Retiring Dem: “Members of Congress are underpaid”

posted at 9:21 am on April 4, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) may retire at the end of this session, but he wants Americans to learn one lesson from his exit after twelve terms in the House of Representatives. His colleagues aren’t getting paid enough for their efforts (via Dan Doherty):

Really? One measure of whether compensation meets the needs of an organization is to take a look at turnover. How many of the incumbents seek re-election in any given cycle? There have been roughly 30 retirement announcements for this term, a few of which may involve seeking a Senate office. Thirty out of 435 equals a turnover rate of less than 7% — which would not sound like a compensation crisis to anyone in the business world.

Perhaps Moran thinks that Congress over-performs for their compensation. Well, good luck making that case. The base salary of $174,000 is three and a half times the average median household income in the US. Congress hasn’t had a raise since 2010; median household income has declined since that time. For that salary (and we haven’t even begun to consider the cushy benefits of Congress members), the taxpayers that pay those bills rate Congressional performance at 13/79, according to RCP’s latest poll average. It was 22/71 in 2010, the last time Congress got a raise; why should they get another when their performance reviews are dropping rather than improving?

Moran has an answer for that:

The senior appropriator pointed out that some members have taken to living out of their offices to save money, while others have “small little apartment units” that make it impossible to spend the time they should with their families.

Most state legislatures provide their members with a per diem allowance, Moran argues, so the federal government should do the same.

Most state legislatures provide the per diem because their legislatures are a part-time job, with part-time pay. Besides, most members of Congress seem pretty far from enduring a life of poverty. And if they were, perhaps they’d treat their office as a temporary service to their country rather than a family sinecure, such as the Dingells have done.

If it encourages politicians to quit fossilizing themselves into their Capitol Hill offices, we should cut their pay rather than raise it.


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My congressman. Le sigh. His successor will probably be even worse!

22044 on April 4, 2014 at 9:22 AM

They shouldn’t BE paid when the budget isn’t balanced.

ConstantineXI on April 4, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Plunder Dome.

“Poor Men Enter, Rich Men Leaves.”

hawkdriver on April 4, 2014 at 9:25 AM

One seriously disgusting pig. What, he did not partake in the benefits of stock trading on insider Washington information like the rest of the pigs?

astonerii on April 4, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Under-prosecuted is more like it.

Flange on April 4, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Sure Jimmy….hey, why don’t you go beat up some
Women with your Son…..

I swear, these cretins are getting to the point I’d love to see
someone just cold cock them right in the face!

ToddPA on April 4, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Cut their pay in half…Term limits…Stop insider trading in Congress…and shut off the AC in their offices so they go home and live under the laws they pass just like everybody else…. – Rick Perry

workingclass artist on April 4, 2014 at 9:28 AM

Not possible.

CDeb on April 4, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Someone should do a study measuring net worth before entering congress and net worth leaving.

jmtham156 on April 4, 2014 at 9:29 AM

Under-prosecuted is more like it.

Flange on April 4, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Winner

crankyoldlady on April 4, 2014 at 9:29 AM

In the real world, when we peasants feel we are under paid…WE GET A DIFFERENT JOB!!!

dirtseller on April 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Being a member of Congress wasn’t expected to be a lifetime career.

Reno_Dave on April 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Under-prosecuted is more like it.

Flange on April 4, 2014 at 9:27 AM

This. Why is it that so many enter Congress with unremarkable wealth and leave millionaires? Such as Stoplight Harry Reid? Corruption plan and simple.

ConstantineXI on April 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Retiring Dem: “Members of Congress are underpaid”

Which is why they are all millionaires

jake-the-goose on April 4, 2014 at 9:31 AM

Being a member of Congress wasn’t expected to be a lifetime career.

Reno_Dave on April 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Which is why there should be no pensions for them.

ConstantineXI on April 4, 2014 at 9:32 AM

In “real life” one progresses in their career to higher salary levels.

Being a member of Congress wasn’t meant to be a lifetime career.

Reno_Dave on April 4, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Stop the lahar of hot rendered lard gushing from the government and the market price for housing in the DC metro area will come down to a normal level.

forest on April 4, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Perhaps Moran thinks that Congress over-performs for their compensation.

I missed that.
Well DUH, you do over-perform. Your job is to follow the Constitution of the United States of America. Here you have underperformed on every single aspect of the job. You effectively get 0s on every measure of following the constitution. On the other hand though, those things you are not supposed to be doing… you are doing infinitely more than you should be, because if the constitution does not allow it it is forbidden. That which is not authorized is forbidden in our Constitution.
So, I got a hint for you idiots. Just follow the Constitution of the United States of America and your job will be infinitely easier and you will be appropriately paid.

astonerii on April 4, 2014 at 9:33 AM

Sounds to me like a pay raise coming up for a vote, soon.

