November 15, 2011, - 2:59 pm

Where Can You Get Job Benefits Like Gabby Giffords?

By Debbie Schlussel

Hey, where can you get job benefits like Gabby Giffords?  What other “employer,” aside from the U.S. Congress, would allow you to leave your job endlessly, while collecting full salary, writing a book, and doing major promotions of the book on network television?  I’m sorry she was shot, but everyone in America, other than Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, would be struggling to pay medical bills and find some sort of way to make a living, were they in her situation.  And that’s even under full-scale Obamacare, of which she was a big-time supporter.

I wrote about this when it was first announced that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was writing a book with her husband.  And now that the book is out, she’s been all over network television promoting it.  Do you think your boss would let you stay home on sick leave while doing this?  Do you think  your boss or  your employer would let you just sit at home and say, I’ll return “when I’m better,” as Giffords told ABC News, last night?  Most Americans would, by now, be out of a job and puzzled as to how they’d survive.  But not Members of Congress.  They have it better, and it’s yet another example of how out of touch they are.  For the rest of us, the Family Medical Leave Act time off would have run out by now.  And so would the salary and benefits.  We’d be struggling to make COBRA payments to keep our healthcare benefits alive.  And if we were on TV promoting a book, our bosses would report us for healthcare fraud.

While it’s obvious that Giffords has trouble talking and forming sentences, she’s either a Member of Congress or she’s not.  Yes, as many have argued with me, it’s great to have a liberal Democrat holding office and not voting (she came back to vote once).  But I don’t think that way.  I’m writing this out of a sense of fairness.  I don’t think she’s a “hero,” as she’s being touted.  She’s an unfortunate victim who is trying to recover from being shot in the head.  And now she’s someone who is mooching poor schnooks in America for benefits and relaxation they would not get in her position.  She’s getting book advances AND the over $200,000 benefits and salary package that Members of Congress get.  It’s not right.  And it’s a form of chutzpah.  After I wrote the initial Giffords piece, I heard from many Americans with injured sons, husbands, and wives, who are down and out on their luck because they don’t have the Giffords Congressional benefits package.

I wish Giffords well and a complete recovery.  But why should she get this generous, bottomless package of benefits and salary that the rest of America doesn’t get?  It’s interesting how liberal Democrats aren’t exactly for the egalitarianism they profess, when they are the beneficiaries.  Isn’t it?

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44 Responses

Yup. If she’s on disability, she should resign to get better. Giffords shouldn’t collect a congressional salary for doing nothing. Her constituents deserve someone who puts them first. With all due respect, that person isn’t Gabby Giffords.

NormanF on November 15, 2011 at 3:09 pm

Although the liberals and the Wall Street Occupiers garbage squad wants to use her as an example of the kind of care all of them should get — they want to avoid holding a job & get the rest of us to pay for them.

Little Al on November 15, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Agree. If she’s unable to fulfill her duties she should resign and allow the governor to name a replacement, not pretend she’s still serving her elected role.

And I have to add a slam at ABC for preemption “Castle”. Of all their shows, did they have deprive me of my Monday night favorite?

Raymond in DC on November 15, 2011 at 3:45 pm

The part that makes me sick is that Congress is *exempt* from Obamacare. If they had to suffer through it like everyone else, it would not have passed. This blatant in-your-face hypocrisy and do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do elitism enrages me.

Thanks again for telling it like it is, Debbie.

DS_ROCKS! on November 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm

No one deserves what happen to her and that seems to be lost on you and the other dimwits that read your blog. Facts and the truth are just obstacles in the way for the scum of the earth like you that make THEIR OWN LIVING AND MONEY by spreading hate and misinformation to tear apart the fabric of society.

DebbieSchlusselisWhiteTrash on November 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm

    Stay classy, now. Nowhere did Debbie write Giffords deserved it or that its any way her fault what happened to her. She’s a victim of a terrible crime and deserves our sympathy and best wishes. But she’s not entitled to mooch on the public payroll b/c of it. No one in private life would be paid by an employer for doing nothing. Giffords to put not too fine a point on it, should be required to live by the same rules as her constituents. Its surely not too much to ask of a public official.

