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This article turned up on my newsfeed today:

Lawmaker Says Congressmen Should Make More Money

The guy has introduced a bill to raise pay, in the hope it will draw attention to the amount of money congressfolks are expected to accept.

So after I laughed until I cried, I wrote this:

1. Honestly, Representative Moran, if you can't figure out how to run your household when bringing in a salary over twice as high as the average American, I don't want you anywhere near the nation's economic decisions. I'm sure there are plenty of folks living in and around D.C. who'd be *thrilled* to share with you their strategies on getting by without a raise for a few years.

2. If the D.C. cost of living is an issue, I've the *perfect* solution. Institute Congressional Barracks. Since our military (the overwhelming majority of whom would gape at your wage-whining) has access to them, I see no reason why you shouldn't. It might make those late-night meetings even easier, too.

3. Along those same lines, your budget could be helped by instituting Congressional Meal Passes. We, the taxpayers, will pay for your lunch (and breakfast, if you qualify). And I'm sure you'll be pleased to know those Meal Passes will give you and your coworkers the same quality meals the government standards and funding provide to our public schools.

4. If, after all that, you're still not happy with your compensation, you can do what so many in your income bracket tell those who make less: Quit your job and find another one. Or go on strike. Either one will likely make life easier on the rest of us.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 5th, 2014 02:12 pm (UTC)
He will never read it, but maybe it will make his low-paid flunky who actually handles the mail smile.
Apr. 5th, 2014 03:27 pm (UTC)
He might.


This reminds me of the time some Representative introduced a bill that called for an automatic death penalty for killing a member of either House. I had to wonder just what bill he was planning to introduce that he knew would make people want to shoot him in the head.
Apr. 5th, 2014 03:28 pm (UTC)
Apr. 5th, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
Apr. 5th, 2014 04:39 pm (UTC)
I rather like the notion of congressfolk eating school lunches. :)
Apr. 5th, 2014 04:45 pm (UTC)
Oh, yes. It would be so very good for them in so many ways.
Apr. 5th, 2014 03:34 pm (UTC)
Maybe this guy is a mole for the Republicans, like Carter.
Apr. 5th, 2014 03:37 pm (UTC)
In addition to normal 'living' stuff, the $175K is expected to:

1) Pay for two living spaces: one in DC, where they work and where housing is obscene, and one in their home district, where they have to spend a decent amount of time or risk being labeled as out-of-touch. (This, admittedly, doesn't apply to Moran, whose district is right across the river-- and I agree, 'congressional housing' would solve that problem!)

2) Cover the salaries for any staffers they have, usually a couple of assistants to do things like scheduling, sorting mail, reading bills, etc. Two assistants at $40K apiece (and this is in DC, where at $40K you're living with roommates) puts him under $100K.

I don't see much reason to raise the salary: if you're in Congress for the money you shouldn't be there. (If you're in Congress for the money you're not all that bright, honestly.) But it's not as outrageous as it seems at first glance.
Apr. 5th, 2014 04:59 pm (UTC)
I know it has to cover the DC living, but a quick look at apartment listings show there are one-bedroom (even designated as "luxury") for under 3K a month. That leaves him with about $140K. Take out 72K for expenses at home (I use that because it's the current average American family income), and he still has bunches left over.

The salary is twice the DC average.

For staff, there is a large budget, separate from salary, allocated to each congressperson to cover staff expenses. The amount varies depending upon some complex calculation of state population and stuff, but it averages many hundreds of thousands of dollars per representative.

And, yeah, if the Congressional compensation package was what motivated the person, they really shouldn't be there. Especially if they're going to complain about it. :)

I just know so many people, in so many different states, who are gracefully supporting themselves and their family on much, much less... and are getting much, much more done. ;)
Apr. 6th, 2014 04:12 pm (UTC)
Staffing: *checks* huh. Now I'm curious where I got the idea that they were paying for staff out of their salary. At that point I agree with you pretty much entirely, then.

(I have ill-formed views on the fact that the national political class is in no way representative of most of their constituents, the desirability of this to not be the case versus the necessity of working within the system as it stands, and the unpleasant truth that it takes relatively little money for corporate lobbyists to buy pliant senators/congresscritters. I also have no immediately free headspace to develop them further.)
Apr. 6th, 2014 05:05 pm (UTC)
I agree with everything in your second paragraph. :)

For the longest time, I wanted to go into politics. Then I found out how it really works and lost all interest.
Apr. 5th, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
Oh foo. Let them club together and buy a luxury condo building then, with state-of-the-art security, pool, gym. restaurant/catering, assembly and meeting rooms - whatever they want. It would certainly cost a lot less than each of them buying his or her own house, and I'm sure they could get the financing.

Much as I think it would do our Congress-critters a lot of good to live in Base housing and eat from the steam-tables of Uncle Sam's munificence, I think there's a snowflake's chance in Hell of that ever happening. And sure, the Federal Government could provide a Congressional Condo for them, but why? There'd be no end of trouble over it. No, huzzah for Free Enterprise and all that; let them purchase their own damn frat houses.
Apr. 6th, 2014 04:57 pm (UTC)
I did always wonder why there were no housing options/coordination for what are, ostensibly, part-time onsite workers.
Apr. 7th, 2014 06:23 am (UTC)
They could have them if they wanted them. Doubtless they enjoy the prestige and privacy of their big luxurious houses. If they're going to cry a poor mouth over the expense of it all, at a time when so many Americans are living in cars and tents and on other peoples' couches because they can't afford any housing at all, maybe they need to go get a real job.

I'd like to see a Basic Income for every adult in this country, equal to one-tenth the salary of a US Senator. Let them decide how much that ought to be. If they can't make ends meet with ten times what other citizens live on, they're not good enough at managing money to be deciding our nation's budget.
Apr. 5th, 2014 09:54 pm (UTC)
Moran has been my Congressman as long as I've lived here in Arlington; he isn't running for re-election -- which may explain why he dared propose this bill. On the other hand, given some of his other conduct, he may figure he could get away with just about anything, and keep getting re-elected with over 60% of the vote.
Apr. 6th, 2014 04:58 pm (UTC)
I continue to be amazed by the inertia some Congressfolk have in election after election--even in cases when so many constituents seem to be unhappy.
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )


Blair MacGregor

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