In keeping with the Biblical adage that it’s better to give than to receive, I came up with a delightful sleighful of holiday goodies this year to dispense to some of our nation’s most special people.

It was not easy to shop for these folks. I mean, what do you get for members of Congress, since they already have pretty much everything? Finally, though, I thought of the perfect one-size-fits-all gift solution for each of our 535 lawmakers. I sent my fondest wish that from now on they receive the exact same level of annual income, health coverage and pension that the typical American gets. No more, no less.

I realize that this will require a bit of downsizing for our legislative stalwarts, since the majority of Americans are paid under $33,000 a year, as opposed to the current congressional salary of $169,300. Also, most people’s health-care plans don’t cover anything that ends in “itus,” and their 401(k)s have dropped in value to approximately 1(k)s.

Still, I’m sure that each member of Congress will find spiritual comfort in knowing that they’re truly “one of the people.” Besides, if they have to live like their constituents, I’ll bet they’ll find a new political passion for policies that raise everyone’s standard of living.

Read the rest of this column on

Please contact your local newspaper editor if you want to read Jim Hightower’s column in your hometown paper.

Leave a Reply