The government shutdown is heading into week 2 and as expected, spammers and hoaxers are rushing to take advantage. The latest internet hoax is using the crisis in Washington to resurrect an old hoax urging people to support a proposed 28th amendment. In case you’re a little rusty on your American history, the Constitution has only 27 and the amendment in the hoax has never actually made it to the Capitol. Still people are sending and sharing the messages, which look something like this:
“For too long we have been complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens have no idea that members of Congress can retire with full pay after only one term, that they don’t pay into Social Security and that they have specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment). ‘Ordinary’ citizens must live under all those laws.
The latest travesty is that Congress will exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform that is being considered … in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem quite right. We do not have an elite class that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrats, Republicans, Independents or whatever. The self-serving must stop.
This is a good way to do that. It is an idea whose time has come. Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:
‘Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.’
Each person contact a minimum of twenty people on their email address list, in turn ask each of those to do likewise.”
Nothing in the message is true. Congress has not exempted themselves from any of the laws listed, they can and do pay into Social Security, and they don’t have to participate in the Affordable Care Act because it’s designed to help the under and uninsured and they have medical insurance provided to them already.
This is only one of many hoaxes and half-truths circulating the internet in the wake of the shutdown. Even Fox News fell for one and actually reported it on the air, making themselves look a bit foolish. This is a stressful time for many Americans, but don’t let it cloud your judgment. Ignore any messages that urge you to share with everyone you know, and be wary of any that make outrageous or inflammatory claims. Google is your friend. Use it and stay informed.