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(The Republic)   Candidate calls $179,000 congressional salary "astronomical" and says he'll give more than half to wounded veterans charity if elected. Difficulty: He's currently living out of his van and earns $15,000 in a good year   (therepublic.com ) divider line
    More: Hero, Hawaii, Wounded Warrior Project  
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2094 clicks; posted to Politics » on 29 Aug 2012 at 10:00 PM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



86 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2012-08-29 08:17:35 PM  
He drives a blimp? Cool.
 
2012-08-29 08:18:30 PM  
So he's going to have to survive on $89,500 per year?

Poor soul. How will he ever survive on that? It's only $74,500 more than he makes now.
 
2012-08-29 08:20:13 PM  
He's apparently running on the Silly Party ticket.
 
2012-08-29 08:20:41 PM  
I think the "difficulty" is that this guy only makes $15k a year, and LIVES IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!
www.nytimes.com

In other words, he'll need a shiat-ton of funding to have any prayer of winning the seat over his opponents negative campaign ad landslide.
 
2012-08-29 08:23:29 PM  
He is right about one thing, $179,000 is ridiculous for sitting around squabbling like children for 10 days a month.
 
2012-08-29 08:27:46 PM  

Nofun: I think the "difficulty" is that this guy only makes $15k a year, and LIVES IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!
[www.nytimes.com image 533x305]

In other words, he'll need a shiat-ton of funding to have any prayer of winning the seat over his opponents negative campaign ad landslide.


I don't think his opponents will even mention that he exists. It's not like he's going to be running any ads, ya know?

But yeah, I could totally see living on $89,000 a year. That's a lot more than I make now, although where I live, you don't have to make $89,000 a year to survive. That guy lives in a pretty expensive area.
 
2012-08-29 08:27:58 PM  
I actually think we should double their pay. Not because they deserve it, but because I'd like to see regular people run for office.

It's expensive as hell to live in or near Washington DC. You can't afford to live as a member of congress unless you're already rich. God forbid you have a family with you or even back home.
 
2012-08-29 08:31:11 PM  

pudding7: It's expensive as hell to live in or near Washington DC. You can't afford to live as a member of congress unless you're already rich


$179,000/year isn't enough? DC isn't that expensive. They don't even work the whole year. Get another job if that isn't enough. That's a ridiculous salary for what they do. That doesn't even include the bribes.
 
2012-08-29 08:37:07 PM  

Mugato: pudding7: It's expensive as hell to live in or near Washington DC. You can't afford to live as a member of congress unless you're already rich

$179,000/year isn't enough? DC isn't that expensive. They don't even work the whole year. Get another job if that isn't enough. That's a ridiculous salary for what they do. That doesn't even include the bribes.


I'd resist cutting Congressional salaries because if we massively cut them, then it becomes even more than it is now a place where only the rich can work.
 
2012-08-29 08:40:13 PM  
Good for him.

/also currently living in my car
//van would be more comfortable
//sleeping in a Mercury Mystique sure isn't
 
2012-08-29 08:50:17 PM  

ArkAngel: /also currently living in my car
//van would be more comfortable
//sleeping in a Mercury Mystique sure isn't


Well it's probably a little more cramped than sleeping in a Mercury with Mystique... although that might be more "comfortable."

upload.wikimedia.org
 
2012-08-29 08:52:05 PM  

ArkAngel: Good for him.

/also currently living in my car
//van would be more comfortable
//sleeping in a Mercury Mystique sure isn't


Try a Jeep Wrangler

/I sincerely feel your pain
 
2012-08-29 08:52:23 PM  

dbirchall: ArkAngel: /also currently living in my car
//van would be more comfortable
//sleeping in a Mercury Mystique sure isn't

Well it's probably a little more cramped than sleeping in a Mercury with Mystique... although that might be more "comfortable."

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x336]


I prefer the Jennifer Lawrence version.
 
2012-08-29 08:55:04 PM  

GAT_00: dbirchall: ArkAngel: /also currently living in my car
//van would be more comfortable
//sleeping in a Mercury Mystique sure isn't

Well it's probably a little more cramped than sleeping in a Mercury with Mystique... although that might be more "comfortable."

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x336]

I prefer the Jennifer Lawrence version.


I'd take either. Preferably both, but either will work.
 
2012-08-29 08:59:16 PM  
Isn't that, like, base pay? Aren't there a lot of extras, like per diem, piled onto that?
 
2012-08-29 09:35:13 PM  

pudding7: I actually think we should double their pay. Not because they deserve it, but because I'd like to see regular people run for office.

