Thursday, April 06, 2006

Crime Pays

[[R E T I R E M E N T S]] * What color is Tom DeLay’s parachute? Green, apparently. According to today’s Houston Chronicle, even if the indicted Republican former House majority leader is convicted of campaign finance charges brought against him in Texas by Travis County District Attorney Ronnie Earle, as well as charges that may result from the continuing investigation of disgraced GOP “superlobbyist” Jack Abramoff, DeLay will still be eligible to receive “a congressional pension of nearly $67,000 a year.” The paper adds:
The Sugar Land Republican, who will turn 59 on Saturday, would get a total of about $1.3 million in pension payouts in the next 20 years alone. DeLay also will be eligible to participate in the health plan available to all federal retirees.
It seems The Hammer, who’s put in 21 years in Congress, staved off prosecution just long enough to qualify for early pension coverage. As the Chronicle explains,
Members of Congress are eligible for a pension at age 62 if they have completed at least five years of service. Members are eligible for a pension at age 50 if they have completed 20 years of service, or at any age after completing 25 years of service.

The amount of the pension depends on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary.

Members of Congress get $165,200 per year. As majority leader last year, DeLay was paid at annual rate of $180,100.
DeLay’s annual payouts from the Federal Employees Retirement System will be significantly higher than the average of $46,908. But considering how much his tenure on Capitol Hill was costing the country, not only in terms of his personal salary but also factoring in his largely successful efforts to run up the budget deficit to cover tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans and the escalating charges associated with George W. Bush’s Iraq war, paying DeLay to leave ASAP might be considered a bargain.

TRASH TALK: Want proof that DeLay’s really done? Click here.

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