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by
Rick Moran

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April 5, 2014 - 4:15 pm
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Virginia Representative Jim Moran (thank God, no relation) is retiring from Congress after this term. But before he settles down with his ill gotten gains, he decided to broach the subject of congressional pay and complain how there wasn’t enough of it.

In an interview with Roll Call, Moran said that the congressional salary of $174,000 a year just didn’t cut it, and that some congressmen were suffering the indignities that such a niggardly sum imposed upon them.

He says that some members sleep in their offices or are forced to live in tiny apartments while they’re working in Washington because they can’t afford anything else. Members must maintain a residence in their home district, as well as live in DC, which means, Moran claims, that it’s hard to stretch that $174,000 so that a member can live “decently.”

“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” 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.”

The senior appropriator pointed out that some members have taken to living out of their offices to save money, while others have “small little apartment units” that make it impossible to spend the time they should with their families.

Most state legislatures provide their members with a per diem allowance, Moran argues, so the federal government should do the same.

The Legislative Branch appropriations bill introduced by Republicans on Wednesday aims to show the chamber’s commitment to austerity by holding spending at current levels. It would continue a freeze on lawmaker salaries that has been in place since 2010.

As for a dollar amount, Moran hasn’t yet thought that through. He said it would probably be consistent with what the federal government provides to other employees.

“…[T]he fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.” Um, no Congressman. The fact is, you’d like to think you control the economy like a board of directors controls a company. But even if it were true, you want a raise for the job you’ve done?

A pay increase without merit — doesn’t that say something about the state of America in the Obama years? Burger flippers wanting $15 an hour, Democrats wanting to raise the minimum wage to more than $10 an hour — what value does Congressional labor impart to the country? How many days a year do they work? What have they done to warrant an increase? Or should we just give them a raise because they’re such nice guys and gals?

So OK, we get it. Certainly some members of congress suffer hardships because they can’t stretch $174,000 to meet expenses for maintaining two residences year round. But if they’re forced to leave their families at home, the US taxpayer pays for their travel to and from the district. And since the congressional workweek is 3-4 days a week, that leaves plenty of time for a member to jet home to see his family several times a month. An ideal family life? If the member doesnt’ like it, he doesn’t have to run for office.

But most members have spouses who work, or who were wealthy before they came to congress. According to a report by Open Secrets, there are 268 of 535 members of Congress who are worth $1 million or more. The point being, the vast majority of members don’t need their salaries increased in order to live comfortably.

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Top Rated Comments   
This is too easy. The number one job of Congress is the federal budget. If they continue to spend like drunken sailors, they should get paid like them - say whatever an ensign (the most junior officer) makes - $2,784 per month, with all the various allowances.

If they actually do their job, balance the budget and start reining in the national debt, then they should get bonuses commensurate with high-level executives.

So, for every $100B that they reduce off the federal debt, they get a $100k bonus, up to a maximum of $2M dollars.

If they reduce the national debt by $1T (to a mere $16.5T), they make a $1M bonus. If they reduce the national debt by $2T, they get a $2M bonus.

$535M would save $1T; a little over a billion would save $2T.

Problem solved.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Perhaps "Moron" Jim Moran (yes, he's called that by even some of his supporters) could answer a few questions:

- How is it that most Congress Critters become millionaires AFTER achieving their exalted political positions?
- How is it they can pass laws yet exempt themselves and their friends from those same laws?
- Why can they lie about literally everything causing measureable harm against the public without threat of legal action, yet the people they serve cannot file a lawsuit against them for that measurable harm?
- Since its Congress' job to pass a budget but hasn't in years, why should they get paid at all, much less get a raise?

I'm willing to concede that Congress and our President should be paid for the work they do for the Public. Let's pass a law that ties Presidential, VP, Senate, Representative pay to the median salary of those working outside of Federal Government. If the economy goes up so does their pay but if it goes down, so does their pay.


25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Senators and representatives shouldn't get any salary from the federal government, they should be paid by the states and each state legislature should decide what their members of congress should be paid. That way they can't vote themselves raises. In addition, each state should maintain residences in DC that their members of congress use while in office. That way these poor congressmen won't have to maintain 2 residences. Then the states should pay them a lot less since they no longer have the burden of paying for all that stuff.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (44)
All Comments   (44)
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Can't they find a lobbyist to room with? Most of them are in bed with special interests already.
24 weeks ago
24 weeks ago Link To Comment
Any elected officer or even the bureaucracy has a choice: live in the District or outside. If any one of them complains they are unable to
afford D.C. housing, fine. Not my problem. I did not ask you to run for office or to join "government service."
You made the decision. Live with it or quit.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Members of Congress are not paid "enough" commensurate to the cost of living in the great DC area.

That is a problem of their own making. The DC area is one of the more expensive metro areas due to the fact that the federal government (which is no longer actually "federal") has become a bloated center of the American Universe. Decrease the size and importance of the central government, and prices from housing to food and transportation will go down over time.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Dear Senators & Representatives...GET A ROOMMATE or two!! When Hubby & I were engaged & living in SoCAL, (2007 to 2009), we had a really nice Senior Lady as our "roommate" & shared a suburban rental house with her. When we split the rent 3 ways it was manageable for each of us & we all got to enjoy a really nice place to live. The Landlord LOVED renting to 3 Professionals, so it was a WIN, WIN for all!! If I can have a roommate while in my 50's & our roommate can have a roommate while in her 70's then Congress can have roommates!!
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
The overall sense of "entitlement" to an increase in just about everything is spreading fast, very fast, especially if out of someone else's pocket. The exception of course is working hours or productivity.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
“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.” ~ Jim Moran

And therein lies a large part of the problem. Many if not most of these weasels in D.C. consider themselves the Board of Directors when in reality, they are supposed to be representatives working for their real boss, WE THE PEOPLE. Moran has it ass backwards - he's nothing but a highly paid errand boy with delusions of grandeur.

The first priority of a Congressman, in conjunction with national defense, is to be good stewards of our monies. I say these weasel's pay should be merit based.

And Mr. Moran? You are found guilty of theft and fraud - a criminal by any other name, worse than a common thief because we paid you to steal.

If there were real justice, you'd be behind bars before your time is up.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
There is a simple way to solve this. Use the following formula:
Median cost of living for one person in DC

Plus

Median cost of living for n (n being the number of people in their family) in their home state.

Make the bastards live the way We do.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
That would probably be right around what they make now.

25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Congress members seem to be doing all right living indecently. What do they want - to legitimize their wrongdoing? Show me one that leaves that place a pauper, and I'll show you a sure loser.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
That's why you have fund raisers---at least the money will be doing something more that inspiring hate and intolerance of many people of diverse ideas.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Get rid of air conditioning in federal offices as well.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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