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(MSNBC)   Another Republican politician argues that a $174,000 Congressional salary is not a lot of money. This is not a repeat of 2013, or 2011, or the other one in 2011   (msnbc.com) divider line 122
    More: Dumbass, congresses, Republicans, Denny Rehberg, Phil Gingrey, Pennsylvania Republican Party, salary, Philadelphia Daily News  
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1959 clicks; posted to Politics » on 08 Jan 2014 at 5:04 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



122 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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2014-01-08 04:19:54 PM  
The salary is meaningless.  They can serve just a few years and get a life long pension.  That is the bigger issue that I have a problem with.  I'd be happy if they got $300K tot $400K a year and no pension.
 
2014-01-08 04:26:32 PM  
And of course he is a Pennsylvania republican....
 
2014-01-08 04:32:55 PM  

mrshowrules: The salary is meaningless. They can serve just a few years and get a life long pension.


this.


Also you have to maintain two households. That's got to be spendy
 
2014-01-08 04:33:56 PM  
Congress should be paid an hourly rate based on the pay of the average american worker.
 
2014-01-08 04:38:09 PM  
Jesus, poor people just don't understand.  $174,000 is not a lot of money.  Sure your house is a bit nicer and you don't worry if your car breaks down.... but if you've got a family and trying to better your children's future with a college fund and maybe helping your parents out and your wife needs a large number of nice outfits for all the dinners she has to go to, plus all this travel means more babysitters/day care....$174k goes quick.
 
2014-01-08 04:41:48 PM  

netizencain: wife needs a large number of nice outfits


And the Congressmen needs a couple of suits and tuxedos. You joke but those are actual business expenses! Not to mention the dry cleaning.

Really and truly it's not a lot of money when you figure out what they spend to get elected in the first place.
 
2014-01-08 04:43:44 PM  
I say we quintuple their salaries as long as they're in office, but once they leave they are forbidden by law to ever earn more in one year than whatever is the cumulative yearly salary for a single minimum-wage worker in their state.
 
2014-01-08 04:46:43 PM  
I say we give them a 3% raise, but they have to have sex with everyone in their state at least once.

Honest to god sex, too. No handies.
 
2014-01-08 04:46:51 PM  
Oh dear flying spaghetti monsters. Congressmen and senators do NOT get lifetime pensions for serving a single term. They are under the FERS plan, which doesn't allow pensions until at least your 50's, and it would take about 30 years (IIrC) to get a full pension.
 
2014-01-08 04:51:48 PM  
I say we put them on commission.

$1,000 for each bill that's passed, -$5,000 for ones that are vetoed, -$10,000 if it's struck down by the SCOTUS.
 
2014-01-08 04:52:50 PM  

netizencain: Jesus, poor people just don't understand.  $174,000 is not a lot of money.  Sure your house is a bit nicer and you don't worry if your car breaks down.... but if you've got a family and trying to better your children's future with a college fund and maybe helping your parents out and your wife needs a large number of nice outfits for all the dinners she has to go to, plus all this travel means more babysitters/day care....$174k goes quick.


The bribes... gifts cover a lot of those expenses.

/but it is true. That's like half of what an average single mom makes. forbeswages.jpg
 
2014-01-08 04:56:14 PM  
FTA: Pennsylvania Republican Party Chairman Rob Gleason the Philadelphia Daily News that Gerlach would likely find a job as a K Street lobbyist after serving 12 years in Congress

No wonder he's leaving; more money to do the same shady bs without all of that pesky public oversight.
 
2014-01-08 04:57:07 PM  

mrshowrules: The salary is meaningless.  They can serve just a few years and get a life long pension.  That is the bigger issue that I have a problem with.  I'd be happy if they got $300K tot $400K a year and no pension.


Myth
 
2014-01-08 04:57:46 PM  

Pocket Ninja: I say we quintuple their salaries as long as they're in office, but once they leave they are forbidden by law to ever earn more in one year than whatever is the cumulative yearly salary for a single minimum-wage worker in their state.


That's a little unfair. They don't set the state minimum-wage.