It's expensive as hell to live in or near Washington DC. You can't afford to live as a member of congress unless you're already rich. God forbid you have a family with you or even back home.


Hmm, how many of these congressman live in say, the Anacostia section of DC? I would say none of them. I think you could easily live on $179,000 a year there.

BTW, as for his opponent Tulsi Gabbard...like the fist of an angry, Samoan, god Link
 
2012-08-29 10:03:13 PM  
I guess it's the thought that counts.
 
2012-08-29 10:04:54 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: ArkAngel: Good for him.

/also currently living in my car
//van would be more comfortable
//sleeping in a Mercury Mystique sure isn't

Try a Jeep Wrangler

/I sincerely feel your pain


When I lived in a campground for a year, (I had a log cabin with no running water but I did have gas heat and dialup internets) there was a guy who would live in a cabin in the winter and live in the bed of his Dodge Ram the rest of the year.
 
2012-08-29 10:08:21 PM  
Is his van down by the river?
 
2012-08-29 10:08:53 PM  
I'm more concerned with the money that they're making that's not comming from the government.
 
2012-08-29 10:09:48 PM  
Don't worry, he won't follow up on his donation offer if elected.
 
2012-08-29 10:11:29 PM  

Methadone Girls: So he's going to have to survive on $89,500 per year?

Poor soul. How will he ever survive on that? It's only $74,500 more than he makes now.


Exactly where I was going with this. It's the fundamental disconnect in this country, really.
 
2012-08-29 10:15:33 PM  

Hagbardr: MaudlinMutantMollusk: ArkAngel: Good for him.

/also currently living in my car
//van would be more comfortable
//sleeping in a Mercury Mystique sure isn't

Try a Jeep Wrangler

/I sincerely feel your pain

When I lived in a campground for a year, (I had a log cabin with no running water but I did have gas heat and dialup internets) there was a guy who would live in a cabin in the winter and live in the bed of his Dodge Ram the rest of the year.


KOA?

/yeah... did that, too
 
2012-08-29 10:17:09 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Isn't that, like, base pay? Aren't there a lot of extras, like per diem, piled onto that?


There's that, but the real money's in the backroom deals.
 
2012-08-29 10:21:10 PM  
Homeless and Republican?

That's a whole lot of crazy there.
 
2012-08-29 10:21:13 PM  
Before people say congress needs serious paycuts, I suggest you take a look at the Texas legislature. The legislature gets paid nothing really so it is highly responsive to special interests. Just walk in and hand out checks for 10k (if you have that kind of money) and you will have them in your pocket. If I recall correctly they get less than 30k per year and don't meet throughout the year so it virtually guarantees only the wealthy can get into office.
 
2012-08-29 10:26:41 PM  

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Hagbardr: MaudlinMutantMollusk: ArkAngel: Good for him.

/also currently living in my car
//van would be more comfortable
//sleeping in a Mercury Mystique sure isn't

Try a Jeep Wrangler

/I sincerely feel your pain

When I lived in a campground for a year, (I had a log cabin with no running water but I did have gas heat and dialup internets) there was a guy who would live in a cabin in the winter and live in the bed of his Dodge Ram the rest of the year.

KOA?

/yeah... did that, too


Privately owned campground. Lived there my sophomore year of college. I was a bit too old for the dorms and students living in town were zoned into overpriced firetrap slums. You couldn't rent a regular apartment if you were a student. I lived there with my friend whose freshman home had been razed to make room for a new plaza.
 
2012-08-29 10:32:14 PM  
I

dbirchall: Nofun: I think the "difficulty" is that this guy only makes $15k a year, and LIVES IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!
[www.nytimes.com image 533x305]

In other words, he'll need a shiat-ton of funding to have any prayer of winning the seat over his opponents negative campaign ad landslide.

I don't think his opponents will even mention that he exists. It's not like he's going to be running any ads, ya know?

But yeah, I could totally see living on $89,000 a year. That's a lot more than I make now, although where I live, you don't have to make $89,000 a year to survive. That guy lives in a pretty expensive area.


NO ads are neccesary


It's this

upload.wikimedia.org

VS.

this

farm6.static.flickr.com
 
2012-08-29 10:32:31 PM  

poopinator: Homeless and Republican?

That's a whole lot of crazy there.


Talk about voting against your interests. THis reminds me of one of those starburst commercials about contradictions.
 
2012-08-29 10:36:52 PM  

pudding7: I actually think we should double their pay. Not because they deserve it, but because I'd like to see regular people run for office.

