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(Slate)   GOP congressman whines that he's "Stuck Here Making $172,000 a Year", and suddenly a symphony of tiny violins reached crescendo   (slate.com) divider line 156
    More: Dumbass, congressman, GOP, symphony, Phil Gingrey, median household income  
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3855 clicks; posted to Politics » on 19 Sep 2013 at 10:47 AM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-19 10:07:25 AM
Capitol Hill aides, he said "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street," the Washington, D.C., vernacular for becoming a lobbyist, "and make 500,000 a year. Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."

I don't know this guy at all.  But if you take those quotes in isolation, it's possible he's making a much different point:  the problem of money and influence peddling.

But if he really is just whining, show his ass the door.
 
2013-09-19 10:10:28 AM
You know, Congressman, there's a way for the good folks in Georgia to help you get un-stuck...
 
2013-09-19 10:11:52 AM

Diogenes: I don't know this guy at all.  But if you take those quotes in isolation, it's possible he's making a much different point:  the problem of money and influence peddling.


That's what I was thinking. I have no doubt that someone as well-connected as a congressman could go make a half a million a year someplace else. It's not good if our leaders are champing at the bit to  not be leaders.

On the other hand, I'd imagine that there are lots of perks for being a congressman, so maybe this guy has just got his priorities screwed up.
 
2013-09-19 10:12:33 AM
F*ck y'all

/in fact, f*ck all y'all
 
2013-09-19 10:21:35 AM
And yet those on food stamps and welfare are living the good life.
 
2013-09-19 10:23:06 AM

Nadie_AZ: And yet those on food stamps and welfare are living the good life.


They probably get bored with lobster and sushi all the time, though.
 
2013-09-19 10:23:55 AM

Nadie_AZ: And yet those on food stamps and welfare are living the good life.


If they really wanted to get lots of government money for doing nothing they'd get elected
 
2013-09-19 10:25:47 AM
He's also an MD.
OB-GYN, in fact.  There's plenty of green for him, right there in the pink.
 
2013-09-19 10:28:53 AM
Funny coincidence.  On one of the local news sites' main page today we have:

 - Pay increase proposed for Orlando's elected leaders

 - Census finds income is stagnant in Fla.

Truly, it's good to be the king.
 
2013-09-19 10:37:45 AM
Rail, tar, feathers.
I am ready to show him out.
 
2013-09-19 10:41:16 AM

Nadie_AZ: And yet those on food stamps and welfare are living the good life.


Yeah.

What percentage of those making $172,000+ have a fridge?
 
2013-09-19 10:42:27 AM
Stealers Wheels unavailable for comment.
 
2013-09-19 10:42:45 AM
Republican House member? Why would K street need another lobbyist specializing on how to vote against the ACA.
 
2013-09-19 10:42:55 AM

vudukungfu: Rail, tar, feathers.
I am ready to show him out.


I don't have a guillotine but I know the basic concept and I've got plenty of scrap wood lying around.  I hate Congress.
 
2013-09-19 10:43:06 AM
Why is he stuck there? Nobody said he had to run for re-election (or election in the first place), or even finish his term.  Nobody puts a gun to his head and makes him stay there.  If he feels so stuck, and so put upon making $172,000 per year, he should resign. I am sure there are plenty of people who would be happy to be stuck in his situation, and they'd even campaign and beg people to vote them into it.

I mean, he'd know that, that's how he got the job in the first place. But let's overlook that part.
 
2013-09-19 10:49:58 AM
F*ck you asshole.
 
2013-09-19 10:51:06 AM
You slimy piece of shiat.
 
2013-09-19 10:52:16 AM

Diogenes: Capitol Hill aides, he said "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street," the Washington, D.C., vernacular for becoming a lobbyist, "and make 500,000 a year. Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."

I don't know this guy at all.  But if you take those quotes in isolation, it's possible he's making a much different point:  the problem of money and influence peddling.

But if he really is just whining, show his ass the door.


Following the links to the National Review article, it appears he pissed off Republican Congressional aides, so I'm guessing he's just straight up whining
 
2013-09-19 10:52:16 AM
How much do the benefits of being a Congressman add on to the real salary? They get eternal healthcare and a great big pension don't they? What else? Of course, CEO's probably get similar.

You could increase salaries to attract to best and brightest to politics, but then you might end up attracting an even more greedy, corrupt, and self serving class of human... Decisions decisions.
 
