Congressman: Members of Congress are underpaid


#1

washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2014/04/04/congressman-members-of-congress-are-underpaid/

Congressman Jim Moran, D-Virginia said this today, so I don’t think it qualifies as an April Fools’ Joke. Feel free to make up your own punch line.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) said in an interview with Roll Call on Thursday that members of Congress are underpaid and can’t afford to live “decently” in Washington.
“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” Moran said."

My own would be is that if you can’t live decently on $174,000 plus all the perks and allowances, you are not smart enough to be a congressman.

I did not include all the money they can make on insider trading or creative use of campaign funds. Also note that Mr Moran has a district very close to Washington, so his commuting costs are minimal and he does not need a second home in his district.


#2

Maybe if we paid members of Congress something like the average income of one working person, times, say, 2, they would work a little harder on improving the economy and waste less time on folderol.


#3

Wow


#4

Moran is not seeking reelection this year.

:smiley:

His claim that $174,00/year is not enough to live decently in DC will not win much support among the US public. Only an outgoing member of Congress would say such a thing, since the statement would be poison at the ballot box.

Is his claim true? I am not familiar with cost of living in DC, so it is hard for me to assess. I guess a large part is what an individual considers to be a decent living. Certainly there are sections of DC where crime is high and rent is cheap. I suppose a middle ground exists between such neighborhoods, and the tonier parts of town.

Maybe it comes down to wealth and expectations. There seems to be no shortage of physicians who run for federal office, but I suppose they have enough accumulated wealth that congressional salary isn’t a factor. In contrast, the local mailman would likely find $174.000/year to be an astonishing windfall. I think, the fact that a physician is much more likely to be elected to Congress than a mailman says something about class and wealth in the US. But I suppose that is a different topic.


#5

Don’t they have to pay for an apartment or house in the DC area as well as support a family and household back at home? All things considered it probably comes out to about an average salary in the end once everything is paid for and said and done, though I really don’t know what kind of perks they get. I’d imagine a good pension after only a couple of years in office is nothing to complain about!


#6

I hope that people running for districts in Detroit or other depressed areas will be asked their opinions on this, provided there is sufficient security to control the crowd that hears the answer.


#7

:rotfl::rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:


#8

If they were paid according to their performance, it would conflict with minimum wage laws.


#9

I grew up in the area and am acquainted with people who live in the metropolitan area, like a family who raised two children on a combined income of $40K. Sure, you don’t get to live in a mansion on that wage, but it can be done.

Moreover, members of Congress do get housing allowances and travel expenses (as we discovered when Pelosi wanted a bigger plane so she could fly back home non-stop as her predecessor, who lived closer to DC, had).

In addition for various expenses being covered, they get additional pay for committee work and the like. They seem also to be able to command high speaking fees and their pension benefits are quite possibly the best in the world.

He’s setting things up so they can vote themselves a raise after the election during the lame duck session when a lot of outgoing (retiring and voted out) people will still be there. Happens every time someone starts talking like this :frowning:

Maybe it comes down to wealth and expectations. There seems to be no shortage of physicians who run for federal office, but I suppose they have enough accumulated wealth that congressional salary isn’t a factor. In contrast, the local mailman would likely find $174.000/year to be an astonishing windfall. I think, the fact that a physician is much more likely to be elected to Congress than a mailman says something about class and wealth in the US. But I suppose that is a different topic.


#10

I am pretty sure there is no such thing as negative payment. :smiley:


#11

no…more like they’d have to pay the government to employ them instead.


#12

That would not be fair. A lot of them are not good at anything else. Where could they earn the money (legally, anyway) to pay the government?


#13

Oh, please! Resign then!!


#14

The pay is very clearly spelled out before applying for the job.


#15

Wow. I think this is ridiculous. In my opinion they are paid far too much but then again, I have no idea what the cost of living is in Washington DC.


#16

Beat me to it! :smiley:


#17

My own would be is that if you can’t live decently on $174,000 plus all the perks and allowances, you are not smart enough to be a congressman.

:smiley:

I did not include all the money they can make on insider trading or creative use of campaign funds. Also note that Mr Moran has a district very close to Washington, so his commuting costs are minimal and he does not need a second home in his district.

But I thought government CARED about its people…


#18

Those politicians who complain that they’re underpaid should be looking forward to an earlier retirement.


#19

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