by William Moultrie
Washington – Senator Jim DeMint announced today that he is returning his Congressional salary, declining all associated benefits, and taking steps to remove himself from other government-backed programs such as Social Security.
“After much soul-searching and reflection,” said DeMint, “I have come to the conclusion that I can’t rail against government spending and entitlements and still suckle at the teat that I am battling to eliminate. I urge all my truly patriotic countrymen to do the same.”
DeMint’s annual salary is estimated to be about $170,000, not including health and travel benefits.
“I have been paying into this system my entire life and the money is leaving my wallet and going right into the welfare system, propping up people who are too lazy to take care of themselves,” said DeMint. “I’m tired of supporting those people and I’m not going to do it anymore. I won’t go into the details right now, but I will no longer be paying into Social Security, and I will be expecting a full refund of money I’ve paid into the system. I’m asking all of my fellow patriots to do the same — tear up that Social Security check, turn down that Medicare payment, you’ll be glad you did.”
Analysts are unsure about how he will opt out of Social Security and other Government programs, but there is speculation that there will be a religious element.
“There’s really only one established way to completely opt out of Social Security,” said Dr. Gregory Rongen of the Columbia School of Taxes and Religion, “and that’s to belong to a religious order that objects to the system, such as the Amish or the Mennonites.”
DeMint claims to be a Presbyterian, but there’s speculation that ‘The Family,’ the religious order that subsidizes the living expenses of several congressmen including DeMint, is moving to expand their following into the mainstream and could adopt some anti-entitlement rhetoric into their doctrine.
“You never know what goes on behind closed doors in these private religious communities,” said Rongen, “but DeMint did make a somewhat cryptic statement last week that he was looking forward to the day when ‘all my Tea Party compatriots will be a part of The Family.’ At the time I thought it was just an expression of brotherhood, but today’s announcement makes me think there may be a push to move the Tea Party to become a religious movement in an effort to avoid taxes.”
“The big question,” continued Rongen, “is how DeMint will live without any income. Unless he’s somehow going to claim that if he doesn’t draw a salary that he’s somehow exempt from Congressional ethics rules, in which case, the sky’s the limit.”