2013-09-19 10:52:29 AM
Capitol Hill aides, he said "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street," the Washington, D.C., vernacular for becoming a lobbyist, "and make 500,000 a year. Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."

If you're worried about the money you're making in Congress, you could always go the Jim DeMint route. Or the Chris Dodd route. Or the Evan Bayh route.
 
2013-09-19 10:52:31 AM
Maybe this isn't a popular opinion, but I've always thought our national leaders are really under paid. I mean sure, lots of them are idiots and they work 3 day weeks more often than not and all that, but when you think about it, these guys aren't making all that much considering the types of decisions theyre making and policy they're crafting.

Then again, once you're in for a bit, you've got an easy path to being a high paid lobbyist/policy wonk making money, so maybe it's trivial, but still, $172k isn't all that much for the importance and responsibility of the position these folks are in.
 
2013-09-19 10:52:33 AM

simplicimus: Republican House member? Why would K street need another lobbyist specializing on how to vote against the ACA.


I think it's well-established at this point that modern Republicans don't grasp true ROI.
 
2013-09-19 10:53:37 AM
Remind me again why show trials and summary executions are somehow forbidden?
 
2013-09-19 10:53:39 AM
His constituents sure are getting their money's worth from him.  Him being a "public servant" and all.
Let's see, he makes above minimum wage showing up every once in a while for another failed vote to get rid of Obamacare.

Are Republicans even American?  Are they all as lazy as this sack of s**t?
 
2013-09-19 10:54:58 AM

Peter von Nostrand: Diogenes: Capitol Hill aides, he said "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street," the Washington, D.C., vernacular for becoming a lobbyist, "and make 500,000 a year. Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."

I don't know this guy at all.  But if you take those quotes in isolation, it's possible he's making a much different point:  the problem of money and influence peddling.

But if he really is just whining, show his ass the door.

Following the links to the National Review article, it appears he pissed off Republican Congressional aides, so I'm guessing he's just straight up whining


Then as I said -- ass, door.  No one's forcing him to be there, and if his primary concern is his compensation and not his constituents and his country he shouldn't be there in the first place.
 
2013-09-19 10:55:56 AM
We should all play a game of Mad Libs!

People who get get into politics to become wealthy should be ______________!
                                                                                                            (verb)
 
2013-09-19 10:56:13 AM
Garotte this little shiat with bootstraps.
 
2013-09-19 10:56:33 AM

Slaxl: How much do the benefits of being a Congressman add on to the real salary? They get eternal healthcare and a great big pension don't they? What else? Of course, CEO's probably get similar.

You could increase salaries to attract to best and brightest to politics, but then you might end up attracting an even more greedy, corrupt, and self serving class of human... Decisions decisions.


They're eligible for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (until 2014, but they'll still get the employee contribution after that). They also are part of the Federal Employee Retirement System which has them participate in Social Security, gives them a TSP account with an up to 5% match on contributions, and a decent pension for people who contribute for five or more years (or other more complicated scenarios).
 
2013-09-19 10:57:09 AM

FarkedOver: We should all play a game of Mad Libs!

People who get get into politics to become wealthy should be ______________!
                                                                                                            (verb)


Tortured until they weep blood? I mean, it's a verb phrase, but I think it fits.
 
2013-09-19 10:58:22 AM
Ok, admittedly, once you factor in the second place in the DC area, 172K is not a fortune, but you ain't hurting dick weasel.
 
2013-09-19 10:58:40 AM

error 303: Maybe this isn't a popular opinion, but I've always thought our national leaders are really under paid. I mean sure, lots of them are idiots and they work 3 day weeks more often than not and all that, but when you think about it, these guys aren't making all that much considering the types of decisions theyre making and policy they're crafting.

Then again, once you're in for a bit, you've got an easy path to being a high paid lobbyist/policy wonk making money, so maybe it's trivial, but still, $172k isn't all that much for the importance and responsibility of the position these folks are in.


So pay them more and make it a felony to jump ship to a company that lobbies Congress within some time of retiring from Congress.
 
2013-09-19 10:59:47 AM

Serious Black: Capitol Hill aides, he said "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street," the Washington, D.C., vernacular for becoming a lobbyist, "and make 500,000 a year. Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."

If you're worried about the money you're making in Congress, you could always go the Jim DeMint route. Or the Chris Dodd route. Or the Evan Bayh route.


