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Dinner pales in light of benefits

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Dinner is the least of our concerns. Regarding the excellent recent article from the AJ on the taxpayer-billed dinner in February 2007 (Journal, July 1): What is the big deal? While I agree that the dinner might be considered at the very least, poor judgment, there are greater issues. Why do we allow the Senate and Congress to: 1. Have a pension plan that is vastly different to the public’s — Social Security. Their plan benefit is so far above not only the SSI benefits we get, but the majority of the publicly traded companies they frequently rail against for excessive benefits as well? When you review what pension benefits they get for life, it will make the steak dinner look like a Happy Meal! 2. Have a proposed health care plan that will be vastly different to what they are proposing for the public? In Ted Kennedy’s latest proposal, the House and Senate are exempt from the proposed National Health Care plan. Unions, oddly enough, are also exempt. If the proposed plan is going to be so much better and lower cost than our private pay system, why shouldn’t the House, Senate and unions all enjoy these great, low-cost programs? These two issues kind of make the $1,668 dinner look minor, don’t you think? Sort of like taking a bunch of time to choose the china and silverware to eat with on the Titanic AJ, how about another story about the benefits these people give themselves? Raymond Tan, Auburn