It's expensive as hell to live in or near Washington DC. You can't afford to live as a member of congress unless you're already rich. God forbid you have a family with you or even back home.


You know how I know you don't know what the median income in Washington DC is?
 
2012-08-29 10:42:51 PM  

Gergesa: snip


Or you could enact serious legislation to make bribery illegal.

/ I live in a dream world.
 
2012-08-29 10:50:39 PM  
It seems our choices ars superwealthy bluebloods who know only to well how to game the system and homeless guys in vans who know which diners give out leftovers.

Great.
 
2012-08-29 10:51:59 PM  
That is actually really cool and as a leftist I would totally vote for this guy I would.
 
2012-08-29 11:01:11 PM  

MFAWG: Methadone Girls: So he's going to have to survive on $89,500 per year?

Poor soul. How will he ever survive on that? It's only $74,500 more than he makes now.

Exactly where I was going with this. It's the fundamental disconnect in this country, really.


Well, I'm glad I could point out the obvious for you
 
2012-08-29 11:02:21 PM  
I dont think $15K would cover the dry cleaning bill for the average congresscritter.
 
2012-08-29 11:06:25 PM  
He'll have plenty of time to pass legislation.... when he's living in a van down by the river!
 
2012-08-29 11:09:09 PM  

jaytkay: You know how I know you don't know what the median income in Washington DC is?


It isn't the "living in DC" by itself that is the problem. It is "live in DC" while also still maintaining a residence back where you come from. People biatch about Congresscritters being rich, but no one wants their Congresscritter living in a tenement either ("He lives there?! What kind of slob, shiat-for-brains lives there?!"). So you need to at least be living in a decent HOA to convince people you are not a complete loser - and then you have to live DC, again not in crack-den central. And you have to travel back and forth, since you need to spend at least part of the days you are "not working" in DC doing stuff back home. By the time you add it up, the Congressional salary is not some boundless source of easy wealth.

I have no idea where you might do the following, but might be best in the long-term is to create some sort of Olympic-Village-esque complex in DC. Apportion out rooms for each Rep and Sen, along with decent amenities. They don't have to live there per se, but make it free or rented for significantly less than the average DC rent to encourage them to live there.

Of course, I also think we should quintuple the number of Reps and triple the number of Senators. We have the least representative democracy of the representative democracies, i.e. each Congresscritter represents more people than the equivalent official in other countries. For instance, Britain has only a 1/5 of the population but about a 1/3 more MPs as US Reps.
 
2012-08-29 11:25:55 PM  

GAT_00: Mugato: pudding7: It's expensive as hell to live in or near Washington DC. You can't afford to live as a member of congress unless you're already rich

$179,000/year isn't enough? DC isn't that expensive. They don't even work the whole year. Get another job if that isn't enough. That's a ridiculous salary for what they do. That doesn't even include the bribes.

I'd resist cutting Congressional salaries because if we massively cut them, then it becomes even more than it is now a place where only the rich can work.


Solution: Cut all private political funding, have ONLY publicly funded campaigns. Have every last iota of lobbyist/politician contact be recorded and immediately publicly available. Have a 5 year moratorium in either direction for a lobbyist becoming a politician or a politician becoming a lobbyist. Stop the lifetime insurance and retirement fund for politicians, and have their benefits be commensurate with their time served.
 
2012-08-29 11:26:56 PM  
Some of my Republican relatives recently shared this graphic on facebook rambling about how we should withhold Congressmen's paychecks until they get some actual work done, just like normal people have to work for the money they get, and THAT'LL show 'em, etc. etc. etc.

I just barely resisted the urge to tell them they have shiat for brains if they think 179k is anything more than a pittance to the average Congressman.
 
2012-08-29 11:28:40 PM  
It's easy to live in a van down by the river... WHEN YOU LOVE IN A VA~A~A~AN DOWN BY THE RIVER!!!
 
2012-08-29 11:39:41 PM  
People talking about 180k salaries for congress is like worrying about if your family budget could afford a pack of gum this year.

It's a gnat on an elephant's ass.

Stop it already with the petty salary talk, let's talk about the trillions going down the drain at the DoD, for example.
 
2012-08-29 11:40:41 PM  

dbirchall: Nofun: I think the "difficulty" is that this guy only makes $15k a year, and LIVES IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!
[www.nytimes.com image 533x305]

In other words, he'll need a shiat-ton of funding to have any prayer of winning the seat over his opponents negative campaign ad landslide.

I don't think his opponents will even mention that he exists. It's not like he's going to be running any ads, ya know?

