House gets unusual raise

posted at 8:46 am on May 7, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

In tough economic times, one would expect most people and institutions to do a little belt-tightening to save money.  Not Congress, however, although that’s hardly news in Year 1 of Porkulus.  However, Pelosi & Co have slipped into the budget a $90 million increase in incumbency protection that has gone almost completely unnoticed — and unquestioned:

The House wants to increase Members’ office budgets next fiscal year by almost 15 percent, partly because 2010 is an election year and lawmakers anticipate a surge in franked mail.

In a recently released budget request, the House Chief Administrative Officer asked appropriators to raise the Members’ Representational Allowances — which fund everything needed to run offices, including salaries, travel and supplies — by $90 million, citing increases “due to the election year cycle.”

“In an election year the expenditures increase and then decrease in a non-election year,” the request reads.

There is only one problem with this rationale; incumbent candidates are not supposed to use public resources for their campaigns.  We have laws against that, and every blue moon someone gets investigated for it.  Salaries, travel, and supply costs should all be borne by the campaign and their contributors, not the American taxpayer.

In other words, an election year should present the same cost as any other year, not a biannual drain on the Treasury to allow incumbents to protect themselves at public expense. Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union calls foul:

“It’s an incredibly naked admission that Members of Congress abuse the franking privilege for electoral purposes, even though the rules say they don’t,” said Pete Sepp, spokesman for the National Taxpayers Union. “This sends the worst possible message not only to the taxpayers, but to the electoral system as a whole.”

But House officials contend that they use the phrase “election year” without meaning to draw a link to the election. The phrase is “generically used to reference the second year of a Congressional cycle,” said Jeff Ventura, spokesman for CAO Dan Beard.

“The increase occurs because in the second year of any Congress, there is traditionally more legislative news to convey to constituencies as various bills evolve through the legislative process,” he said.

Anyone buying that explanation?  They use “election year” not generically but because members suddenly discover a need to communicate every single detail of their courageous attempts to represent their constituents when elections draw near.  Representatives bury their districts in a blizzard of newsletters informing them breathlessly that their incumbent’s letter to the assistant undersecretary of the Bureau of Taxpayer Waste Management got them an extra $534.33 spent on the sidewalk in front of Katie’s Kitchen so Grandma won’t trip over the crack from now on.

There should be no year-to-year difference in staffing, travel, and franking costs if campaigns cover their expenses — as they should, in order to allow for a fair election.  This is just another way to keep an entrenched political class in Washington DC by putting challengers at a bigger disadvantage, and it should be stopped.  Under Nancy Pelosi’s “most ethical Congress ever,” though, don’t hold your breath.


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It’s hard work finding new ways to waste taxpayer money and they deserved to be compensated.

LincolntheHun on May 7, 2009 at 8:50 AM

Great piece, Ed.

Under Nancy Pelosi’s “most ethical Congress ever,” though, don’t hold your breath.

Good advice, as we’ll be joining in the out loud chorus.

maverick muse on May 7, 2009 at 8:51 AM

How many paper clips will $90M buy?

These are the stories to run out to the peeps but no, we spend our time calling Chris Matthews names. Where the hell is Steele, Jindal, Palin, and Romney? They should be tossing spreadsheets out to the crowd with each and every speech. Instead we get another tour of the Big Tent.

Limerick on May 7, 2009 at 8:52 AM

Of course all that money will be used for office expenses. Are Cadillac leases and country dachas considered “office supplies”?

I wish the National Taxpayers Union was an actual, legal union; I would join immediately and then agitate for a strike.

Bishop on May 7, 2009 at 8:53 AM

Are we allowed to use the word “scum” here?

Testing….1….2…..3……

Shy Guy on May 7, 2009 at 8:53 AM

In tough economic times, one would expect most people and institutions to do a little belt-tightening

And that’s exactly what Congress is doing.

Can’t you feel the belt tightening around your neck?

