The Jesse Jackson Jr. lesson: It pays to be a crook


Before we get all tangled up in discussions about the war in Syria, let's not let pass the outrage that has become the outcome of the Jesse Jackson Jr. saga. 
The son of civil rights leader, Jesse Jackson, was a member of the U.S. Congress for 17 years. But the federal government began investigating the Chicago lawmaker as a target of a House Ethics Committee probe. Jackson was involved in several bad deals, the most serious involved allegations of bribery to get a U.S. Senate appointment from Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. But lucky for him, Jackson was sent to jail on the the crime of using some $750,000 in campaign funds for personal use.

He was sentenced last month to 30 months in a federal prison, a relatively light sentence considering all the allegations surrounding the man.

But here's the outrage. As the feds closed in on Jackson's corruption, he didn't feel so good. He disappeared for two weeks and said he was "exhausted". They he said he had checked into a medical facility because he had "mood swings". And while that new-found illness did not prevent him from doing jail time, it did trigger generous government disability payments for him.

Never mind that in his public life no one ever noticed any mood disorder with the congressman. He has what they call a debilitating mental illness now. Because of that, the disgraced Jackson will get $8,700 a month in government disability pay as well a partial federal pension of $45,000.

That's mighty good government pay for a congressional crook and now an inmate. It's also an outrage.