    NormanF on November 15, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    There is a simple lesson in life: When you are reduced to name calling, it is an admission you have nothing to say. What happened to Gabby is a separate issue from her exploitation of it by writing her book and promoting it. DS aptly points this out. Writing a book is work; yet, she could not do her usual work but got paid for it. And her usual work is probably not very taxing. So, essentially, she was paid for doing nothing and was subsidized while she wrote her book and promotes it. Although this may not mean much to those who believe she is “entitled” to receive full time pay without working, her behavior is unethical and immoral. Additionally, her book probably adds nothing to the current public debate and will not advance the state of knowledge in anyway. It is a book about herself and what happened to her the rudiments of which we know. What I find telling is that she came out with her book before she was completely recovered and she started on it within months of the shooting. This causes me to believe she wrote it to take maximum advantage of her situation before her story became old news. And I suspect there will be a sequel. But, of course, this will depend on how much money is made on this book. So, she promotes it. Frankly, she is simply playing to the oprahized, springerized, poviched, reality TV world and cashing in on her 15 minutes of fame by playing the victim card. And this is the level to which even the vaunted members of Congress have stooped. May she have a complete recovery both physically and morally.

    David on November 15, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    Get lost jackass, you’re the one who’s the real “white-trash” here you moron. Nowhere in any of Debbie’s previous articles of Ms. Gifford did DS ever said that Gifford deserved to be shot, Debbie showed alot of sympathy for her when the incident occured, either you failed to read this article or previous articles of Gabrielle Giffords or you just plain old cannot read. And Debbie is right to call out Giffords for smooching off of those of us who work and pay taxes. If godforbid this happend to any of us and decided to do what Giffords is doing, we’ll either be fired or laid-off from that job/career?

    “A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

    Sean R. on November 15, 2011 at 5:17 pm

Who should the Occupy Wall Street crowd go after:
Richard Grasso, Jimmy Cayne, David Komansky, Jon Corzine, Joe Gregory, Dick Fuld, Richard Dickey, James A. Johnsom, Tim Geithner, William Daley, Thomas Donilon,Thomas R. Nides, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd,Angelo Mozillo, Phil Gramm, Alan Greenspan, Chris Cox, Hank Paulson, Joe Cassano, Ian McCarthy, Frank Raines, Kathleen Corbet, Marion and Herb Sandler, Stan O’Neal,Wen Jioabao, David Lereah, JohnDevaney, Berrnie Madoff, Lew Ranieri, Burton Joblin, Fred Goodwin,Sandy Weill, David Oddson.
All of the above are either Democratic operatives or Brokerage House gamblers or both who threw America under the bus.
Jefferson and Jackson would have charged either Treason, Fraud, or Conspiracy to Commit Fraud and not one of them except for Madoff is getting punished. The saddest part is that these parasites to America will probably pull the same stunt again as soon as they can and get away with it.

Confederate South on November 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Thanks, Debbie, for having the courage to say the obvious. She is mooching at the public trough. What a scam she is perpetrating. As a true liberal, she is shamlessly milking her victimization to the hilt. And her enablers are all in Congress. This brings up Scott Brown, who milked his victimization as well in his book by refusing to name the perp because he obviously did not care about stopping him or, pardon the pun, exposing him. For these folks, they are simply more equal than anyone else.

David on November 15, 2011 at 4:01 pm

It should go without saying that all good people want the best for GG and wish her well as do I and others here do as well.

And NO ONE else has the guts to say it like DS. I have never heard this common sense logic presented anywhere but here. When people (especially Conservatives) mention her, you can *almost* feel them pushing this topic away.

And I am sure Debbie Blabbermouth-Schultz would have the nerve to present this “verboten” (forbidden) topic IF GG was a Republican. The double-standard is very annoying but the truth presented here IS about fairness.

If she cannot do her job, she should let the constituents have REAL representation.

Skunky on November 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Exactly. She seems to forget who is paying for her job. She should either get back to doing it or go home.

    NormanF on November 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm

Anyone who viewed the interview and who has a fair amount of common sense realizes that Gabby suffered much damage to the brain and it is obvious that she will not be “right” or “her normal self” for a very long time. Therefore, she should proceed w/ the book deal and look at retiring or pursuing disability.

St. Stephen on November 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm

Ms. Schlussel is an attorney. She has argued one side of the issue. There’s another side which should be put. America is over 200 years old. This is not the first time a government official in performance of duty has been incapacitated yet remained in office. Senator Sumner was brutally beaten into senselessness by a thug. He had no moral imperative to resign. President Garfield was shot by a madman. He had no moral imperative to resign. President Wilson, advocating the value of the League of Nations to the nation, had a stroke. He had no moral imperative to resign. Congresswoman Giffords’ behavior today is consistent with approved behavior of the past.

But suppose in the opinion of others she is a blood sucker, guilty of some grave moral fault. What then is the remedy? Ms. Schlussel didn’t tell us hers. To advocate impeachment? Ridiculous. Not a chance in hell.