But yeah, I could totally see living on $89,000 a year. That's a lot more than I make now, although where I live, you don't have to make $89,000 a year to survive. That guy lives in a pretty expensive area.


Right now, I could live on freaking $15,000 a year. It would be 15,000% more than I'm making now.
 
2012-08-30 12:07:53 AM  

Kanemano: Idbirchall: Nofun: I think the "difficulty" is that this guy only makes $15k a year, and LIVES IN A VAN DOWN BY THE RIVER!
[www.nytimes.com image 533x305]

In other words, he'll need a shiat-ton of funding to have any prayer of winning the seat over his opponents negative campaign ad landslide.

I don't think his opponents will even mention that he exists. It's not like he's going to be running any ads, ya know?

But yeah, I could totally see living on $89,000 a year. That's a lot more than I make now, although where I live, you don't have to make $89,000 a year to survive. That guy lives in a pretty expensive area.

NO ads are neccesary


It's this

[upload.wikimedia.org image 220x229]

VS.

this

[farm6.static.flickr.com image 500x333]



upload.wikimedia.org

Agreed. He's going to get stomped.The real story here is Tulsi Gabbard:

Female Samoan Hindu Combat Veteran. (ilnk)

She's being groomed for a US Senate seat. Expect her to replace Senator Dan Inouye when he retires.
 
2012-08-30 12:10:04 AM  

phalamir: jaytkay: You know how I know you don't know what the median income in Washington DC is?

It isn't the "living in DC" by itself that is the problem. It is "live in DC" while also still maintaining a residence back where you come from. People biatch about Congresscritters being rich, but no one wants their Congresscritter living in a tenement either ("He lives there?! What kind of slob, shiat-for-brains lives there?!"). So you need to at least be living in a decent HOA to convince people you are not a complete loser - and then you have to live DC, again not in crack-den central. And you have to travel back and forth, since you need to spend at least part of the days you are "not working" in DC doing stuff back home. By the time you add it up, the Congressional salary is not some boundless source of easy wealth.

I have no idea where you might do the following, but might be best in the long-term is to create some sort of Olympic-Village-esque complex in DC. Apportion out rooms for each Rep and Sen, along with decent amenities. They don't have to live there per se, but make it free or rented for significantly less than the average DC rent to encourage them to live there.

Of course, I also think we should quintuple the number of Reps and triple the number of Senators. We have the least representative democracy of the representative democracies, i.e. each Congresscritter represents more people than the equivalent official in other countries. For instance, Britain has only a 1/5 of the population but about a 1/3 more MPs as US Reps.


They receive no stipends, per diems, housing allowances,moving assistance by moving companies, etc? A sergeant in the army gets some of that. The 179k they get has to cover every expense including transportation they have? Highly doubtful.
 
2012-08-30 12:36:21 AM  

the council of thirteen: I'm more concerned with the money that they're making that's not comming from the government.


This.

IMO the whole reason we pay them as much as we do is so they aren't as tempted by bribes.
Yes, i realize that is naive.
 
2012-08-30 12:39:07 AM  

rudemix: They receive no stipends, per diems, housing allowances,moving assistance by moving companies, etc? A sergeant in the army gets some of that. The 179k they get has to cover every expense including transportation they have? Highly doubtful.


They get a car allowance, but no moving allowance. They get some travel expenses, but maintaining two residences (their home district and DC) has always lead to financial problems. In the 19th century, representatives lived in boarding houses, often sleeping two or more to a bed. These days, some junior reps "live" in their offices. Others find free accommodations where they can (Rahm Emmanuel lived in someone's basement in Georgetown).

Biden had the best deal of anyone: he commuted in from his home outside Wilmington to DC every day on Amtrack.
 
2012-08-30 12:45:04 AM  

phalamir: I have no idea where you might do the following, but might be best in the long-term is to create some sort of Olympic-Village-esque complex in DC. Apportion out rooms for each Rep and Sen, along with decent amenities. They don't have to live there per se, but make it free or rented for significantly less than the average DC rent to encourage them to live there.

Of course, I also think we should quintuple the number of Reps and triple the number of Senators. We have the least representative democracy of the representative democracies, i.e. each Congresscritter represents more people than the equivalent official in other countries. For instance, Britain has only a 1/5 of the population but about a 1/3 more MPs as US Reps.


I've always thought the Founding Fathers should have given land to each state to build their own state residences in DC, with plenty of land set aside for future additions. The states would pay for the upkeep and living expenses of their representatives.

As to the number of reps, the Senate is set at two a state in the Constitution. However, the House is limited by a bill passed in the 50s which capped the number of House Reps at 234, based on the number of desks available. We desperately need to remove that cap and seat more reps to give fair and equitable representation.
 