Any way they would set their spouse or children up as their manager and pay them 99.999% commission on their speech and book deals. So it would be a really great feel good move with zero effect.


Really if I was a Congressman that was hurting for the money I would attack the topic on three fronts.
1: More salary would mean less dependance on income outside of Congress. This would limit bribes and kickbacks. HEY! Stop laughing
2: The more money you offer the higher quality Congress man you can expect!
3: If you don't raise our pay we'll unionize and then we will show you the very definition of do nothing!


What I would like to see is an increase in pay in trade for them not allowed to buy or sell stock, sit on the boards of any companies and no pay for participation events (ie: speeches, book signs, dinners).

And we need some major PAC reform.
 
2014-01-08 05:03:51 PM  
These from the people who have imposed a salary freeze on all federal employees for years.

Go fark yourself.
 
2014-01-08 05:04:41 PM  
I make a decent living, but I'd gladly take that bump in salary for a couple years.  How long do I have to serve to get a pension?
 
2014-01-08 05:04:43 PM  
Pity the poor Congresscritters...
 
2014-01-08 05:06:07 PM  
Well, it certainly seems that way when all of your buddies are hedge fund managers and real estate/casino moguls.
 
2014-01-08 05:06:20 PM  

ManateeGag: I make a decent living, but I'd gladly take that bump in salary for a couple years.  How long do I have to serve to get a pension?


All you have to do is show up for 1 day
 
2014-01-08 05:07:27 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: netizencain: wife needs a large number of nice outfits

And the Congressmen needs a couple of suits and tuxedos. You joke but those are actual business expenses! Not to mention the dry cleaning.

Really and truly it's not a lot of money when you figure out what they spend to get elected in the first place.


Sure, but they don't spend their own money to get elected.
 
2014-01-08 05:09:39 PM  

Eddie Adams from Torrance: I say we put them on commission.

$1,000 for each bill that's passed, -$5,000 for ones that are vetoed, -$10,000 if it's struck down by the SCOTUS.


I like the SCOTUS one, but the others...no. Can you imagine how many stupid meaningless laws they'd pass if they got paid by the law?

And yeah the pension thing is criminal.
 
2014-01-08 05:10:39 PM  
I'm torn. On one hand it is a relatively low salary for somebody of the caliber that we would hope would get to top office given the risks and costs involved. On the other hand, that's a nice salary for possibly not much work.
 
2014-01-08 05:12:05 PM  
that's over $1500 dollars per day in session.  Not too shabby
 
2014-01-08 05:13:07 PM  
$174K/year isn't that much but the welfare recipient getting $600/month is living the high life.
 
2014-01-08 05:13:23 PM  
How the heck did I miss the announcement that Gerlach is retiring?

GrumpyCatGood.jpg

And, since he is my rep... I always take the opportunity to show my ridiculously gerrymandered district.

upload.wikimedia.org

Hopefully we can turn it blue this year.
 
2014-01-08 05:16:50 PM  
You don't understand; wealth is relative. $174k might seem like a lot to you, but you're just some dumb, poor American hanging out with other proles. These brave patriots in Congress are constantly hanging out with rich, benevolent businessmen, and every day they have to see the checks they cut to their campaign funds and are ashamed. Do you know what it's like to have to constantly receive phone calls from Koch Industries and know that they can find your $174,000 in their couch cushions? It's demoralizing! I mean, look at the current Congress, they're so downtrodden by the constant reminder of their own pauperdom that they haven't been able to do any meaningful work in six years.
 
2014-01-08 05:19:20 PM  
img.fark.net

$174k is chump change.
 
2014-01-08 05:19:39 PM  

Lost Thought 00: ManateeGag: I make a decent living, but I'd gladly take that bump in salary for a couple years.  How long do I have to serve to get a pension?

All you have to do is show up for 1 day


I'm in!  sign me up.
 
2014-01-08 05:20:43 PM  
New Orleans DC is an expensive city.  Expensive, but fun!

-Jim
 
2014-01-08 05:21:00 PM  
I'd be ok if we cut their pay to $4 an hour, since they all act like teenagers.
 