If you are her constituent, know that her term of office will expire. She’s your responsibility, not some other voter’s in another district. She’s your employee. She wasn’t hired by the Congress. Trust the Constitution. You will always have regular opportunity to vote for the representation you desire.

Michelle and Barry are the moochers on November 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Duh Evans, Debbie is only criticizing all of the benefits that Ms. Giffords is recieving on our expenses, that’s all. DS gave alot of sympathy for Giffords when she was shot, and you’re the one who’s being ugly here Duh Evans like a typical anti-DS troll, get lost!

“A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on November 15, 2011 at 6:58 pm

Thank you for expressing this honest appraisal of Gabby’s situation. I doubt anyone is attacking her misfortune nor her hard work toward a recovery.
The point is in the injustice involved & the attention she is getting.
Her treatment on many fronts is privileged & not available to the general public like those she supposedly represents.
Would she demand/fight for someone in her district to get the care she gets?
The TRUE story of courage lies with the person who has overcome a similar fate without the advantages.
We won’t hear their story as they aren’t writing a book!

Brad on November 15, 2011 at 8:25 pm

Well, there goes Debbie, “keepin’ it real”, slaying sacred cows again! You can (almost) always count on Debbie to say what no one else is willing to …

Gerald on November 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Just more proof you must already be brain damaged to be a liberal democrat as her injury is not affecting her job. She will ride this injury to re-election and a bigger retirement check than any service man who has been injured in combat will ever see.

Ender on November 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Thank you Debbie for once again telling it like it is.

JeffE on November 15, 2011 at 11:09 pm

You know, all of the commenters who seem to confuse the issue – whether or not Gabby Giffords should continue to draw her Congressional salary and benefits even though she is not capable of doing her job – with a sense that those of us who think she should step down are just being heartless, really don’t understand what Debbie is trying to say.

Gabby Giffords has a job that has a specific term limit, unless her constituents re-elect her. When she was shot – which was a horrible tragedy – her docs should have been able to say not long afterward whether or not she would recover sufficiently before the next election. If not, she owed it to her constituents to step down immediately. If she is not physically (or mentally) able to do her job, she should step down. If, at some point in the future she is physically able to perform her duties, she can run again. In the meantime, it is rather unseemly to be out promoting a book when allegedly she is unable to perform her duties as a Congressperson. And if she IS able to perform those duties, then why isn’t she in Washington doing it, instead of traveling around the country on a book tour?

Debbie is correct that if this woman was in any other line of work, except one that required physical labor, the disability insurance company, or her employer, would have ceased payments the minute they heard that she wasn’t well enough to go back to work, but she could write a book and travel around promoting it. Some companies hire detectives to follow employees around to see if they are scamming the disability insurance. And if her docs don’t think she will ever fully recover she can go on permanent disability. I’d be surprised if the Congressional benefit package didn’t include that.

DG in GA on November 15, 2011 at 11:37 pm

Giffords and James A.Johnson are both big time
Moochers. Both Demos.

Confederate South on November 16, 2011 at 12:33 am

I agree with you theoretically—but practically, Giffords is doing what we hope EVERY Dem in the House (and Ron Paul) would be doing—not showing up to vote and just collecting her MOC pay.

By the way, did you note the amazing Israeli bandage that saved lives in that shooting?

Occam's Tool on November 16, 2011 at 1:11 am

Clowngress should be made to use the exact same medical facilities that we make our military use. No special treatment should be given to those gasbags.

Jarhead on November 16, 2011 at 7:39 am

….and not a word about how the other victims of this tragic shooting have managed their own injuries, pay their own medical bills and put their lives back together.
I guess they’re not “Special” like members of congress…

Shootist on November 16, 2011 at 8:49 am

At my work, we have short-term and long-term disability as part of our benefits package. If we are off on disability, we are not allowed to work on something else that would bring in money. To do so cancels the disability payments, as we are obviously not disabled.

How is it she cannot do the cerebral job of voting, but she can write? A whole book?

I think she had a ghost-writer, and is taking the credit. If she really wanted to tell her story, and hired a writer to do so, I wouldn’t have any problem with this. However, to claim to write a book, when you can barely form sentences, and are on disability? It’s not on.

Either you’re disabled (and paid), or you’re not disabled. If you’re not disabled, you either work (and get paid), or you don’t.

Michelle on November 17, 2011 at 1:00 pm

Evans, are you claiming that in order to be a conservative you have to be a Republican? That is bullcrap my friend, NOT all conservatives are Republicans and support the Republican party dude, there are plenty of conservatives who are Independent (including yours truly), does that make them radicals?

