Sunday, December 10, 2006
Senator Durbin, Giving Welfare to Lawyers
It was news for one day in Chicago, the biggest city in Senator Dick Durbin’s home state. Since then, no one seems to have noticed this absurd bill being pushed by Senator Dick Durbin that would give away Federal welfare money to young lawyers.
Of course, Durbin isn’t calling it welfare. He is calling it "debt relief". It sounds helpful and innocuous doesn’t it? Relief is a nice thing, right?
On November 27th, the Chicago Sun-Times tried to soft sell the proposal as a way to help "people with over $100,000 debt" get "relief".
Gosh that is an awful lot of money to be saddled with, eh?
Debt relief may be in sight for lawyers
For prosecutors and public defenders drowning in debt, help might soon be on the way.
Since 2003, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has been pushing legislation that would grant student loan relief to public sector lawyers in the criminal justice system. With the Democrats in control of Congress, Durbin plans to reintroduce his bill early next year. Some hope it finally has a chance of passing.
"It's the defining issue of this era" for prosecutors, said Bernie Murray, chief of criminal prosecutions for the Cook County state's attorney's office. "The number of people with over $100,000 in debt is amazing."
Yes, it is “amazing”, all right.
The bill, called the Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act, intends to give away $10,000 (capped at $60,000) of Federal money a year to people who will promise to commit to three years of service in the ranks of a state’s public defender’s offices.
The Sun-Time’s story is filled with pity-party stories about how all these young lawyers seem to be somehow unfairly burdened with such high tuition debt for so many years after they finish their schooling.
I am heart broken for people who, in Durbin’s home state, make an average salary of $80,000 a year at the law.
Let’s contrast that with the average yearly salaries of some other members of the Durbin’s state.
School Bus Driver : $25,000 a year
School Teacher: $38,000 a year
Preacher or Minister: $40,000 a year.
Printer: $45,000 a year
Police Officer: $55,000 a year
Registered Nurse: $55,000 a year
Plumber: $79,000 a year
Tell me Senator Durbin, is the debt that these people incur training themselves for their careers any less worthy of your so-called debt relief than that of a lawyer? Are the people who undertake these other necessary and noble careers less deserving of your “help”?
And, it must be pointed out that a lawyer is far more able to pay their tuition loans than the people who struggle to succeed in the professions I noted above.
Obviously a young, would-be lawyer knows full well what the debt that they incur will be, just as everyone else does. They elect to purse their career choice voluntarily, fully understanding the road they must travel to get there.
So, why all this feeling sorry for people who are on a life track to make more money than most people ever will? Why should we fall all over ourselves to give away our tax dollars to these strata of people?
Talk about welfare to the rich! I thought Democrats pretended to care about the "little people" and were the bulwark against the depredations of the evil rich?
Yet, now we have one of the most partisan, mud slingers in Congress, a man who is supposed to represent the best the more caring Democrats have to offer, giving away Federal money to the rich?
How can this be described most fittingly?
Certainly this supposed relief is welcome news to certain people.
Durbin, Murray said, "is a liberal guy, so a lot of prosecutors don't like him. But he's my hero. "
I am sure.
Right now the bill is stalled but it had passed the judiciary committee with the loving help of committee Chair, Arlen Spector. And, Democrats are hopeful that the new Congress will be more receptive to their welfare for the rich.
"We're hoping now with the change of leadership in the Senate, we can get this enacted, " said Durbin, who will be the assistant majority leader come January. "It's the highest priority. "
It amazes me that anyone should propose to steal the People’s tax money to enrich those who will become richer than most of their fellow citizens.
I hope Durbin’s sop to the richest Americans is stopped in it’s tracks.
Contact your Senator and say NO to welfare for rich lawyers.