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Old 08-30-2011, 03:56 AM   #1
ShivaX
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Poor Congresscritters need more money

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/m...165641960.html
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A few lawmakers have suggested in recent months that despite a $174,000 annual salary, generous health care and pensions, and perks for things like travel and mail, being one of the elite 435 ain't always what it's cracked up to be. And when you calculate the hours they put in, the pay isn't stellar either, they say.
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The Florida Capital News reported last week on a speech Steve Southerland, a Republican representative, gave to a retirement community in Tallahassee in which he complained about some of the parts of his new job:
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Southerland, a freshman, ran a family funeral home business in Panama City and earned about $90,000 before joining Congress in January.
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Are times really so tough that even members of Congress are struggling to get by? The numbers suggest otherwise. A recent analysis of congressional pay found that members of Congress earn about 3.4 times the salary of the average American worker. Using that standard, members of Congress are among the highest paid legislators in the developed world.

There wasn't a good thread to toss it in, but this is the 4th critter to basically say they don't get paid enough.
I mean making only 3 1/2 times as much as everyone else must be terrible. Then again if I was King I'd link Congressional salaries directly to the median income and odds are the payout wouldn't be 3.4 times as much.

Hearing it so often from the party thats saying poor people need to give up more and pay more doesn't help either, though both parties are guilty.

"We all need to tighten our belts! And by we, I mean you. I need a pay raise cause three times what you make isn't enough for me to live on."
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Old 08-30-2011, 05:51 AM   #2
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To be fair, Congress is trying to cut its costs.

I mean, just earlier this month, they eliminated the longstanding Page Program. Sure, they still get paid quite a bit, but at least they're trying?
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:35 AM   #3
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If they dont like it they can always quit. It shouldn't be about the money anyway. I would vote for a salary cap for the next 10 years at least.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:22 AM   #4
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Good luck making this argument in the current economy, you sons of bitches.

What Shiva said, if I made the rules legislators would have their salaries kept at the same level as average Americans. They'd have to find their own health care in the free market, too.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:10 AM   #5
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Wouldn't cutting the salaries of legislatures actually favor those who already rich?
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:17 AM   #6
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Favor them how?

An median salary is still a step up for about half the country.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:26 AM   #7
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I want them to not make as much money, but I also don't want them to be easier to buy. A conundrum.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:28 AM   #8
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Well, if I were making the rules there'd also be a load of campaign finance and donations rules that would hopefully make it harder to corrupt them.
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Old 08-30-2011, 08:43 AM   #9
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So these politicians are basically wearing large "For Sale" signs across their chests when they make their speeches and there is no public outcry over this? Just disgusting...
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:06 AM   #10
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If they dont like it they can always quit. It shouldn't be about the money anyway. I would vote for a salary cap for the next 10 years at least.
Plato suggested legislators should work for free. The problem is, this guarantees only the independently wealthy can afford to run for office.

Congresscritters do have greater personal expenses than the rest of us: most notably, they have to maintain two households in their district and in Washington. I'm not sure whether their current salary is inadequate to attract enough quality candidates, but it's not obvious to me that $174,000 is definitely enough to compensate them. Paying them the median American salary would almost certainly be too little, however.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:15 AM   #11
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So we provide free housing for them in DC. For 500 people that's hardly a huge expense.

Congressman should be one of those jobs people seek because they love the work and want to make a difference by serving their country, not because of the paycheck.
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Old 08-30-2011, 09:18 AM   #12
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Plato suggested legislators should work for free. The problem is, this guarantees only the independently wealthy can afford to run for office.

Congresscritters do have greater personal expenses than the rest of us: most notably, they have to maintain two households in their district and in Washington. I'm not sure whether their current salary is inadequate to attract enough quality candidates, but it's not obvious to me that $174,000 is definitely enough to compensate them. Paying them the median American salary would almost certainly be too little, however.
Let's give them a dorm to stay at in Washington and cut their base pay to $60K supplemented by tips from the area they represent. Put a sliding scale on it to raise the pay for areas with low population and 50% of of their outside income (businesses owned etc.) goes to pay for their healthcare and pensions.

I am also in favor of any conviction of embezzling public money at any level of government should carry the charge of treason as well and a mandatory death penalty.

Also, I don't think they should be allowed to eat cake or celebrate birthdays.
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Old 08-30-2011, 11:24 AM   #13
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If I ever have trouble paying my bills making over 170,000 a year I am counting on one of you good fellows to slap me.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:14 PM   #14
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Also, I don't think they should be allowed to eat cake or celebrate birthdays.
Oh come on...






Let them eat cake!
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:16 PM   #15
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Favor them how?

An median salary is still a step up for about half the country.
The richer you are, the less you need the salary you are paid for being a legislature. Conversely, the lower the salary for a legislature, the less likely those who aren't rich will be able to afford to be one.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:22 PM   #16
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The richer you are, the less you need the salary you are paid for being a legislature. Conversely, the lower the salary for a legislature, the less likely those who aren't rich will be able to afford to be one.
Wait, so someone that currently makes only $20k a year would be less able to afford to take a job that pays $50k than a millionaire?

Someone's ability to afford taking a $50k a year job does go down from millionaires, right up until you people who are already making $50k. Then it starts going up again.

The center line of that graph is, as you can imagine, dead center in the population of US.
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Old 08-30-2011, 01:47 PM   #17
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So we provide free housing for them in DC. For 500 people that's hardly a huge expense.
First we’d have to at least let ‘em fall asleep in their office without forming a lynch mob. (Unless they were scamming some sort of per diem, I never really understood that scandal.) Baby steps, Ink... baby steps.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:13 PM   #18
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Wait, so someone that currently makes only $20k a year would be less able to afford to take a job that pays $50k than a millionaire?

Someone's ability to afford taking a $50k a year job does go down from millionaires, right up until you people who are already making $50k. Then it starts going up again.

The center line of that graph is, as you can imagine, dead center in the population of US.
You are assuming that taking the job of a legislator would cause zero change in your cost of living.
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Old 08-30-2011, 02:18 PM   #19
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You are assuming that taking the job of a legislator would cause zero change in your cost of living.
If we do as suggested before and compensate for DC room and board, it might lessen the cost of living for many people.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:43 PM   #20
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Congressman should be one of those jobs people seek because they love the work and want to make a difference by serving their country, not because of the paycheck.
Why? Is there some reason to think people who really care are going to be better legislators than people who are just in it for the paycheck? You seem to have a very big unexamined assumption here. Certainly that's not the way it works in other industries. I know very cynical lawyers who are just in it for the money and some who are true believers; pretty much always it's the cynical ones who are better at their jobs.

EDIT: A big reason why partisanship is so big an issue today is because legislators are true believers who are willing to sacrifice their chances of re-election to make a point. Cynical career politicians are much more willing to compromise to stay in power. This is just one example in which cynicism is a democracy's greatest ally.

Anyway, I don't think any legislators are actually entirely motivated by money, and most aren't so motivated by their ideology that they'd still keep the job if the pay was zero. Actual human beings sometimes (often!) have multiple motives for their decisions, especially major decisions like their careers.
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I am also in favor of any conviction of embezzling public money at any level of government should carry the charge of treason as well and a mandatory death penalty.
I admire people who make their contempt for the Constitution so plain.
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