Loxodonta on May 7, 2009 at 8:54 AM

She looks like Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) in the photo.

shick on May 7, 2009 at 8:54 AM

She looks like Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia) in the photo.

shick on May 7, 2009 at 8:54 AM

I’ll have what this poster’s having….

legal hallucinogens are rare.

sven10077 on May 7, 2009 at 8:57 AM

Under Nancy Pelosi’s “most ethical Congress ever,” though, don’t hold your breath.

Well actually Ed, you might just want to hold your breath, and especially your nose if you get anywhere near San Fran Nan’s bog of eternal stench….

doriangrey on May 7, 2009 at 8:58 AM

Pay raises in the dark of night that take affect “automatically”. Now 90 million more for expenses to load our mailboxes with paper talking about how wonderful the incumbent is.

Why isn’t anyone in Washington listening? I honestly think these people sit up there in OUR Capitol figuring ways to take more of our money away. STOP THE SPENDING!

It’s not your money! See you at the Tea Parties, July 4th.

Atlanta Media Guy on May 7, 2009 at 8:58 AM

how many paperclips will $90M buy?

that’s a good line.

kelley in virginia on May 7, 2009 at 8:59 AM

is there any good news out there? we need some good news.

kelley in virginia on May 7, 2009 at 9:00 AM

we need some good news.

kelley in virginia on May 7, 2009 at 9:00 AM

The Japanese Fleet still rests quietly somewhere northwest of Midway.

Limerick on May 7, 2009 at 9:01 AM

That fact has been a subject of debate for decades, with critics questioning whether incumbents get a leg up on challengers by showering their constituents with tax-funded mailers.

You see? It’s business as usual. They ALL need to go, on both sides of the aisle. In the absence of term limits, and by the MSM’s continued abdication of their historical responibility, nothing will change.

awake on May 7, 2009 at 9:02 AM

is there any good news out there? we need some good news.

kelley in virginia on May 7, 2009 at 9:00 AM

No new photos of topless Obama.

Loxodonta on May 7, 2009 at 9:04 AM

I seem to recall something about a whole lot of bonuses being paid out by various Congresscritters last year because they couldn’t spend all their office budgets.

steveegg on May 7, 2009 at 9:07 AM

Good thing Dear Leader went thru the budget and found 17B to cut. Guess Nan waited until after he used the sharpie to slip this in.

Kissmygrits on May 7, 2009 at 9:07 AM

“The increase occurs because in the second year of any Congress, there is traditionally more legislative news to convey to constituencies as various bills evolve through the legislative process,” he said.

Isn’t that called “campaigning”?

Tuning Spork on May 7, 2009 at 9:07 AM

Good grief, it’s true.

They really do think we’re all idiots.

ladyingray on May 7, 2009 at 9:07 AM

Use political judo on these scumbags. Get them to respond to “innocuous” questions about hot-button issues like TARP, card check, etc., & use their responses against them in the campaign.

OhioCoastie on May 7, 2009 at 9:09 AM

There is only one problem with this rationale; incumbent candidates are not supposed to use public resources for their campaigns. We have laws against that, and every blue moon someone gets investigated for it.

Sometimes it is the little blatant things that draw the most attention and contribute to bringing the house of cards down. This one should become as well-known to the public as Kenneth Lay’s $600 shower curtain and Leona Helmsley’s bathroom remodels.

sherry on May 7, 2009 at 9:09 AM

” You fool some of the people some of the time
and you jerk the rest off”

George Carlin

thomasaur on May 7, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Meanwhile, our dopey pols are wandering the country on “listening tours”.

petefrt on May 7, 2009 at 9:11 AM

So that kinda makes Obama’s $17 billion in cuts a wash then.

scalleywag on May 7, 2009 at 9:12 AM

This is franking ridiculous!

MDWNJ on May 7, 2009 at 9:14 AM

“In an election year the expenditures increase and then decrease in a non-election year,” the request reads.

So, the budget is lower this (non-elction) year than last year, and they included language stripping this money back out of the following year as well?