2012-08-30 12:55:16 AM  

Gergesa: Before people say congress needs serious paycuts, I suggest you take a look at the Texas legislature. The legislature gets paid nothing really so it is highly responsive to special interests. Just walk in and hand out checks for 10k (if you have that kind of money) and you will have them in your pocket. If I recall correctly they get less than 30k per year and don't meet throughout the year so it virtually guarantees only the wealthy can get into office.


this fellow living in his vehicle won't be allowed to be Mayor or hold whatever little office in his area because he does not have a permanent address.

only the wealthy get into office is pretty standard in most areas way before we were born. every day poor slobs have to deal with putting food on the table and a roof over the head. our well to do friends live in great grandfathers mansion, eat the best foods, receive the finest educations and spend their adult days making sure their personal interests are taken care of.
 
2012-08-30 01:16:12 AM  
I honestly could give a fark all about the salaries.

Stop electing Republicans to office.

Then we'll talk.
 
2012-08-30 01:30:52 AM  

pudding7: People biatch about Congresscritters being rich, but no one wants their Congresscritter living in a tenement either ("He lives there?! What kind of slob, shiat-for-brains lives there?!"). So you need to at least be living in a decent HOA to convince people you are not a complete loser



Who knows or cares where their congressman lives?
 
2012-08-30 01:33:11 AM  

ScreamingHangover:
[upload.wikimedia.org image 454x600]

Agreed. He's going to get stomped.The real story here is Tulsi Gabbard:

Female Samoan Hindu Combat Veteran. (ilnk)

She's being groomed for a US Senate seat. Expect her to replace Senator Dan Inouye when he retires.



Well, if they need help grooming her, I have a pair of free hands.
 
2012-08-30 01:39:11 AM  

technicolor-misfit: ScreamingHangover:
[upload.wikimedia.org image 454x600]

Agreed. He's going to get stomped.The real story here is Tulsi Gabbard:

Female Samoan Hindu Combat Veteran. (ilnk)

She's being groomed for a US Senate seat. Expect her to replace Senator Dan Inouye when he retires.


Well, if they need help grooming her, I have a pair of free hands.


She's a Samoan combat veteran. You may need more than one pair.
 
2012-08-30 01:48:30 AM  
Why do we need wounded veterans' charities?

Isn't the government able to find the money to take care of wounded veterans in its $2.5 billion per day military budget?
 
2012-08-30 02:00:58 AM  

poopinator: Homeless and Republican?

That's a whole lot of crazy there.


Because one day he'll be rich and he won't want to be penalized for being successful.

Or something. I can't really wrap my skull around it either.
 
2012-08-30 02:43:16 AM  

PC LOAD LETTER: He's apparently running on the Silly Party ticket.


No way, we already have two of those.
 
2012-08-30 02:44:28 AM  

phalamir: I have no idea where you might do the following, but might be best in the long-term is to create some sort of Olympic-Village-esque complex in DC. Apportion out rooms for each Rep and Sen, along with decent amenities. They don't have to live there per se, but make it free or rented for significantly less than the average DC rent to encourage them to live there.


I've had that thought too. It wouldn't be too difficult for congress to buy a little extra space, or build something. One trouble is that it instantly becomes a gigantic target, but hey, Capitol Hill is already one during the day.

But they could do it without a whole lot of trouble. Actually, they could take the land the congressional page dorm is on- the got rid of the house pages a few years ago, so it's just an empty building in a decently large lot on Capitol Hill. Easy walk to work, easy walk to Eastern Market, very convenient to the metro. It would be a great site for a Congressional apartment building.

But it plays in the press as, "Congress building itself a luxury resort while the rest of us suffer in double wides" or something like that, even if the furnishings are somewhere around the quality of a Motel 8.
 
2012-08-30 02:44:50 AM  

farkityfarker: Why do we need wounded veterans' charities?

Isn't the government able to find the money to take care of wounded veterans in its $2.5 billion per day military budget?



Since they took such good care of all the Vietnam vets, this is shocking, SHOCKING I SAY
 
2012-08-30 03:26:39 AM  

pudding7: I actually think we should double their pay. Not because they deserve it, but because I'd like to see regular people run for office.

It's expensive as hell to live in or near Washington DC. You can't afford to live as a member of congress unless you're already rich. God forbid you have a family with you or even back home.


I'd really like to run for office. The money's good, I'd like to help fix things, and I'm too contrary to be bribed. Only problem is I hate most people and think they're stupid. And I can't fake otherwise.

