Members of Congress are underpaid, can’t live ‘decently’ in D.C


Locutus
#1
really


A retiring Democratic congressman from Virginia says federal lawmakers don’t make enough money to get by in both Washington and back home.

“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” Rep. James P. Moran told CQ Roll Call.
“I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”

Mr. Moran told the publication that some lawmakers live out of their offices while in the nation’s capital, or in “small little apartment units” that make it hard to spend time with their families.


more of this sad story here:


Members of Congress are underpaid, can't live 'decently' in D.C.: Rep. Moran - Washington Times
 
Highball
#2
This shows the arrogance of those in Congress. Not only do they think they are a cut above the rest whom they supposedly represent they think they need to live like royalty. This shows just how disconnected they are with the rest of the working class in America.
 
coldstream
+2
#3
There's a better way to get some affordable housing in Washington.. and that is to kick out the lobbyists, who make millions of dollars subverting American democracy and completely skew the housing market so that Representatives have to live in group frat houses like college students.
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
+3
#4  Top Rated Post
If I see a Sally Struthers commercial on TV about this, I'm going to go ballistic.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
#5
Whut.... They haven't learned the art of book padding?
 
BornRuff
+1 / -1
#6
Saying that they are "underpaid" certainly doesn't send the right impression. It certainly wont win over any voters.

The point he seems to be trying to highlight is that they don't have any allowance for the cost of living while in Washington. In any other job, if you had to travel for work like that, your costs would be covered by the company. They would either pay for a hotel or rent a place for you, and give you a per-deim to cover costs like food and incidentals.

So at least when you compare their salary to other elected representatives, you need to appreciate that their salary also has to include the costs of maintaining a second home in an area that is pretty expensive to live in.

MPs and I think most MPPs/MLAs get an allowance to pay for the cost of their second residence if they live more than 100kms away from parliament, and a per diem while in Ottawa or traveling for work.
 
petros
#7
If they are underpaid then so am I.
 
Locutus
#8
Maybe their minders can hep them out some.

A telethon, yard sale...that kind thing.




Ben Howe ‏@BenHowe

I agree with @SenatorReid. Let those endorsements shine! pic.twitter.com/ntPDkRY05k




 
#juan
No Party Affiliation
+1
#9
Well, I can't find too much sympathy. They make $174,000,00 per year. Lots of people manage to squeak by on a mere hundred thousand dollars.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by #juanView Post

Well, I can't find too much sympathy. They make $174,000,00 per year. Lots of people manage to squeak by on a mere hundred thousand dollars.

And many more get by for less than $100K.

Members of Congress can also deduct up to $3K off their taxes while living in Washington.

And Congress is scheduled to be in session about 75 more days of the remaining 188 work days left in the year.

They also have free airport parking at the DC area airports (Reagan and Dulles).
Last edited by EagleSmack; Apr 7th, 2014 at 03:06 PM..
 
pgs
Free Thinker
+1
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

Saying that they are "underpaid" certainly doesn't send the right impression. It certainly wont win over any voters.

The point he seems to be trying to highlight is that they don't have any allowance for the cost of living while in Washington. In any other job, if you had to travel for work like that, your costs would be covered by the company. They would either pay for a hotel or rent a place for you, and give you a per-deim to cover costs like food and incidentals.

So at least when you compare their salary to other elected representatives, you need to appreciate that their salary also has to include the costs of maintaining a second home in an area that is pretty expensive to live in.

MPs and I think most MPPs/MLAs get an allowance to pay for the cost of their second residence if they live more than 100kms away from parliament, and a per diem while in Ottawa or traveling for work.

Yea they have it so bad they spend millions just to get that sh---ty pay .
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#12
Put them up in Army Barracks- Ones the enlisted man/woman uses.
With the cuts coming I am sure there would be room.
 
BornRuff
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by pgsView Post

Yea they have it so bad they spend millions just to get that sh---ty pay .

That is another issue all together. The amount of money that is spent on elections in the US is ridiculous. The total spent for the 2012 presidential and congressional races was apparently over 7 billion dollars. I don't think it would be hard to figure out better ways to spend that money.

But anyways. I never said they have it bad. Just pointing out how it compares to other elected representatives.

Maybe it would make more sense to simply separate it out so it is more clear. They get x amount for the cost of living in Washington, and x as an actual salary.
 
lone wolf
Free Thinker
+1
#14
Practice a little austerity.... Take in a roomie (Guess it would be more like a suiteie)
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+1
#15
I live in two Provinces. Travel back and forth at least eight to ten times a year via Airfare. I don't get a living allowance and I can't deduct my airfare on my taxes as a work expense. So, I can totally sympathize with congress.

 
BornRuff
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

I live in two Provinces. Travel back and forth at least eight to ten times a year via Airfare. I don't get a living allowance and I can't deduct my airfare on my taxes as a work expense. So, I can totally sympathize with congress.

Do you work for the same employer in those two different provinces or do you just choose not to live where you work?
 
Tecumsehsbones
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

Do you work for the same employer in those two different provinces or do you just choose not to live where you work?

He did it for his wives.
 
EagleSmack
+1
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post


But anyways. I never said they have it bad. Just pointing out how it compares to other elected representatives.

Compared to who?

Quote:

Maybe it would make more sense to simply separate it out so it is more clear. They get x amount for the cost of living in Washington, and x as an actual salary.

It is clear. They get paid $174K per year which is an incredible salary. Far greater than the average income of a US family. AND they are not the only people who live in the DC area.

AND... they are elected and know the salary going into the election and what the job entails. Don't expect much sympathy for a man or woman who wins a seat in the US Congress and then complains they're not paid enough.
 
captain morgan
Bloc Québécois
+1
#19
Don't the various lobby groups, ah, offer to provide a little helping-hand every now and then?
 