/sarc

cs89 on May 7, 2009 at 9:15 AM

These are the stories to run out to the peeps but no, we spend our time calling Chris Matthews names. Where the hell is Steele, Jindal, Palin, and Romney? They should be tossing spreadsheets out to the crowd with each and every speech. Instead we get another tour of the Big Tent.

Limerick on May 7, 2009 at 8:52 AM

The reason we don’t hear these things is because the Republicans have weak leadership and they listen too much to what the MSM is saying. They are also afraid of being called RRRRRRAAACCIST!!!!!!

belad on May 7, 2009 at 9:16 AM

This should surprise no one.

Our federal government is as corrupt and loathesome as any tin-pan, third world dictatorship. They disdain and disregard the Constitution with impunity and do as they please without fear of reprisal. This country will not fall to Barbarians at the gates; It will fall because of the moral bankruptcy, fiscal irresponsibility, and corruption of our government (like almost all empires throughout human history).

King of the Britons on May 7, 2009 at 9:16 AM

They really do think we’re all idiots.

ladyingray on May 7, 2009 at 9:07 AM

And their proof is the fact that we keep re-electing these liars and thieves.

AZCoyote on May 7, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Oh yeah, and forgot to add –

Meanwhile, the military continues to get back-door paycuts, budget cuts, and told to continue the mission with the same efficiency and progress with less resources.

Again our contemptible politicians asking those who have made 99.9% of the sacrifices for this war to make yet more sacrifices.

King of the Britons on May 7, 2009 at 9:19 AM

“Election year” doesn’t mean election year, but the second year…and people wonder why others get upset with re-defining terms.
Marriage means any two people…not just a man and wife
Right wing is now terrorists
Anti-abortion = terrorists
In fact the term terrorists can now apply to leaders of corporations.
This is what the kind of leaders the electoral wanted…

right2bright on May 7, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Wow – now we’re supposed to believe the term “election year” has no ties to elections? Alrighty then.

hawksruleva on May 7, 2009 at 9:21 AM

The propaganda attack for the last 8 years has worked. The brainwashed lemmings are all lined up and ready to make sure their masters are allowed to remake our terrible country. The majority will get what they deserve. Germany proved that in WWII. Just sit back and watch your lives change and think about what was.

volsense on May 7, 2009 at 9:22 AM

we need some good news.

kelley in virginia on May 7, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Obama is Spock?

LibTired on May 7, 2009 at 9:22 AM

Are we allowed to use the word “scum” here?

Shy Guy on May 7, 2009 at 8:53 AM

For Nancy Pelosi, I prefer the therm “Mother Puss Bucket.”

Daggett on May 7, 2009 at 9:23 AM

AZCoyote on May 7, 2009 at 9:17 AM

What do you mean “we”…you got a mouse in your pocket or something? LOL

ladyingray on May 7, 2009 at 9:25 AM

Wow – now we’re supposed to believe the term “election year” has no ties to elections? Alrighty then.

hawksruleva on May 7, 2009 at 9:21 AM

Just for now. Next year it’ll mean something else.

ladyingray on May 7, 2009 at 9:26 AM

But think of all the money they are saving by freezing Social Security for the net couple of years. COLAs will not be given.

Pat in NC on May 7, 2009 at 9:26 AM

This reinforces a point I’ve been trying to make for quite a long while,that is the voters must come together against the career politicians.Many people are callng for term limitations,but term limits won’t do what is needed(look at our recent presidents).The only answer is to remove ALL ICUMBENTS,TWICE.TWO TERMS, NO INCUMBENTS.Anything else is futile.

DDT on May 7, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Come on now people! Haven’t you ever seen a Whorehouse that couldn’t use more money to keep up appearances? The House Madam is simply doing what other in her profession do.

Besides, Congresstitutes spend Government money not ours.

SeniorD on May 7, 2009 at 9:28 AM

The most ethical congress… EVAH strikes again.

crazy_legs on May 7, 2009 at 9:30 AM

It is not the Dems or Reps who are trying to nullify the constitution,it is the INCUMBENTS.They must ALL be be removed from office.