/Present company excluded
//You could probably guess my Myers-Briggs type in 2 tries
 
2012-08-30 03:55:39 AM  
WTF, 99% of the time all the politicians in Hawaii pass under Fark's radar, then we suddenly get 3 greens in a week with Kirk Caldwell and his daughter, Dan Inouye, and now Kawika Crowley (AKA the guy who will be electorally crushed by Tulsi Gabbard.) Did the modmins just come back from a vacation here?
 
2012-08-30 04:15:27 AM  

farkityfarker: Why do we need wounded veterans' charities?

Isn't the government able to find the money to take care of wounded veterans in its $2.5 billion per day military budget?


Probably they could, but all that money is earmarked for tanks they don't want to upgrade and VTOLs they don't want to buy.
 
2012-08-30 04:21:56 AM  

phalamir: Of course, I also think we should quintuple the number of Reps and triple the number of Senators. We have the least representative democracy of the representative democracies, i.e. each Congresscritter represents more people than the equivalent official in other countries. For instance, Britain has only a 1/5 of the population but about a 1/3 more MPs as US Reps.


I don't think that we need more representatives, but what we need to do is switch to some sort of proportional voting system that isn't tied to regions. I'd go with the house. Let the senate stay regional.
 
2012-08-30 05:16:34 AM  
Came for the Free Candy jokes, left disappointed.
 
2012-08-30 05:39:26 AM  

Firethorn: phalamir: Of course, I also think we should quintuple the number of Reps and triple the number of Senators. We have the least representative democracy of the representative democracies, i.e. each Congresscritter represents more people than the equivalent official in other countries. For instance, Britain has only a 1/5 of the population but about a 1/3 more MPs as US Reps.

I don't think that we need more representatives, but what we need to do is switch to some sort of proportional voting system that isn't tied to regions. I'd go with the house. Let the senate stay regional.


It is kind of wierd, demanding regions submit reps to maintain their region's interest in federal affairs. The world is smaller than it was.
I think the real issue with increasing the number of reps is the signal to noise ratio in the house as well as floor debates and such. They already don't seem to grasp in DC that the real world moves in real time, they think they have all the time in the world to dick around (see: tax extensions, debt limit). Making their bubble even more dense seem contraindicated with the expectation of getting them to do things.
 
2012-08-30 05:40:19 AM  

Krieghund: the council of thirteen: I'm more concerned with the money that they're making that's not comming from the government.

This.

IMO the whole reason we pay them as much as we do is so they aren't as tempted by bribes.
Yes, i realize that is naive.


I think it is more that you pay them enough that they have no excuses to take bribes (i.e. so they can't say "but I have a kid that needs surgery I can't afford" or whatever). There are plenty of billionaires that keep on working that show there is no upper limit on how much money people want even after it becomes completely irrelevant in any meaningful impact on their lives, so you are never going to pay anyone enough to make bribes significantly less likely - that has to be done via other pressures.
 
2012-08-30 06:34:04 AM  
$179,000?

$1 year is astronomical for elected officials.

You want to "serve"? Then serve, farkers. There should be absolutely no financial incentive for politicians. No salary, no pension, no health insurance or other benefits. Give them a $10 per diem and monitor that shiat with a vengeance; publish online all purchases made with public money. Put them up in public housing while in Washington, and make them pay travel and rent out of their own pockets.
 
2012-08-30 06:40:17 AM  

starsrift: It is kind of wierd, demanding regions submit reps to maintain their region's interest in federal affairs. The world is smaller than it was.


It used to be that different regions were more different; A Virginian had more in common with another Virginian, rich or poor, urban or rural, than they did with a New Yorker, for example. Today, Somebody in San Francisco may have more in common with somebody in NYC than they do with the guy who lives next door. Industries are national, etc...

I think the real issue with increasing the number of reps is the signal to noise ratio in the house as well as floor debates and such. They already don't seem to grasp in DC that the real world moves in real time, they think they have all the time in the world to dick around (see: tax extensions, debt limit). Making their bubble even more dense seem contraindicated with the expectation of getting them to do things.

And you expect MORE politicians to fix this? That's just more people to open their yap to add their two cents to any debate. I'd like to see a system where a serious number of greens can be elected to counter the fundies, the libertarians get their representatives, etc...
 
2012-08-30 06:44:59 AM  

Firethorn: And you expect MORE politicians to fix this?