Kissmygrits on April 4, 2014 at 9:34 AM

Get the money out of politics. Pay the greedy bastards less. Then maybe we might get some people in there who actually are interested in governing and not just enriching themselves at our expense.

dkmonroe on April 4, 2014 at 9:36 AM

I have an idea that will get support from a majority of Americans; make Congress part time and pay them the same salary. The less often they are in session, the safer we are.

Charlemagne on April 4, 2014 at 9:36 AM

He’s just one letter away from MORON…

Galtian on April 4, 2014 at 9:38 AM

Judas only got 30 pieces of silver, so I don’t know what he’s complaining about.

Fenris on April 4, 2014 at 9:39 AM

Since I lost my job to obaka non-care, I have no pity to these poor politicians….

ladyingray on April 4, 2014 at 9:39 AM

They can all quit along with that violent jerk if they don’t like their pay. Plenty of people will line up to replace them.

RadClown on April 4, 2014 at 9:40 AM

It actually worries me that a job that pays so little for the amount of influence acquired is pursued so vigorously. Maybe the pay should be increased if only to make corruption less appealing and to bring in better quality.

MechanicalBill on April 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Aw, Moran’s just whining because he’s so stupid he loses money working the graft and corruption rackets in Washington.

Dusty on April 4, 2014 at 9:42 AM

If these feckless, hubris-filled blowhards are underpaid, how is that they ‘retire’ exponentially richer than when they entered gummint ‘service’. They are now too well ‘serviced’ by the taxpayer and their crony pals. This headless wonder should be ‘retired’ to the Funny Farm.

vnvet on April 4, 2014 at 9:42 AM

I live in the district he represents, but this pos is not my representative. Prison is what he deserves. What a worthless waste of carbon.

SoRight on April 4, 2014 at 9:43 AM

Moran tries to claim the Congress runs the largest corporation in the world, and so they should be compensated accordingly. OK, I can get on board with that. Let’s eliminate all salaries for elected officials and institute profit sharing. Produce a surplus, get a percentage.

NotCoach on April 4, 2014 at 9:45 AM

It actually worries me that a job that pays so little for the amount of influence acquired is pursued so vigorously. Maybe the pay should be increased if only to make corruption less appealing and to bring in better quality.

MechanicalBill on April 4, 2014 at 9:41 AM

Greed does not have a limit.

astonerii on April 4, 2014 at 9:45 AM

hey!! april fool’s day was three days ago.

Sachiko on April 4, 2014 at 9:46 AM

They can’t possibly be underpaid… most of them are already millionaires, and (it seems) that many of them leave office with significantly more wealth than they had when they came in.

morganfrost on April 4, 2014 at 9:46 AM

Moran conveniently fails to mention that a pay increase this year would also increase his pension payments.

RadClown on April 4, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Retiring… as a millionaire, I bet.

Tsar of Earth on April 4, 2014 at 9:48 AM

The arrogance of this man is really the norm in Congress. That, coupled with ignorance is why he would even utter such nonsense. Notice the very low tone of his complaint….like he didn’t want anyone else to hear.

tomshup on April 4, 2014 at 9:48 AM

Perhaps he thinks he is underpaid because they purposely overwork to get their pet projects funded. The Founders original view of Congress is that they would only be able to work a few months out of the year because of the conditions of the swamp in which they were condemned to run the federal government. I blame air-conditioning for much of our government overreach…

dominigan on April 4, 2014 at 9:49 AM

Underpaid? So was Judas for his pretense of doing good and ultimate betrayal. Perhaps if they just robbed banks they’d get more respect?

Don L on April 4, 2014 at 9:51 AM

Such would be the mindset of a hard core liberal Democrat — even if they make crony capitalist deals with liberal Democratic donors, they’re still jealousy of the salaries private industry pays out, because in their minds, those people don’t deserve that type of compensation, the politicians do, because they’re smarter, more important and all-in-all just far more wonderful than any money-grubbing business person.

Moran should be the last person to complain about his salary, since he’s one of the handful of people in Congress who doesn’t have to own a second home, since his Congressional district is right across the Potomac. But it’s not enough that Washington and the surrounding area is swallowing up all the country’s money, to the point that 60 percent of the Top 25 richest counties in the U.S. are the ones surrounding D.C. — If anything, seeing all those lobbyists and others making big salaries from sucking off government contracts and other spending makes Moran even more jealous and angry and he and his buddies in Congress aren’t at or near the top of the Washington salary compensation heap.

jon1979 on April 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

OT…Expect more Bullying from the Tolerance Syndicate

Lib Rag Salon Says Mozilla CEO Just The Start, Calls For Getting Every Executive Who Donated To Pro-Traditional Marriage Group Fired…

http://weaselzippers.us/181728-lib-rag-salon-says-mozilla-ceo-just-the-start-calls-for-getting-every-executive-who-donated-to-pro-traditional-marriage-group-fired/

workingclass artist on April 4, 2014 at 9:54 AM

He is free to seek alternate employment elsewhere. I’m sure that he will find a job that pays him what he is worth.

ss396 on April 4, 2014 at 9:58 AM

If raising congressmen’s salaries means that more people–and not just the wealthy–can afford to serve, I’m okay with that.