DDT on May 7, 2009 at 9:30 AM

Princess Screwya.

marklmail on May 7, 2009 at 9:32 AM

They really do think we’re all idiots.

ladyingray on May7, 2009 at 9:07 AM

Why should they think otherwise? The same idiots keep re-electing these lying thieves over and over. Reid and Peloser are the most corrupt bastards in our nation’s history. They will still be in power when the plug is pulled.

volsense on May 7, 2009 at 9:32 AM

What the hell can we do about this? Are there numbers we can call to protest this? There are people in my office being forced to take 2% cuts because the state is out of money and these jackasses are getting away with this? Please, somebody tell me what we can do to put a stop to this!

ahwhite0402 on May 7, 2009 at 9:33 AM

It will fall because of the moral bankruptcy, fiscal irresponsibility, and corruption of our government (like almost all empires throughout human history).

King of the Britons on May 7, 2009 at 9:16 AM

Bingo!

2% cuts because the state is out of money
ahwhite0402 on May 7, 2009 at 9:33 AM

We were told there was no money for even a 2% raise, not this year, and not next year either.

scalleywag on May 7, 2009 at 9:37 AM

Yet another reason why we should enact the Grover Cleveland Amendment, which would prohibit Representatives, Senators, and the President from being serving consecutive terms in the same office. (If someone takes over one of these offices with less than a year remaining in the term, the prohibition does not apply for the next term.)

No one serving in national elective office should be running for re-election to that office. Do your job, go home, and if we like you, we might send you back later. But no more of the perpetual incumbency machine we have now.

The Monster on May 7, 2009 at 9:39 AM

You’re exactly right, Ed. Congressional staff budgets should in no way be effected by the election cycle, because tax payer money is not supposed to be used to re-elect politicians. There really should be an investigation into this issue.

Stickeehands on May 7, 2009 at 9:39 AM

I repeat, those planes hit the wrong building.

mr1216 on May 7, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Will the Republicans hold a press conference telling America congressional Republicans will not spend this extra cash on principal?

“Boehner is all alone in the open court for a layup…, he’s in the lane…, shoots….. awwww – another air ball!”

rockhead on May 7, 2009 at 9:41 AM

mr1216 on May 7, 2009 at 9:40 AM

+1

rockhead on May 7, 2009 at 9:41 AM

So we don’t have $18 million for the DC school voucher program but we do have $90 million for congressional reelection campaigns?

Rip Ford on May 7, 2009 at 9:42 AM

We were told there was no money for even a 2% raise, not this year, and not next year either.

scalleywag on May 7, 2009 at 9:37 AM

So in essence you recieved a tax cut since you will not get a raise you won’t be paying more in taxes. Obama has kept his word to all Americans who have not recieved raises in that they will not be paying more in taxes.
/

thomasaur on May 7, 2009 at 9:43 AM

I repeat, those planes hit the wrong building.

mr1216 on May 7, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Ease down there, fella.

LibTired on May 7, 2009 at 9:45 AM

How many paper clips will $90M buy?

Limerick on May 7, 2009 at 8:52 AM

About 9 billion or in 2011 money 9. Get em’ while ya can.

nolapol on May 7, 2009 at 9:47 AM

Throw them all out. Anyone who votes for or does not campaign against this obvious theft of the taxpayer dollar.

Anyone who does not run on Term Limits should also be thrown out or not voted in.

Term Limits is the only way to stop the carreer criminals from lining their own pockets and rigging the system so that they are untouchable, unaccountable at election time.

Murtha, Kennedy, Spector, Byrd, McCain, Johnson, Harkin, Grassley,Reid, Pelosi, Snow, Collins, and hundereds more who have outlived their usefullness and contributed to the downfall of this formerly great nation.

Throw em out, take away their lifetime pensions and limit the politicians to eight years. They can do enough damage in eight we don’t need to give them a lifetime!

Asshat clowns all! If we can’t hang em high and watch em swing at least vote the bums out.

dhunter on May 7, 2009 at 9:48 AM

So we don’t have $18 million for the DC school voucher program but we do have $90 million for congressional reelection campaigns?