The feeling I get from the quote is that that's exactly the problem he's trying to point out. It's awfully tempting to set yourself up for a cushy lobbyist gig if it pays 3 times what you're making now.

Whether or not he's actually an asshole depends on where he thinks the problem is. If he thinks the problem is that congressmen "only" make $172k, he's an asshole. If he thinks the problem is a system that encourages congressmen to become a lobbyist for $500k, he's correct.
 
2013-09-19 11:00:15 AM

error 303: Maybe this isn't a popular opinion, but I've always thought our national leaders are really under paid. I mean sure, lots of them are idiots and they work 3 day weeks more often than not and all that, but when you think about it, these guys aren't making all that much considering the types of decisions theyre making and policy they're crafting.

Then again, once you're in for a bit, you've got an easy path to being a high paid lobbyist/policy wonk making money, so maybe it's trivial, but still, $172k isn't all that much for the importance and responsibility of the position these folks are in.


True.  The President is woefully undercompensated considering the size of the nation that he's leading, and there is a case to be made that increased pay deters (not completely blocks)  bribery.  Of course, given that he's the party of "fark gubm'nt it's theft." fark him.  Now when we have people in there who say, "government, like any human institution, is prone to error and abuse, but it also can be used for good as well so let's try to do as much good as possible." then we can talk pay raises.
 
2013-09-19 11:00:16 AM
In his defense, following the link in TFA, he was speaking in regards to the idea that congressional staffers can continue to receive the 'employer' portion of the premiums towards their health care premium purchases on the exchanges.  I find this whole situation really amusing because of the logical pretzel conservatives are twisting themselves into over it... calling this some kind of exemption from Obamacare when the whole situation only comes from their being *required* to get their coverage from the exchanges... the exact opposite of an exemption.

Anyway, it was kind of a stupid way to make the point that Vitter's proposal to prevent members of congress and their staff from continuing to receive the 'employer' portion of their premiums is a bad idea.
 
2013-09-19 11:00:46 AM
*Breaking News* - Tom DeLay's conviction has been overturned... yippie.
 
2013-09-19 11:00:48 AM

error 303: Then again, once you're in for a bit, you've got an easy path to being a high paid lobbyist/policy wonk making money, so maybe it's trivial, but still, $172k isn't all that much for the importance and responsibility of the position these folks are in.


Is it too much to expect our representatives to serve the public out of a sense of duty? I mean, it's not like they're starving on $172k a year.

Ben Bernanke is arguably the most powerful man in the world and he's making just under $200k a year.  But you don't hear him complaining, because he's the most powerful man in the world.
 
2013-09-19 11:00:59 AM
"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."

-- John Kenneth Galbraith

"The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread."

-- Anatole France
 
2013-09-19 11:01:57 AM
Poor guy hasn't figured out how to write off the hookers and blow yet.
 
2013-09-19 11:03:08 AM
This is just how the Founding Fathers wanted it. The Noble Citizen who doesn't even want to participate in politics is dragged away from his prosperous private endeavors to SERVE.

God Bless you, Rep Gingrey.
 
2013-09-19 11:03:22 AM

thurstonxhowell: Whether or not he's actually an asshole depends on where he thinks the problem is. If he thinks the problem is that congressmen "only" make $172k, he's an asshole. If he thinks the problem is a system that encourages congressmen to become a lobbyist for $500k, he's correct.


I think the important part that is being overlooked is they are still civil servants. Powerful civil servants, but civil servants nonetheless.  I don't believe Congress/Senate was ever meant to be the path to untold wealth and riches, but more of a way of participating in the government and standing up and representing the people who elected you to do so.
 
2013-09-19 11:04:30 AM

Benevolent Misanthrope: You know, Congressman, there's a way for the good folks in Georgia to help you get un-stuck...


The sad thing is, that's probably not true. If he runs for reelection in Georgia's 11th (The Fightin' Eleventh!), he'll likely win without trying too hard. That's just the nature of the system we've got going here -- especially in the House. He could get unstuck by simply not running for reelection, but I don't see the voters doing it for him.
 
2013-09-19 11:05:13 AM

Arkanaut: error 303: Then again, once you're in for a bit, you've got an easy path to being a high paid lobbyist/policy wonk making money, so maybe it's trivial, but still, $172k isn't all that much for the importance and responsibility of the position these folks are in.

Is it too much to expect our representatives to serve the public out of a sense of duty? I mean, it's not like they're starving on $172k a year.