And I’m not saying wealthy people are less qualified, but that increasing the pool of candidates would improve quality.

Frankly, I’m not going to begrudge anyone their salary.

Herod on April 4, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Moran, the oldest of seven children, was born in Buffalo, New York, and grew up in Natick, Massachusetts, a suburb west of Boston. His parents were Dorothy (Dwyer) and James Patrick Moran, Sr., a professional football player for the Boston Redskins in 1935 and 1936; outside of football he worked as a probation officer.[2] Both his father and mother were Roosevelt Democrats and supporters of the New Deal. Moran attended Marian High School in Framingham, Massachusetts. (He still retains a Boston accent.[3][4])

Moran played college football on an athletic scholarship at the College of the Holy Cross,[5] where his father had been a football star in the early 1930s. Moran was awarded a B.A. in economics in 1967. In 1970 he received a Master of Public Administration from the University of Pittsburgh. During a campaign in 1992, Moran admitted that he had tried marijuana during his early twenties.[6]

After a brief career as a stockbroker, and attending graduate school, Moran moved to Washington, D.C.[5]

He worked for five years at the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, as a budget officer, then became a senior specialist for budgetary and fiscal policy at the Library of Congress. His final position, from 1976 to 1979, was on the staff of U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations.[7]

In 1979, Moran was elected to the Alexandria, Virginia, City Council. He was deputy mayor from 1982 until his resignation in 1984 as part of a nolo contendere plea bargain to a misdemeanor conflict of interest charge, which courts later erased. The incident stemmed from charges that Moran had used money from a political action committee to rent a tuxedo and buy Christmas cards; both of which were later judged by the Commonwealth Attorney to “fit the definition of constituent services”, and were dismissed.[8]

In 1985 Moran was elected Mayor of Alexandria. He was reelected in 1988,[9] and resigned after he was elected to Congress in November 1990.

Wiki

In short, Moran has really never held a paying job outside of government, with the exception of a short stint as a stockbroker, in which pay is basically performance-based. My guess is his performance wasn’t exactly stellar.

The thing is, Congresscritters (most of whom have either law degrees or degrees in some PC field like, well, “economics” or “political science”) get paid more than they would for teaching at the college level, but less than they could probably make as private-practice injury lawyers, etc.

But that is also “performance-based”, a category that the likes of Moran tend to avoid like the plague.

This probably explains his attitude. He wants to be paid just for existing. And oh yes, for being a “thought leader”.

You know, in the mystical Eastern cultures those like Moran love so much, that problem is generally solved by sitting in the lotus position on a street corner. With a begging bowl.

But of course, there’s no power in that. And a sadhu can’t really hurt anyone without grave risk to himself.

Those like Moran want power, and want the ability to punish anyone they dislike, disapprove of, or just want to destroy for the sheer hell of it. And they also want to be rich, and worshiped, while they’re doing it. As well as being insulated from the consequences of their own actions, at all levels.

The fact that such seriously unstable individuals are in our “ruling class” tells you all you need to know about said “ruling class”.

clear ether

eon

eon on April 4, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Plunder Dome.

“Poor Men Enter, Rich Men Leaves.”

hawkdriver on April 4, 2014 at 9:25 AM

Make some deals, scorn the schlemeils

Lanceman on April 4, 2014 at 9:59 AM

Born evil and will die evil. The sooner the better.

S. D. on April 4, 2014 at 10:02 AM

if its underpaid, why do they raise MILLIONS to get the job

on and MR POOR DEMOCRAT

show me one democrat congressman or senator that is NOT a millionaire?

sniffles1999 on April 4, 2014 at 10:03 AM

He must not be doing it right. He should talk to Harry Reid!

huckleberryfriend on April 4, 2014 at 10:05 AM

I fly guys like Moran around the country for 75k per year, 100k less than he is paid. ( And I am paid more than most Americans ) I don’t have an office to sleep in when I am in base and away from home. I sleep in a motel room with 5 bunkbeds. ( 10 pilots total some nights )

Unlike a politician, most of us don’t somehow manage to become multi millionaires on low six figure salaries. We don’t retire to six figure pensions and free medical for life with as little as four years on the job either. ( OH, and we can’t be drunk all day at work like Moran and Boehner, to name two )

Is it time for the shooting war yet?

It is definitely time for a part time congress!!

