Populism: Democrat says Congress is underpaid

posted at 7:21 pm on April 4, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

At a paltry thrice the median income in this country, this group of mostly millionaires just isn’t getting a handsome enough sum to deliver on their jobs, says Rep. Jim Moran. That’s my Congressman!

“I think the American people should know the members of Congress are underpaid,” Moran, D-Va., told CQ Roll Call. “I understand that it’s widely felt they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”

Moran says the congressional salary isn’t enough for some lawmakers, who have to pay for housing in Washington and in their home districts. He notes there are members who sleep in their offices, rent “little” apartments or rooms from others on Capitol Hill or share housing with their colleagues while they go about their business in Washington.

The congressman, who will retire at the end of this term, plans to introduce an amendment to the spending bill that funds the legislative branch that would give lawmakers a per diem.

“Who will retire at the end of this term” seems to be the operative phrase in this genius plan. Audio at the link.

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

According to the Congressional Research Service, members began receiving a $6 per diem in 1789. The rate was eventually raised to $8 and remained there until 1856, when members began to receive annual salaries.

Moran assumes the amendment will not pass, admitting “this is wholly quixotic,” but he may bring it up on the House floor to garner attention.

“Our pay has been frozen for three years and we’re planning on freezing it a fourth year. … A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington,” he said.

I’m up for the original per diem, and I think America could get on board with that, in lieu of salaries.

Jim Geraghty offers some context on the good Congressman’s finances.

At least this guy’s going out doing what he loves—acting ostentatiously assy, being aggressively out of touch with Americans. If he’d punched someone during this interview, it’d be the perfect coda.

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King Louie though he was underpaid too.

VorDaj on April 4, 2014 at 7:24 PM

Don’t like the pay? Get another job. Was never meant to be a career.

Scotsman on April 4, 2014 at 7:26 PM

You couldn’t pay me enough to occupy the same room as Harry Reid, either!

SailorMark on April 4, 2014 at 7:27 PM

fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world

No you f’n Moron, this is the peoples’ representatives, sent to Washington to serve the people.

You can cash in, working for the crony special interests on K Street any time you want.

Moron

MichaelGabriel on April 4, 2014 at 7:27 PM

“Our pay has been frozen for three years and we’re planning on freezing it a fourth year. … A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington,” he said.

What an ass. I might believe that’s true of Congressional aides, but members of Congress themselves? Gimme a break, buddy. The number of people who have it better than you in this country is extremely few.

He notes there are members who sleep in their offices, rent “little” apartments or rooms from others on Capitol Hill or share housing with their colleagues while they go about their business in Washington.

How do you think it is for all the people in DC who have roommates then and earn far less, hm? There’s also nothing preventing you from taking the metro and finding a place outside of DC you turkey in either MD or VA.

Stoic Patriot on April 4, 2014 at 7:28 PM

Here you go I just looked it up for the top 50. http://media.cq.com/50richest/

mixplix on April 4, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Give the congresscritters quarters in the transient enlisted quarters at the various military bases around town.

Not individual rooms – just a rack and open bay latrine. Let them take public transportation to the Capitol.

Or they can STFU.

HBowmanMD on April 4, 2014 at 7:32 PM

And overvalued.

WryTrvllr on April 4, 2014 at 7:33 PM

What is the insider trading information worth per year?

slickwillie2001 on April 4, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Underpaid for what? What is it that they actually do that benefits anyone but themselves? Is it a coincidence that many go into government and exit or become millionaires and lobbyists? Then they try and sell themselves as underpaid “public servants”?? The government doesn’t produce any product that is competitive with any other good or service. They take other peoples money by force.

Mimzey on April 4, 2014 at 7:35 PM

I feel so bad for you Mr. Moron.

CW on April 4, 2014 at 7:35 PM

“I think the American people should know the members of Congress are underpaid,” Moran, D-Va.

Does that include tips, insider trading, health insurance subsidies, taxpayer funded pensions, taxpayer funded automobiles, free gym, free airport parking…?

RadClown on April 4, 2014 at 7:38 PM

The pay is so shitty that eight people are in the running for his spot?

Go eff yourself, champ.

