Should Gabby Giffords resign or get back to work?
"Houston, we have a problem: an Arizona Congresswoman is hanging out in Houston writing her memoir instead of doing her job. All the while, she continues to collect her tax-funded $200,000-plus in salary and generous benefits.
It’s unfortunate that Gabrielle Giffords was shot, but the people of Arizona’s Eighth district deserve a Congressman. Right now, they don’t have one because Gabrielle Giffords is either too incapacitated to work or too busy writing a book while they pay her salary. I’m not sure which it is, because there are news stories about both. But if she’s healthy enough to write a book–as her people and Scribner publishing house have announced she’s now doing–she’s healthy enough to work. And if she isn’t healthy enough to write a book, then her name on it is a complete lie, and she’s a fraud. And if she isn’t healthy enough to write a book–her doctors are now saying it will be a year before they know this (but author Jeff Zaslow and Scribner seem to know right now)–then she should resign and let her constituents have a capable, functioning representative in Congress.
The endless news about Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ every papercut is annoying. Again, I’m sorry she got shot. But it happened. Life happens. And being shot and surviving doesn’t make you a hero. It simply means you were fortunate, a medical miracle, as six other people died–they weren’t as lucky. And now she’s resting and rehabbing with no one filling her job and no boss telling her he has to make a decision about filling her job with someone else.
And see, that’s exactly the thing. For the rest of Americans, we do not get the endless, state-of-the-art medical care she is getting. We also would not get endless time on the dole of our employer while we recover. No. Despite various laws, including the Americans With Disabilities Act, and the Family Medical Leave Act, if you were shot and incapacitated, you would eventually lose your job and be put on COBRA–pursuant to which you’d have to pay thousands–or you would be covered by insurance far less generous than what Giffords is getting. And you’d probably be hiring lawyers to fight over worker’s compensation and Social Security disability.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords needs to gracefully resign or get back to work. Yes, I know, she is physically unable to do so. But, if that’s the case, why were yesterday’s and today’s newspapers filled with news that she and her husband are writing a memoir with famed author Jeff Zaslow? If she can do that, she can get back to work. There is no reason taxpayers need to pay for her to stay home and write a book pursuant to a lucrative book deal. Does your employer pay you to stay home and write a book?"
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