Rip Ford on May 7, 2009 at 9:42 AM

Priorities, man…gotta have priorities…

ladyingray on May 7, 2009 at 9:48 AM

right2bright on May 7, 2009 at 9:20 AM

You forgot past Administration Officials = Terrorist

nolapol on May 7, 2009 at 9:52 AM

The state has it’s own car plant, with free company cars that is surely a way expenses go down.

seven on May 7, 2009 at 9:55 AM

Government for we, but not for thee.

Voting has quickly turned into a formulaic ritual devoid of any actual results; a tool of the fascists in office to allow Americans to vent their anger without resorting to armed revolution.

amkun on May 7, 2009 at 9:55 AM

thomasaur on May 7, 2009 at 9:43 AM

LOL, yea, I got a tax cut, all right. I guess you could say I got two of them because I got a second job. But I got a tax hike too. As it turns out, this second job made me just enough money to boost me into another bracket, and this year, (for the first time in about 20), I OWE the government and the state. How’s that for a CATCH 22.

scalleywag on May 7, 2009 at 9:56 AM

Throw em out! Anyone who votes for or does not run against this kind of taxpayer abuse/ripoff needs to be gone

Throw em out, take away their lifetime pensions and limit them to eight years!

They can do enough damage to this formerly great nation in eight they do not deserve a lifetime of taxpayer abuse and thievery.

Carreer Politicians and carreer criminals need to be held accountable and barring that they need to be limited in the damage they can do and the time they have to steal us blind.

If we can’t hang em high and watch em swing then at least vote em out. Bring in citizen legislators to serve our country not carreer criminals to take over and Rule.

Murtha, Kennedy, Byrd, Johnson, Pelosi, Reid, Spector, Collins, Snow, McCain, Graham, Harkin, and hundreds of others have outlived their usefullness and done enough damage they need to be gone! Clowns and thieves all!

Revolt America or be turned into a third world cesspool ruled by a bunch of elite clowns and criminals.

dhunter on May 7, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Revolt America or be turned into a third world cesspool ruled by a bunch of elite clowns and criminals.

dhunter on May 7, 2009 at 9:57 AM

Exactly. But someone please explain how we can impose term limits when such a (long overdue) notion has to be passed by the very clowns that we’re trying to get rid of? Is there any way possible?

scalleywag on May 7, 2009 at 10:00 AM

mr1216 on May 7, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Crude…but I agree.

PappaMac on May 7, 2009 at 10:05 AM

Almost 100 mil?

That’s a lot of money where I come from :/

cntrlfrk on May 7, 2009 at 10:06 AM

I repeat, those planes hit the wrong building.

mr1216 on May 7, 2009 at 9:40 AM

As disgusted and concerned as I am by the conduct of this liberal Congress and White House, such sentiments are best left private as such outburst are the norm of DKos or DU. Also, I want to beat the bastards in 2010 and 2012, not blow them up. Our opponents are the ones who can’t handle opposing views and seek to destroy let alone defeat their opposition. We can and should be better than them.

Yakko77 on May 7, 2009 at 10:07 AM

He had his right hand on my right shoulder, wait he also had his left hand on my left shoulder when he…

Congress.

Arrogance.

At least they smile when they screw you.

juanito on May 7, 2009 at 10:10 AM

Yakko77 on May 7, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Bravo! Remarks like that aren’t welcome here…wrong site. Huffington Post is down the road a ways.

scalleywag on May 7, 2009 at 10:11 AM

$90 million for 435 House members comes out to about $207K per House member. Since an average challenger for a House seat spends about $1 million to $2 million on a campaign, a free $207K for an incumbent can be a significant advantage.

Steve Z on May 7, 2009 at 10:13 AM

You forgot past Administration Officials = Terrorist

nolapol on May 7, 2009 at 9:52 AM

Yes, of course.
So many “definitions” that no one can keep up.

right2bright on May 7, 2009 at 10:17 AM

There is only one problem with this rationale; incumbent candidates are not supposed to use public resources for their campaigns.