BallisticBob on April 4, 2014 at 7:44 PM

Our pay has been frozen for three years and we’re planning on freezing it a fourth year

Welcome to my world, Moron.

rbj on April 4, 2014 at 7:47 PM

Idiot Chris Matthews

Schadenfreude on April 4, 2014 at 7:52 PM

I feel so bad for you Mr. Moron.

CW on April 4, 2014 at 7:35 PM

.
Yeah, me too . . . . . wha’d’ya say we pass the hat around hotair.com, and see what we can collect for him ?

A great public servant like him, shouldn’t have to suffer like that.
.
.
I’ll start things off by putting my totally insincere, and disingenuous sympathies in the hat …

listens2glenn on April 4, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Yep, the pay is so crappy, he could only afford to keep the job for 23 years.

xblade on April 4, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Insider trading, kickbacks, campaign slush funds, donor money, congressional perks you write for yourselves. Yeah, my heart bleeds for you, you POS. Anyone in the private sector would be in jail but you guys just make it business. Even Don Vito Corleon would be jealous of your scams

jaywemm on April 4, 2014 at 7:54 PM

wha’d’ya say we pass the hat around hotair.com, and see what we can collect for him ?

I’ll bring the pitchforks.

Who’s got the torches?

I’m sure we can round up enough cash for some tar & feathers.

MichaelGabriel on April 4, 2014 at 7:57 PM

That’s my Congressman!

Mine too. :(

During last year’s Scottish Walk in Alexandria, I was within spitting distance of the bastard. I regret that I didn’t take advantage of the opportunity.

Happy Nomad on April 4, 2014 at 7:58 PM

I’d vote in a heartbeat to make their salaries the minimum wage of $10.10 an hour, like they are pushing. BTW lets renegotiate the terms of that retirement also, while we’re at it.

De Oppresso Liber on April 4, 2014 at 7:58 PM

Retweeted by David Burge
John Ekdahl ‏@JohnEkdahl 7h

pic.twitter.com/eBMKYb0bcr

Retweeted by David Burge
John Ekdahl ‏@JohnEkdahl 7h

pic.twitter.com/qU0ueqO6fd

davidk on April 4, 2014 at 8:01 PM

Turn his quote into a advertisement and make sure to highlight his party-affiliation. Ask the audience… this is who you want to decide how much you pay for healthcare?

Ukiah on April 4, 2014 at 8:01 PM

They are overpaid. Look at how many want the job. ECON 101 – Supply and Demand.

Mike Morrissey on April 4, 2014 at 8:04 PM

Yep, the pay is so crappy, he could only afford to keep the job for 23 years.

xblade on April 4, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Look at Jim Moran’s resume. Similar to other Left-wing extremists such as Chuck Schumer he has next to -zero- experience in the private sector. It’s been a complete lifetime “inside the bubble” causing massive damage to lower and middle-income families, especially African-Americans.

Freaks like Jim Moran would have been fired years ago for corruption, incompetence, and fraud had they been working in the real world. People like him represent so much that’s wrong with the world today. Pathetic.

visions on April 4, 2014 at 8:04 PM

I will send him some Confederate money to get him by.

Jamson64 on April 4, 2014 at 8:06 PM

Mike.
..and people pay to get these jobs.

Jamson64 on April 4, 2014 at 8:09 PM

…ask Harry Reid, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer and the rest of them!…you can’t influence AND steal enough!

KOOLAID2 on April 4, 2014 at 8:25 PM

but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”

The fact that he thinks this is disturbing.

lorien1973 on April 4, 2014 at 8:34 PM

He became a public servant to serve his constituents. It wasn’t for the money. Anyone believe that?

Now that he’s sucked at the government teat and filled his belly, made sure he gets his generorous pension, and has future speaking fees and other perks to look forward to because of his “dedicated service”, he feels free to finally make a truthful statement. Too bad he didn’t confess his disdain when he was campaigning for such a crappy job.

iamsaved on April 4, 2014 at 8:35 PM

Ed posted this same story, today, reason why it’s reposted???

Raquel Pinkbullet on April 4, 2014 at 8:44 PM

Isn’t that the knucklehead who flew to Iraq to hug Saddam Hussein on the eve of war? The poor baby must really be scraping by on his paltry 170,000. He must stock up on Ramen noodles to survive.

TonyR on April 4, 2014 at 8:47 PM

Look, I hate to be on Moran’s side on ANYTHING, but the man has a point.