Uh, no, that was kind of my point. :)
 
2012-08-30 06:54:59 AM  
Starsrift: Another thing I just thought of: There's 435 members of the house of representatives. Rounding that to 400 or 500 wouldn't be bad, but it wouldn't make much difference. Still, if we switched over to proportional voting with current numbers that's a representative for every .23% chunk of population. You can get really fine grained with that small of a sample. Sure, the Republicans and Democrats would still get lots of votes, but the 'tea party' wouldn't get more votes than it's population - not tip the scales.

Lernaeus: You want to "serve"? Then serve, farkers. There should be absolutely no financial incentive for politicians. No salary, no pension, no health insurance or other benefits. Give them a $10 per diem and monitor that shiat with a vengeance; publish online all purchases made with public money. Put them up in public housing while in Washington, and make them pay travel and rent out of their own pockets.


Great in theory, but in reality it means you end up with politicians even more in bed with anybody willing to provide them with benefits. I'd be much happier doing something like 'Sure, we'll pay you $1M/year, but all your assets* are liquidated and go into a generic 'all USA' mutual fund. You are not allowed to accept money, benefits, etc... during your time in office. Nor is your immediate family, or distant family on your behalf.

*Outside of those of a generally non-income nature like the family home, vehicle, and personal possessions
 
2012-08-30 06:56:08 AM  

starsrift: Firethorn: And you expect MORE politicians to fix this?

Uh, no, that was kind of my point. :)


Mistook you for phalamir for a while, who DID propose increasing the number of reps.
 
2012-08-30 06:59:16 AM  

Lernaeus: $179,000?

$1 year is astronomical for elected officials.

You want to "serve"? Then serve, farkers. There should be absolutely no financial incentive for politicians. No salary, no pension, no health insurance or other benefits. Give them a $10 per diem and monitor that shiat with a vengeance; publish online all purchases made with public money. Put them up in public housing while in Washington, and make them pay travel and rent out of their own pockets.



I bet that won't lead to an even worse culture of corruption or anything. This sounds like a great plan. I hope Romney hires you as an economic adviser.
 
2012-08-30 07:08:24 AM  

pudding7: I actually think we should double their pay. Not because they deserve it, but because I'd like to see regular people run for office.

It's expensive as hell to live in or near Washington DC. You can't afford to live as a member of congress unless you're already rich. God forbid you have a family with you or even back home.


It would be better if they worked harder at getting the cost of living down. That DC has now become the most expensive Metro Area (Note I said Metro Area, not city) in the United States is not a good thing for our Republic.

The DC area has absurd restrictions on the construction of residential housing and makes building adequate transport infrastructure almost impossible (we recently declared for profit private toll roads racist). This drives the price of housing through the roof.

DC can get away with because older Federal Workers/Retirees and the connected knowing that they can simply tax the rest of the country and that there are businesses that simply have to be here.
 
2012-08-30 07:08:59 AM  
Wait until he finds out about Congress's pension.
 
2012-08-30 07:25:21 AM  

poopinator: Homeless and Republican?

That's a whole lot of crazy there.


Not really. He was told that the Republicans would trickle down the wealth and give him a big old golden shower.and after that he be rich too.
 
2012-08-30 08:09:21 AM  

Krieghund: the council of thirteen: I'm more concerned with the money that they're making that's not comming from the government.

This.

IMO the whole reason we pay them as much as we do is so they aren't as tempted by bribes.
Yes, i realize that is naive.


So we bribe them not to take bribes. It's a health system. And yes it is naive. There isn't a rich person alive who doesn't want just a little more.
 
2012-08-30 08:09:57 AM  
healthy that is.
 
2012-08-30 08:28:52 AM  

Aidan: I'd really like to run for office. The money's good, I'd like to help fix things, and I'm too contrary to be bribed. Only problem is I hate most people and think they're stupid. And I can't fake otherwise.


The sad thing is that didn't used to be an impediment to going into politics, and a lot of great politicians hated most people. Nixon was the last one to get elected to high office.
 
2012-08-30 09:12:18 AM  

ArkAngel: Good for him.

/also currently living in my car
//van would be more comfortable
//sleeping in a Mercury Mystique sure isn't


At the risk of seeming insensitive:


img690.imageshack.us
I don't see what the big deal is aboot livin' in your car. I've been living in my car for 3 years now and it's great. No bills. No landlord. How many people do you know who can say they actually own the place they put their bed down to rest? I love this car.



1.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-08-30 10:11:37 AM  
OMG Tulsi Gabbard.

I'll be in my bunk.
 