2014-01-08 05:23:10 PM  

nocturnal001: I'm torn. On one hand it is a relatively low salary for somebody of the caliber that we would hope would get to top office given the risks and costs involved. On the other hand, that's a nice salary for possibly not much work.


Yup. That. When pretty much all of them earn much more money both before and after being in office, it's not a particularly appropriate salary. Not bad to be sure, but most of the people in Congress wind up in jobs earning at least 3 times what they do in Congress when they leave. It needs to be raised.

That said, they've cut the salaries of their staff multiple times in the last few years, and Federal Employees have had a pay freeze for a long time now (Obama actually just gave them a Cost of Living for the first time in forever recently). Raise those salaries- substantially- first.

Oh, and pay federal judges more. Right now, there are academics and lawyers that are higher caliber than many current judges that have turned seats down because as a professor or a lawyer they make many, many times what they would make on the bench. A federal judgeship doesn't offer a remotely competitive salary for the top tier legal scholars we want on the bench. Just like Members of Congress, it's well above average, but we're not exactly talking about the average worker here. Generally speaking, these people are supposed to be top tier talent. Many, perhaps even most, actually are. They're not all Michelle Bachmann.
 
2014-01-08 05:31:33 PM  
Asking because I don't know.  Do they have to pay for their own air fair?

Oh and this:

mrshowrules: The salary is meaningless.  They can serve just a few years and get a life long pension.  That is the bigger issue that I have a problem with.  I'd be happy if they got $300K tot $400K a year and no pension.


Totally agree.
 
2014-01-08 05:34:00 PM  

mrshowrules: The salary is meaningless.  They can serve just a few years and get a life long pension.  That is the bigger issue that I have a problem with.  I'd be happy if they got $300K tot $400K a year and no pension.


Yes, people in Congress should make almost no money, that way only rich people can afford to serve in Congress.
 
2014-01-08 05:37:31 PM  
http://www.snopes.com/politics/socialsecurity/pensions.asp

From FERS computation page: (I was incorrect earlier about minimum time served)

Member of Congress or Congressional Employee (or any combination of the two) must have at least 5 years of service as a Member of Congress and/or Congressional Employee
1.7% of your high-3 average salary multiplied by your years of service as a Member of Congress or Congressional Employee which do not exceed 20,  PLUS
1% of your high-3 average salary multiplied by your years of other service

So, if you serve one term as senator or three terms as a congressman, you can retire at 6 x 1.7% of the average of your highest three years salary, which is 10.2%.  Granted, $17-18,000 a year ain't a bad supplement, but then there's minimum retirement age - you can't collect until 62.  If you serve for 25 years, there's no MRA, and it prorates down a little from there.

So, no.  Congressmen and senators do not get full pay for life for one term, and the maximum no matter how long you serve is 80%.

Of course, if anyone believes that the only financial gains a lawmaker gets are those paid by the OPM, then I have this really nice piece of land ...
 
2014-01-08 05:38:42 PM  

Larry Mahnken: Yes, people in Congress should make almost no money, that way only rich people can afford to serve in Congress.


According to Madison, Congress was designed that way. Or, not specifically designed that way, but who else has the means and time to mount a run for Congress other than well-connected (usually rich) people?

Compared to Britain (of the time), where you needed to prove you had property worth $x to even file the paperwork to run.
 
2014-01-08 05:40:07 PM  

Larry Mahnken: mrshowrules: The salary is meaningless.  They can serve just a few years and get a life long pension.  That is the bigger issue that I have a problem with.  I'd be happy if they got $300K tot $400K a year and no pension.

Yes, people in Congress should make almost no money, that way only rich people can afford to serve in Congress.


Since when $300k - $400k = almost no money.  Man I guess I really lost track of inflation.
 