YOU complain about all the millionaires in Congress, but who else can afford to do it. $160,000 isn’t all that much in DC, especially when you have to at least maintain a residence there and at home. And when some try to skip the home residence, they are pilloried.

So if you want ONLY millionaires – and the poor members who will be more susceptible to corruption – keep the salaries low.

It’s an easy way to bash Congress, everyone will agree with you – and you are all wrong.

Adjoran on April 4, 2014 at 9:07 PM

So if you want ONLY millionaires – and the poor members who will be more susceptible to corruption – keep the salaries low.
It’s an easy way to bash Congress, everyone will agree with you – and you are all wrong.
Adjoran on April 4, 2014 at 9:07 PM

They get free or reduced priced meals.
They get free gym membership.
They get free haircuts.
You’re worried about their living arrangements, then give them government housing. They shouldn’t be paid more than the average income of their state. They should get no benefits after they leave office. It shouldn’t be a career.

LoganSix on April 4, 2014 at 10:36 PM

So nice to see Moran going out in November as a MORON!

pilamaye on April 4, 2014 at 11:42 PM

Jerk.

joecollins on April 5, 2014 at 12:00 AM

I’ll believe Moran when he comes up with a valid argument that Sheila Jackson-Lee or Hank Johnson are overpaid. C’mon Jimbo, either one.

MrKleenexMuscles on April 5, 2014 at 1:30 AM

Moran = moron… good riddance…

Khun Joe on April 5, 2014 at 1:49 AM

I’d like to see an analysis of congressional compensation that takes retirement benefits into account.

I wouldn’t worry over poverty-stricken congress-folk. Many enter with little capital, most leave with the ability to make large sums on a silver platter.

Meremortal on April 5, 2014 at 6:16 AM

A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington

“Decent[]” is definitely an oxymoron when applied to congresscritters. And, if you can’t afford to live in Washington, then … maybe you shouldn’t? Maybe you should live in your district and get Congress to stop wasting all its time doing things it shouldn’t be doing. (And I concur with the suggestions of open-bay barracks for them if sleeping arrangements are so difficult.)

fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world

No you f’n Moron, this is the peoples’ representatives, sent to Washington to serve the people.

MichaelGabriel on April 4, 2014 at 7:27 PM

But even this doesn’t adequately address the problem with that statement. The real issue is they think their job is to RUN the country. It isn’t. Their job is to take care of a handful of things between the states (not among individual citizens, but between the states), and some elements of our interface with the rest of the world. That’s it. They are NOT a board of directors, they are a select committee for handling a few appropriate tasks.

GWB on April 5, 2014 at 8:31 AM

Give the congresscritters quarters in the transient enlisted quarters at the various military bases around town.

Not individual rooms – just a rack and open bay latrine. Let them take public transportation to the Capitol.

Or they can STFU.

HBowmanMD on April 4, 2014 at 7:32 PM

Yup, military barracks were good enough for Pops.

They shouldn’t be paid more than the average income of their state. They should get no benefits after they leave office. It shouldn’t be a career.

LoganSix on April 4, 2014 at 10:36 PM

They should live in their home states and only convene as a group twice a year. Keep them out of the corrupting swamp of DC as much as possible. They need to stop making arbitrary and reactive laws. All laws should have five year sunset provisions attached to them. It would be time to re-vote Obamacare if that were the rule.

Fallon on April 5, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Jim must want a bump for his pension. I think they should be part time volunteers.

Kissmygrits on April 5, 2014 at 9:08 AM

I have an idea: why don’t we do with DC what every business has had to do under the Obama economy? Let’s cut personnel (senate staffers), reduce hours for all (not that senators do much with what they work now), and make senate positions part time like in the good ol’ days.

Maybe them these hypocrites will get a clue about how the real world works before they pass the next crappy law or talk about “how much is too much” to earn.

ptcamn on April 5, 2014 at 11:17 AM

One of the most repellent slugs to ever walk the planet wants to take more of your money. No surprise there.

SteveThomas on April 5, 2014 at 12:43 PM

“Our pay has been frozen for three years and we’re planning on freezing it a fourth year.”

Military pensions were frozen with no COLA (Cost of living allowance) increase for three years, then reduced.