HAHAHA! That’s pretty funny, Ed. You should be on Johnny Carson or something.

Vashta.Nerada on May 7, 2009 at 10:19 AM

I repeat, those planes hit the wrong building.

mr1216 on May 7, 2009 at 9:40 AM

Really, next time tell them what building you were in…no building needs to be “hit” on American soil.

right2bright on May 7, 2009 at 10:19 AM

We just heard from the White House how they were cutting $100 Million and how Gibbs claimed this was a big number. I wonder if he is going to consider a $90 Million raise a big number?

Oh and I guess that means that $100 Million in cuts is actually only $10 million now after this raise. :-)

JeffinSac on May 7, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Vashta.Nerada on May 7, 2009 at 10:19 AM

I did the same thing, I laughed out loud at that…

right2bright on May 7, 2009 at 10:20 AM

We just heard from the White House how they were cutting $100 Million and how Gibbs claimed this was a big number. I wonder if he is going to consider a $90 Million raise a big number?

Oh and I guess that means that $100 Million in cuts is actually only $10 million now after this raise. :-)

JeffinSac on May 7, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Zero Sum game, friend. Zero.Sum.

juanito on May 7, 2009 at 10:23 AM

How many paper clips will $90M buy?

Limerick on May 7, 2009 at 8:52 AM

That depends on whether they buy in bulk or not.

Dasher on May 7, 2009 at 10:24 AM

Exactly. But someone please explain how we can impose term limits when such a (long overdue) notion has to be passed by the very clowns that we’re trying to get rid of? Is there any way possible?

scalleywag on May 7, 2009 at 10:00 AM

Short of a constitutional convention , which opens up a pandoras box,
make the bastards pass it themselves. Do not vote for one of them if they do not run on term limits as part of their campaign. I guarantee it will be a winning strategy and has been done by a few honorable reps.

The American public will soon be so fed up (I Hope) that they will demand that the crooks are limited in their time in office thus the damage they may do.

Today we need reformers, honest citizens who have actually worked in the private sector and made it on their own, something damn few of these clowns have done. Thus their arrogance and stupidity!

dhunter on May 7, 2009 at 10:26 AM

2010 is an election year and lawmakers anticipate a surge in franked mail. It’s an incredibly naked admission that Members of Congress abuse the franking privilege

franked mail. abusing the franking privilege. Barney Frank.

ewwwwwwwwww

SilverStar830 on May 7, 2009 at 10:29 AM

an extra $534.33 spent on the sidewalk in front of Katie’s Kitchen so Grandma won’t trip over the crack from now on.

Maybe granny should get a wheelchair or just stay home? Since when is it our responsibility to make sure granny doesn’t trip? If my granny tripped, I’d tell her to pick up her damn feet, get a wheelchair, or just stay in bed. Kidding of course, but I certainly would not expect my elected officials to spend taxpayer money to protect her.

csdeven on May 7, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Look Ma, evidence!

- The Cat

P.S. Taking a play from the Blago Defense?

MirCat on May 7, 2009 at 10:35 AM

an extra $534.33 spent on the sidewalk in front of Katie’s Kitchen so Grandma won’t trip over the crack from now on.

Maybe granny should get a wheelchair or just stay home? Since when is it our responsibility to make sure granny doesn’t trip? If my granny tripped, I’d tell her to pick up her damn feet, get a wheelchair, or just stay in bed. Kidding of course, but I certainly would not expect my elected officials to spend taxpayer money to protect her.

csdeven on May 7, 2009 at 10:33 AM

I think it was you who put that crack there in the first place, to trip Fred Thompson of course.

- The Cat

MirCat on May 7, 2009 at 10:36 AM

is there any good news out there? we need some good news.

kelley in virginia on May 7, 2009 at 9:00 AM

There won’t be any Trolls questioning their overlords on this thread.

kirkill on May 7, 2009 at 10:39 AM

@#$%!