That's a valid question. I can see agrguments on both side. I work for the government, and there is sort of a nice sense of reward knowing that my labor isn't just going into share holder profits and CEO compensation, but I wasn't exactly super excited to get my furlough notice and pay reduction because I'm doing this soley out of a sense of duty.

I'm not saying congress critters should be getting compensated at the CEO level or anything, but they're definitely not getting paid comensurate with the work they're performing either.
 
2013-09-19 11:05:28 AM

thurstonxhowell: Serious Black: Capitol Hill aides, he said "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street," the Washington, D.C., vernacular for becoming a lobbyist, "and make 500,000 a year. Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."

If you're worried about the money you're making in Congress, you could always go the Jim DeMint route. Or the Chris Dodd route. Or the Evan Bayh route.

The feeling I get from the quote is that that's exactly the problem he's trying to point out. It's awfully tempting to set yourself up for a cushy lobbyist gig if it pays 3 times what you're making now.

Whether or not he's actually an asshole depends on where he thinks the problem is. If he thinks the problem is that congressmen "only" make $172k, he's an asshole. If he thinks the problem is a system that encourages congressmen to become a lobbyist for $500k, he's correct.


And if that's the case, we should pay them more money and highly discourage or ban them from using their political connections gained during their service to profit themselves after leaving Congress.
 
2013-09-19 11:05:52 AM

Diogenes: Capitol Hill aides, he said "may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street," the Washington, D.C., vernacular for becoming a lobbyist, "and make 500,000 a year. Meanwhile I'm stuck here making $172,000 a year."

I don't know this guy at all.  But if you take those quotes in isolation, it's possible he's making a much different point:  the problem of money and influence peddling.

But if he really is just whining, show his ass the door.


He wasn't really whining about his own salary, but he was saying that he doesn't care if Capitol Hill staffers (all of whom are required by law to make less than he does, and 99% of whom make FAR less) have to pay more for health care because they can go get lobbying jobs.

Of course, the people who actually get the big lobbying dollars are former members, like Gingrey.

In short, he's a dick.
 
2013-09-19 11:06:15 AM

FarkedOver: *Breaking News* - Tom DeLay's conviction has been overturned... yippie.


Don't worry. There's still another round of appeals to go.
 
2013-09-19 11:06:53 AM

Fubini: It's not good if our leaders are champing at the bit to not be leaders.


This.

If being a "leader" is now seen as simply a stepping stone to a high paying cushy job later on, things are broken.
 
2013-09-19 11:06:58 AM

theknuckler_33: In his defense, following the link in TFA, he was speaking in regards to the idea that congressional staffers can continue to receive the 'employer' portion of the premiums towards their health care premium purchases on the exchanges.  I find this whole situation really amusing because of the logical pretzel conservatives are twisting themselves into over it... calling this some kind of exemption from Obamacare when the whole situation only comes from their being *required* to get their coverage from the exchanges... the exact opposite of an exemption.

Anyway, it was kind of a stupid way to make the point that Vitter's proposal to prevent members of congress and their staff from continuing to receive the 'employer' portion of their premiums is a bad idea.


wow, I just realized Gingrey supports ending the subsidy. Interesting. Seems his point was more "fark the staffers, they can go to K-street".
 
2013-09-19 11:07:50 AM

error 303: I'm not saying congress critters should be getting compensated at the CEO level or anything, but they're definitely not getting paid comensurate with the work they're performing either.


When you consider the perks that come with the job, the copious amount of time off, and the fact that they will often have opportunities in media/publishing when their terms end (either by choice or by voters) that the rest of us may never see no matter how hard we work, I'd say they are doing okay. 

Congress/Senate was never intended to be a lifelong job, either, as far as I remember my US government classes.
 
2013-09-19 11:08:18 AM

Benevolent Misanthrope: You know, Congressman, there's a way for the good folks in Georgia to help you get un-stuck...


He's based out of Marietta (Newt's old district).  All he has to say is "help help, the Yankees are being mean to me" and his district will rally around him.

Marietta:  Jew Lynching Free Since 1915.
 
2013-09-19 11:09:18 AM
Dear Slate:

Thank you for providing no context in order to generate poutrage.

The quote was in response to someone criticizing his "No Special Treatment for Congress Act" because it ended a health insurance subsidy for members of Congress as well staffers.  Thus the "Capitol Hill aides may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street and make 500,000 a year,"  portion of the quote.
 
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