2014-01-08 05:44:58 PM  
My solution:
High wages
No term limits

Pick one
 
2014-01-08 05:45:57 PM  

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Also you have to maintain two households. That's got to be spendy


Oh, bah.  At least a dozen Representatives sleep in their offices.  Several dozen live in very low-cost spaces provided by religious groups and lobbyists.  And, on the flip-side of that you have people like Kansas' Senator Roberts.  He's lived in DC since 1967.  Kids went to private schools in DC.  He has a duplex apartment in Dodge City with no furniture (rent probably $350 a month) to say he votes here.
 
2014-01-08 05:50:02 PM  
If we raise congressional minimum wage, it will just discourage those unskilled workers from seeking better jobs.
 
2014-01-08 05:51:50 PM  

Sucka_Fish: mrshowrules: The salary is meaningless.  They can serve just a few years and get a life long pension.  That is the bigger issue that I have a problem with.  I'd be happy if they got $300K tot $400K a year and no pension.

Myth


Thanks for that. The real money afterwards comes from lobbying, speaking fees, book deals, etc.
 
2014-01-08 05:58:00 PM  

Pocket Ninja: I say we quintuple their salaries as long as they're in office, but once they leave they are forbidden by law to ever earn more in one year than whatever is the cumulative yearly salary for a single minimum-wage worker in their state.


I never ever thought I would quote, much less agree with, a post by Pocket Ninja....and yet so very much THIS.
 
2014-01-08 06:00:54 PM  

RyansPrivates: Asking because I don't know.  Do they have to pay for their own airfare  air fair?


FTFM.

What the hell is an an air fair?
 
2014-01-08 06:03:13 PM  
Don't they get free healthcare for life?
 
2014-01-08 06:09:24 PM  
As opposed to all the Democrat politicians who are donating their salaries to charity.  I'm sure someone can provide a list.
 
2014-01-08 06:12:53 PM  
It isn't a lot of money.  It's just more than they should be paid.
 
2014-01-08 06:18:24 PM  
I don't care what any of you say, 174K is good money.

I i think this guy (and the rest mentioned in TFA) is full of himself & a lousy money manager.

no, it's not wipe your ass with 100's rich (he'll get that when he becomes a K street whore) but it's not exactly check to check money.

how do they relate to/with the rest majority of the population? they don't.

this guy will make more & complain that's not enough.

 
2014-01-08 06:19:58 PM  

AngryDragon: As opposed to all the Democrat politicians who are donating their salaries to charity.  I'm sure someone can provide a list.


You are purposely missing the point. It's less about the amount and more his total disdain for it. But you go ahead and earn your paycheck defending a guy who would buy & sell your ass without a second thought.
 
2014-01-08 06:20:02 PM  
This is the epitome of the trap of living in the US  - you are "never" rich in your mind because as you earn more income, you move into new neighborhoods, social circles, etc - and then some of your neighbors in your new circle of friends have more than you, maybe even a lot more - and all of the sudden, making 6 figures wasn't the end all be all you thought it was back when you were making mid 30s...

then as you keep climbing the ladder, and maybe start pulling down high 200s or more, you move again, have new professional acquaintances, etc - some of them make millions a year - all the sudden, being able to splurge on first class tickets for vacation seems like slumming it when you neighbor never flies commercial -

then you scream when a President calls you "rich" because you make more than 250K a year - but I don't feel rich!  My house is a shack compared to my boss!!!

and long gone are the days when you fantasized about making 80-100K a year - and how easy life would be - never mind imagining the plight of the truly poor
 
2014-01-08 06:23:48 PM  

AngryDragon: As opposed to all the Democrat politicians who are donating their salaries to charity.  I'm sure someone can provide a list.


Hey look, the kid with his fist in the paste is trying to join the conversation.
 
2014-01-08 06:24:31 PM  

The Gentleman Caller: AngryDragon: As opposed to all the Democrat politicians who are donating their salaries to charity.  I'm sure someone can provide a list.

You are purposely missing the point. It's less about the amount and more his total disdain for it. But you go ahead and earn your paycheck defending a guy who would buy & sell your ass without a second thought.


They would ALL but and sell us without a thought, and do regularly.  I'm OK with calling the politician out.  If you think that him being a Republican makes any difference, you're dreaming.
 
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