Bro, as I said, DS is a REAL conservative, she’s been one for her entire lifetime and yes the woman is a registered Republican, but guess what D-Evans, Debbie is NOT a kool-aid drinking GOP lackey, she’s called out the GOP whenever they BS around, fake it, etc. And Debbie is NOT a left wing nutcase either, and she called out other conservatives who’s been faking it, & BSing around!

As for our pal Skunky, bro, she used to be a liberal and then one day to her own credit she became aware how the left wing agenda really was and it was complete BS and gave up on being a liberal. So Skunky is a real conservative like Debbie, myself and many of us the regular and once-in-a-while posters/readers on this blogsite.

“A nation is defined by its borders, language & culture!”

Sean R. on November 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm

D. Evans,

In your 12:48 pm post you write:

“I know people like DS and her fan girl skunky are anything but. They skreeech about the sanctity of Constitution when it suits their needs on one issue, and dismiss it when it conflicts with another.”

On Debbie and Skunky, please see Sean R. on November 17, 2011 at 3:01 pm. With me being a regular reader here for about two years now, I know for a fact that he is correct about them. If you know differently, then prove it with specific facts and backed by evidence.

Since the topic of this post is about Gabby Giffords, we’ll discuss this first. Giffords is a victim of a horrible crime and we wish her well in her recovery. Debbie said so both here and in her previous post and everyone here agrees with that.

But as a separate issue, the question is, since she is unable to perform her duties as a Congresswoman, but yet is able to write a book, should she still be in Congress, be paid and have her benefits? Debbie, Skunky and most others here says no, and I agree with them. Debbie points out that if this were in a private sector, we would first use whatever paid-time-off we would have left, and then be on a Family Medical Leave, which is unpaid. We would also be on COBRA health insurance. Now it’s been over ten months and all of these things would have run out by now for the rest of us and if any of us were to write a book while on leave, our employer would go after us for insurance fraud. Therefore, just as this would be in the case in the private sector, so too it should be in Congress and that it’s unfair that members of Congress’s benefits package should be better than the rest of us. Skunky agrees with this, and so do I, as well as most other here. Now how is this position unconstitutional?

JeffE on November 17, 2011 at 9:46 pm

D. Evans at 12:48 pm,


You mentioned parayer in school. Let’s discuss that issue first. What position do you at least think Debbie and Skunky has on that issue? And what is your own? Without more specifics, neither I nor anyone else can respond to this?

Okay, now it’s your turn before I write any further.

JeffE on November 17, 2011 at 9:58 pm

Good Lord what else are these liberals going to pull. Some one should have been put in her place (new election). Her husband as a military man should be ashamed you dont call attention to your self in the manner in which he is doing. My feelings are for the little girl and the judge(even though he was a liberal) and of course she will speak for them (yeah right)

Jonathan Gartner on November 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Gabbie Giffords suffered a greivous injury and deserves our prayers and sympathy.


Her district deserves representation. They did not vote for her staff. A special election needs to be held and a replacement needs to be elected to serve out her term. Either our government is serious business or it is farce.

Tanstaafl on November 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm

The real issue is that we all should have full medical coverage. I do think she should have resigned earlier, but maybe she was holding out hope that she would recover. As for her writing a book, I doubt if she did much of the writing–given her injuries—but it may be an inspiring story. Republicans and Democrats in Congress all have full paid medical insurance. Let’s demand that for us all.

Rita Van Russel on February 28, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Gabby Gifford, IF HEAR THAT NAME ONE MORE TIME I am going to scream. I received a traumatic brain injury because some jerk was not paying attention in his car. He hit me HARD. I also have a back injury.
Getting My Insurance or his to pay is not happening. We are going broke trying to get the proper treatment.
I’m thinking “THE PEOPLE” should vote on what coverage congress gets to have, not congress. I want what she has. QUIT RUBBING IT IN MY FACE. We work hard pay our bills, taxes, insurance premiums.

cheryl on August 8, 2012 at 1:21 am

I will not defend Congress with all you sheeple. “Gabby” not so gabby now Giffords deserved what she got. I hope her and her NASA waste of PR money fake science are in a lot of pain. That is exactly the state of America right now pain. Just like most blog sites you all talk of nonsense and emotional BS. Here is the reality. Your money is getting devalued and pumped into crony capitalism. Your government has no more welfare programs for you, and is giving tax breaks for the rich.

Before I tried to help America, and now I just want to see it fail. I will be expatriating shortly or giving up my US citizenship now that I have citizenship elsewhere.

You had years to fight for your rights, and I know I gave it my best shot. I leave with a clear conscious that I am not one of the sheeple, and I deserve a better life than you losers.

What can I say, you all have it coming, ha ha.

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