CP on May 7, 2009 at 10:44 AM

I don’t agree that term limits are any sort of answer. First, it is a restriction on freedom. I should be free to vote for whomever I choose and anyone should be free to run for office as often as he or she chooses to do so. A term limit measure assumes voter ignorance and inability to function within a democracy. While, ignorance and inability to function within a democracy certainly seems to be the rule rather than the exception, when you start down that road of doing things for people’s own good, you are already heading down the same road we are currently on.

King of the Britons on May 7, 2009 at 10:49 AM

There won’t be any Trolls questioning their overlords on this thread.

kirkill on May 7, 2009 at 10:39 AM

At least it’s only a raise.

Not a lie to get us into an illegal war.

Bush pretended, Halliburton got dividends.

LibTired on May 7, 2009 at 10:53 AM

Great post. It’s ridiculous that they’d even request the funds based on that rationale. You’d think they’d come up with a less transparent way to cheat the system. Is this standard, and has it been part of the budget cycles for a long time?

tneloms on May 7, 2009 at 10:54 AM

King of the Britons on May 7, 2009 at 10:49 AM

I could agree with your assessment had not the carreer political class rigged the system to the extent that it is practically impossible to get rid of the thieves.

They buy votes via porkbarrell spending on monsterous bills without even reading them and then have then gall to vote themselves more money come election time to use to further their criminal carreers.

Its time to limit the damage. We have done it with the POTUS we absolutely need to do it with Senate and Congress scum!

dhunter on May 7, 2009 at 10:57 AM

In other words, an election year should present the same cost as any other year,

Actually, you would think they would decrease in an election year because so much staff and pol time is taken up with campaigns which should all be on the campaign’s dime. More regular business gets done in off years so that is where the increase should be.

Rocks on May 7, 2009 at 10:59 AM

franked mail. abusing the franking privilege. Barney Frank.

ewwwwwwwwww

SilverStar830 on May 7, 2009 at 10:29 AM

I thought of Al Franken and lost my lunch.

amkun on May 7, 2009 at 11:01 AM

I see that many people(even conservatives here at Hot Air)don’t quite get it.Term limits are not the answer.How well has the 22nd Amendment worked?One good POTUS since its passage.If you don’t want career pols,take their careers away from them.Then let them know that we will not continue to be as complacent as we have been,and we won’t play their game of divide and conquer,by voting for political parties,instead of individuals.Term limits haven’t improved the quality of Presidents.Why do you think they would improve the quality of Cogress or the Senate?If what has been done doesn’t work,do something else.Don’t rely on a corrupted system to police corruption,take personal action.VOTE AGAINST ALL INCUMBENTS IN EVERY ELECTION,TWICE. The problem isn’t the length of time a person holds office,the problem is the fact that they know they can continue for as long as they choose.Tha answer is for us to show them that they cannot stay,and the only way to show them that is by taking them out.We have the power,it’s time to stop allowing the pols. to manipulate us and assert our power by voting ALL of them out.TWO CYCLES,NO INCUMBENTS.

DDT on May 7, 2009 at 11:21 AM

I’ll have what this poster’s having….

legal hallucinogens are rare.

sven10077 on May 7, 2009 at 8:57 AM

LOL. (cleans glasses)

shick on May 7, 2009 at 11:24 AM

DDT on May 7, 2009 at 11:21 AM

Yes, what many people have forgotten, or did not know, is that congress was never meant to be a full time job. Just do the bidding of the people, and return to their jobs, usually farming.
Really, running the feds should never be this complicated…the states were originally given all the power.

right2bright on May 7, 2009 at 11:24 AM

I’ll have what this poster’s having….

legal hallucinogens are rare.

sven10077 on May 7, 2009 at 8:57 AM

Still think I’m taking hallucinogens?

shick on May 7, 2009 at 11:27 AM

I’m starting to wonder if the whole incumbency system really is broken and can’t be fixed. I think its time to institute term limits across the board

Defector01 on May 7, 2009 at 11:35 AM

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