They give themselves another raise before taking care of career-service troops, and they are begging for real trouble.

Freelancer on April 5, 2014 at 3:18 PM

What a MORON.

CongrASS should only be in session every other year and only for 3 months. The rest of the time, our representatives should be back at their full time jobs.

Instead these leeches work to steal our liberties and our money round the clock when they are not doing insider trading or arranging kickbacks for influence.

MORON should resign is he can’t make ends meet on $175K a year with perks. That alone is a sign he is a MORON.

Robert Jensen on April 5, 2014 at 4:29 PM

Underpaid? Perhaps if Congress were paid nothing, we’d get people who actually went there to serve the country, not line their pockets.

RblDiver on April 5, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Congressman Moron is vastly overpaid.

Another Drew on April 5, 2014 at 8:23 PM

NUMBER OF DAYS CONGRESS WORK
113 – 1st (2013)
113 – 2nd (2014)

PAY / BENEFITS
The Average Joe of Congress (there are 529 of them) gets paid $174,000 per year. But not everyone is average; the Speaker of the House gets $223,500 a year, while the majority and minority leaders of both the Senate and the House, along with the President Pro Tempore, get paid $193,400 per year. If congressional compensation (PAY AND BENEFITS) was suspended for an entire year, $93,236,500 would be chopped off of the national debt.

They don’t get paid enough? Congress gets a salary increase EVERY year. They were tired of catching so much heat for giving themselves a pay increase every year so they voted to make it automatic – that way they could tell their Constituents that ‘yes they got one but did not vote for it’. So are they saying that the annual (and impressive, I might add) increase is not enough, that they DESERVE a BASE-SALARY increase (which will be increased annually)?

Considering that they have abandoned their jobs of representing their constituents (non-representative government: forcing Obamacare into law against the majority will of the American people) and betrayed their oaths of office (promising to protect and defend the Constitution and Rule of Law)…considering they refused to obey a law, that required them to submit an annual budget, from the time Democrats took over the House and Senate during Bush’s last 2 years until recently, considering the crimes, scandal, etc…they do not deserve to be PAID MORE…they should be FIRED!

I think it was Franklin who said this nation would be ‘over’ when the American people figured out they could vote themselves more money (government ‘freebies’) by voting for those candidates who would give them those ‘freebies’. I would add that the end of this nation also began when politicians decided to disregard the established system of ‘Checks and balances’, elevated themselves above the law, and discovered they could set…and raise…their own salaries and benefits AT WILL.

Here’s a better method:

BASE SALARY / BENEFITS:
The base salary for each Federal Rep should be established AND PAID FOR by the states they represent. If SC decided to pay its Congressmen and Senators $75k and California paid its Reps $100k, so be it. If the SC Rep wanted $100, he can move to California and run for office there. The state decides what benefits – like health care – these Reps would get and what their retirement would be. No ‘one term & a lifetime pension’ unless the state decides it to be so.

FEDERAL SALARY
For ‘Federal’ work, to include being on Committees, etc, One lump sum – the same amount for every Rep no matter from what state, should be a set amount…like $10k. No one gets more money for each committee they get on – just one lump sum. Again, if you don’t like it – DON’T RUN FOR OFFICE.

RECALL:
Each State can hold a vote regarding to recall their politician. For example, the American people overwhelmingly opposed Obamacare when Democrats rammed it into law against their will. If the state chose to do so, if their rep perpetrated such an act against the will of that state, the state should be able to recall that Rep., basically FIRING him.

easyt65 on April 7, 2014 at 11:11 AM

EVERY member of the House and Senate are MILLIONAIRES…and get to vote themselves a pay raise?

And speaking of benefits…How much do you think ‘elevating yourself above the law’…being able to commit crimes, be caught doing so, and yet NOT go to jail’ (he didn’t even get booted from office) is worth in ‘compensation’? Harry reid just got ‘busted’ STEALING money and giving it to his daughter…and his punishment? He was forced to ‘repay’ the money he stole (this time). I would say THAT ‘perk’ is worth more than he is making in Base Salary!

And he wants MORE pay…to do things like this…to call Americans who were punished and had trouble due to Obamcare ‘LIARS’?

REALLY?!

easyt65 on April 7, 2014 at 11:17 AM