2012-08-30 12:08:39 PM  

Firethorn: phalamir: Of course, I also think we should quintuple the number of Reps and triple the number of Senators. We have the least representative democracy of the representative democracies, i.e. each Congresscritter represents more people than the equivalent official in other countries. For instance, Britain has only a 1/5 of the population but about a 1/3 more MPs as US Reps.

I don't think that we need more representatives, but what we need to do is switch to some sort of proportional voting system that isn't tied to regions. I'd go with the house. Let the senate stay regional.


Go with a proportional voting system for the House based on the individual state then. Regional politics stay regional, and there aren't more congresscritters taking up space. It would let states that want single issue reps to send a few of them from whatever party gets whatever percentage. Does that favor the larger population states? Sure, but the House is designed to do that anyhow. For example, if Alaska wants to send a rep from the Libertarian party and Wyoming sends a Green as their single representative; well, the will of the people and so forth. On the other hand, New York or Florida could send a couple Tea Partiers, a couple of Greens, a gaggle of Dems or Repubs, and the random Lebowski who got the write in vote. The only hitch I see is that it removes state districts so everyone effectively serves "at large", and there would need to be a mechanism to address that.
 
2012-08-30 12:43:18 PM  

ScreamingHangover: Agreed. He's going to get stomped.The real story here is Tulsi Gabbard:

Female Samoan Hindu Combat Veteran. (ilnk)

She's being groomed for a US Senate seat. Expect her to replace Senator Dan Inouye when he retires.


Kibbler: It seems our choices ars superwealthy bluebloods who know only to well how to game the system and homeless guys in vans who know which diners give out leftovers.

Great.


Speaking of which, I think this dailykos article regarding Gabbard is of particular interest. It's nice to try to learn where the campaign money is coming from, especially nowadays when it's becoming increasingly difficult to find out.
 
2012-08-30 01:16:56 PM  
Yeah we did that in New Hampshire and we have a bunch of housewives of rich white dudes and rich white dudes running the house and senate. This year the funding for the state colleges got slashed to 7% (way lower than most private schools) they tried to cut medicare, ban abortion and gay marriage, so pretty much that system sucks.
 
2012-08-30 01:18:49 PM  
Sorry tried to quote Lernaeus, stupid preview...
 
2012-08-30 03:48:17 PM  

ScreamingHangover: Female Samoan Hindu Combat Veteran.


"Hindu" does not begin to describe her wacky parents, if you read some of the comments on dKos and elsewhere. ;)
 
2012-08-31 02:22:58 AM  

FloridaWombat: Go with a proportional voting system for the House based on the individual state then.


I see going to a proportional system that KEEPS the regional distinctions* to be failing to address the issue. Even in Alaska a libertarian isn't going to make it if he or she is the only representative going to be elected there; you're back to 'Weeners the post' and a republican is going to take it 80% of the time. The idea is to have a true national proportional representative system - so that the libertarian party gets the 17% or so representatives, rather than the 0% it gets now.

Regional politics stay regional

That's what the senate, heck state government legislatures, is for. I'm proposing we have the house split up so that every .23% chunk of the population has their own representative. That'd allow me to have a representative that represents *me*. Well, me and the half million people who most think like me, politically.

*State is rather arbitrary at this point, as I pointed out.
 
2012-08-31 07:44:13 PM  

Firethorn: FloridaWombat: Go with a proportional voting system for the House based on the individual state then.

I see going to a proportional system that KEEPS the regional distinctions* to be failing to address the issue. Even in Alaska a libertarian isn't going to make it if he or she is the only representative going to be elected there; you're back to 'Weeners the post' and a republican is going to take it 80% of the time. The idea is to have a true national proportional representative system - so that the libertarian party gets the 17% or so representatives, rather than the 0% it gets now.

Regional politics stay regional

That's what the senate, heck state government legislatures, is for. I'm proposing we have the house split up so that every .23% chunk of the population has their own representative. That'd allow me to have a representative that represents *me*. Well, me and the half million people who most think like me, politically.

*State is rather arbitrary at this point, as I pointed out.



Honestly so many problems would be solved by banning lobbyists, campaign donations, and going to a public financed system.
 
2012-08-31 11:15:49 PM  

farkityfarker: Why do we need wounded veterans' charities?

Isn't the government able to find the money to take care of wounded veterans in its $2.5 billion per day military budget?


You silly goose! That $2.5 billion per day is for making sure Job Creators can safely keep raking in bucks from overseas biz operations. That's what the Department of Defen$e is really all about. You didn't think we were spending 5 times more than our nearest competitor to prevent a foreign invasion of the US, did you?

/Veteran
//Not bitter. Just realistic. And probably somewhat jaded.
 
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