "to take more than one's share or to grab selfishly." Let's think then about who are the real gluttons. Through an administrative sleight of hand by the federal Office of Personnel Management, senators, congressmen and their staff will receive a 75 percent subsidy on Obamacare premiums. According to the OPM, federal employees earn an average of $76,000 annually. Private sector workers average $51,000. No subsidies for them -- but they will be paying the subsidies for the higher paid federal employees.

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The unemployment rate in metropolitan Washington, D.C., is 5.6 percent, considerably less than the national average, and three of the top four counties in the U.S. in average earnings surround the capital. And who lives there -- surprise, surprise -- federal employees. So, Senator, perhaps it's time to rethink your churlish and vacuous remarks. I think it's quite clear who the pigs and gluttons are.

James R. Osterhout


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