Residents of the 21st District often contact my office to determine the validity of an e-mail they have received. In many cases, the e-mail in question is one of many Internet hoaxes that plague e-mail boxes.
Hoaxes are designed to grab a reader’s attention and prompt them to forward the message to everyone they know. Some examples of hoax e-mail messages are: members of Congress don’t pay into Social Security; Bill Gates will send you $1000 if you send his message to 1000 people; the FCC is going to tax e-mail messages.
Members of Congress and Social Security Hoax
Members do pay into the Social Security system at the same rate as all other American workers. A series of e-mails has been circulating for the past several years making the false claim that members do not pay into Social Security. Other erroneous e-mails continue to circulate about supposed "perks" for members of Congress. Members also pay Medicare Hospital Insurance taxes on all earnings at the same rate as do all other workers.
Click here to read a CRS report on Benefits for Members of Congress
E-mail Tax Hoax
Rumors that a bill has been introduced to enact a surcharge on Internet services is totally without grounds. Ironically, the spread of these false rumors has been sped by e-mail. Bill 602P is case in point, this is an Internet hoax that has been spread rapidly due to the speed of the Internet. While it is impossible to discern all information over the Internet, one must be careful in assuming the information is factual and credible. Be assured that no such tax is being contemplated. If it were, I would oppose it.
The Computer Incident Advisory Capability (CIAC), a division of the Department of Energy, provides a great resource to help prevent Internet users from becoming victims of hoaxes.
Please visit the Hoaxbusters site if you suspect that an e-mail you have received is not factual.