EagleSmack
+1
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by captain morganView Post

Don't the various lobby groups, ah, offer to provide a little helping-hand every now and then?

Absolutely. They can get dinners, junkets, etc. They have free parking around the Capital, a gym and there really isn't much heavy lifting.

They're entitled and they do not like to spend their money. They feel others should for them.

I heard a joke in some movie... "It is impossible to get a bar full of politicians and professional athletes out of a bar... None of them want to pick up the check!"
 
WLDB
No Party Affiliation
+2
#21
You cant live decently if you arent decent.
 
Liberalman
#22
Kickbacks makes up the difference
 
Tecumsehsbones
#23
McCutcheon v. FEC should take care of it.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

Do you work for the same employer in those two different provinces or do you just choose not to live where you work?

Choice has little to do with it. I would work where I live, where my house is, where my kids are, but work isn't there. I have one employer.
 
JLM
No Party Affiliation
#25
If they can't figure that out they have no business being in Congress! Same as for our parliament. Resourcefulness (without theft) should be one of the first criteria for that job. Second would be not to whine! -

Quote: Originally Posted by WLDBView Post

You cant live decently if you arent decent.


Decency has very little to do with money. Give up the limousines and start walking! -
 
BornRuff
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Compared to who?

You can start by reading the very next paragraph in the post you quoted.

Members of Congress are underpaid, can’t live ‘decently’ in D.C

Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

It is clear. They get paid $174K per year which is an incredible salary. Far greater than the average income of a US family. AND they are not the only people who live in the DC area.

AND... they are elected and know the salary going into the election and what the job entails. Don't expect much sympathy for a man or woman who wins a seat in the US Congress and then complains they're not paid enough.

Clearly it is not clear to you. You compare them to anyone else who works in the DC area, but that isn't the same thing. If you move to DC and that is where your job is, that is one thing. You only need one home.

These elected officials have to work in DC and in their home constituency. They need two residences to do their job.

So their salary isn't the same as anyone else who works a normal job, since it is not common to be forced to pay for the cost of a second residence that is required for your job out of your salary.

Because it seems to be causing confusion for you and other people, that is why it seems like separating those two pieces out would make sense.

Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

Choice has little to do with it. I would work where I live, where my house is, where my kids are, but work isn't there. I have one employer.

That is a very different situation than someone who's job requires them to work in multiple locations.

Lots of people move their house and their kids for work. It is commendable that you are willing to put in all that effort to keep everything else in place, but it isn't a business expense.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#27
So what's the debate? Congress has it in their power to increase their salaries. For that matter, the way the system is set up, Congressional salaries increase automatically unless Congress votes against increasing them. For a decade or so now, Congress has voted down the increases.

So, to sum up. These "workers" have the authority to increase their own pay, and in fair and transparent democratic votes, choose not to.

So, again, what exactly is the problem?
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

That is a very different situation than someone who's job requires them to work in multiple locations.

Lots of people move their house and their kids for work. It is commendable that you are willing to put in all that effort to keep everything else in place, but it isn't a business expense.

I didn't say that it was a business expense. I said that it was a work expense. A very large demographic of this Country is in the same boat from NFLD, to Manitoba, and even in British Columbia. Economic refugees who have to travel to other Provinces (AB or SK) because the cost of living along with the down turn in real estate [Unlless you live in Toronto] has forced you to do so.

I could piss away all the equity in my home I suppose and uproot and move to Alberta and start all over again, but at almost 50, do I want to do that. I've been a nomad most of my life, military, trucking, a number years ago things were going good and it was then I decided it was time to settle down maybe enjoy life a bit. Build my last house.

Then the bottom fell out. We do what we have to do. It's hard to sympathize with people who make a ton of dough and also have other options. Being a politician is a choice and a very lucrative one in congress, no matter what the pigs at that trough say.

BTW, I think you missed the very point of my post.
 
EagleSmack
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by BornRuffView Post

You can start by reading the very next paragraph in the post you quoted.

Members of Congress are underpaid, can’t live ‘decently’ in D.C

Compared to who??

Quote:

Clearly it is not clear to you. You compare them to anyone else who works in the DC area, but that isn't the same thing. If you move to DC and that is where your job is, that is one thing. You only need one home.



These elected officials have to work in DC and in their home constituency. They need two residences to do their job.

Were they surprised that they actually had to be in DC if they were elected to the US Congress? LMAO

Quote:

So their salary isn't the same as anyone else who works a normal job, since it is not common to be forced to pay for the cost of a second residence that is required for your job out of your salary.

That is right! Their salary is a hell of a lot more than just about everyone else!

Quote:

Because it seems to be causing confusion for you and other people, that is why it seems like separating those two pieces out would make sense.

My heart breaks for them!

Here is a tip... if you don't like it... don't run for Congress!



Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post


BTW, I think you missed the very point of my post.

Are you surprised?
 
BornRuff
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Compared to who??

You seriously can't read an entire post before responding?

Other elected officials. MPs and MPPs in Canada. Also anyone who has to travel for work.

Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

Were they surprised that they actually had to be in DC if they were elected to the US Congress? LMAO

That is right! Their salary is a hell of a lot more than just about everyone else!

Nobody said they were surprised by anything. I am saying that it is misleading to compare their salary directly to other people's salaries without accounting for the fact that a significant chunk of it has to go just to paying for the costs of working as a senator or congressman.

If you were sent on a business trip, would you consider the cost of your hotel room, meals, and travel as part of your salary?

Quote: Originally Posted by EagleSmackView Post

My heart breaks for them!

Here is a tip... if you don't like it... don't run for Congress!



Are you surprised?

I am not telling you that they have it hard. I am saying that they should separate out the costs of being a senator/congressman from their actual salary so people are not confused as you are.
 
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