Exninja on April 4, 2014 at 10:07 AM

So, I got a hint for you idiots. Just follow the Constitution of the United States of America and your job will be infinitely easier and you will be appropriately paid.

astonerii on April 4, 2014 at 9:33 AM

It would only have to be a part time job then, too. That calls for a pay cut. Rather than a pay increase, let’s cut their salaries in half.

ss396 on April 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM

show me one democrat congressman or senator that is NOT a millionaire?

sniffles1999 on April 4, 2014 at 10:03 AM

To be fair, while they hold the edge over Republicans, both Alcee Hastings and Wassername Schultz are actually in the hole. Hastings owes over 2 million and Schultz is in the red just over a million.

Hastings, a corrupt former federal judge and Schultz an idiot continuously re-elected by a NY Jewish constituency transplanted to FL.

Lanceman on April 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM

I have to agree with the guy to be honest. If you compare their salaries to other crime syndicate bosses, they are way under paid.

HonestLib on April 4, 2014 at 10:12 AM

They shouldn’t BE paid when the budget isn’t balanced.

ConstantineXI on April 4, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Tread winner!

Personally, I think their jobs should be part-time. No more than 20 hours a week, maybe?

GWB on April 4, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Congress is embattled against itself and the country is coming apart at the seams. And this guy thinks they’re overpaid? They should all be leaving at the end of their current terms, make way for fresh blood.

And that fresh blood should be a part time, work at home Congress with VPN. Let them work by conference call and implement secure online voting.

Willys on April 4, 2014 at 10:14 AM

Lanceman on April 4, 2014 at 10:11 AM

If I remember correctly, Barney frank aint’s done all that well.

HonestLib on April 4, 2014 at 10:15 AM

$174,000 at 40 hours per week for 52 weeks is $83.65 per hour – not counting benefits. Is your Congressional Representative worth $83.65 per hour, plus benefits?

ss396 on April 4, 2014 at 10:16 AM

These people are disgusting.

magicbeans on April 4, 2014 at 10:18 AM

Hey Grandpa, if you didn’t like what you’re getting paid, why didn’t you go out in the word and get a REAL JOB???

itsspideyman on April 4, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Herod on April 4, 2014 at 9:58 AM

This appears to be the typical rationale of liberals, who forget that the intent of our founders was that the peoples representatives in Washington would be part time politicians. Not careerists!

tomshup on April 4, 2014 at 10:21 AM

Term limits would solve his problem.

albill on April 4, 2014 at 10:23 AM

What percentage of them retire as millionaires on such paltry remuneration?

Akzed on April 4, 2014 at 10:23 AM

Tell ya what, Moran. So you don’t have to worry about how much your colleagues are paid, I’ll do everything in my power to make sure they do less to screw we the people over. That way they’ll earn what they do get paid. How about that?

gryphon202 on April 4, 2014 at 10:26 AM

I have to agree with the guy to be honest. If you compare their salaries to other crime syndicate bosses, they are way under paid.

HonestLib on April 4, 2014 at 10:12 AM

Damnit man, Don’t make me laugh (it still hurts to do that).

nobar on April 4, 2014 at 10:31 AM

It’s one thing for Moran to think Congress members aren’t paid enough, but just how ignorant and out-of-touch does one have to be to actually start whining about it out loud?

lynncgb on April 4, 2014 at 10:32 AM

Perhaps they should run for President. Then they can wax poetic about buying an NBA franchise after only two terms in office.

Cleombrotus on April 4, 2014 at 10:38 AM

Frankly, my dear, you are already paid too damn much.

If you are having financial problems, it would probably be a good idea to cease punching people.

Resist We Much on April 4, 2014 at 10:39 AM

Perhaps they should run for President. Then they can wax poetic about buying an NBA franchise after only less than two terms in office.

FIFM

Cleombrotus on April 4, 2014 at 10:40 AM

Before you calculate turnover you have to remove retirements, those over 60 leaving, (maybe 50 for a govt worker if they consider themselves govt workers).

Turnover looks pretty meager with over 60s removed.

KenInIL on April 4, 2014 at 10:41 AM

Want to improve the economy… pass a bill that Congress can only be paid a maximum of the median income of the country. (Currently 50k a year)

E L Frederick (Sniper One) on April 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM

Everyone in congress should be asked on camera if they agree with him.

crowhop on April 4, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Their congressional salaries are a drop in the bucket compared to the cash they receive for in the form of donations for such noble causes as bribery, extortion,, special interest funds, pork barrel projects, sweetheart deals and your basic garden variety corruption. Our elected officials are nothing but organized crime mobsters with diplomatic immunity from prison.

Buttercup on April 4, 2014 at 10:55 AM

Ok Moran, then you should quickly get your worthless butt out of congress and go find a higher paying job. If we paid you what you deserve you’d be getting 50% cut in pay.

rplat on April 4, 2014 at 10:58 AM

These bass tards should be working part time 3 months per year. Congress has been making laws and regulations for more than 200 years, we have enough laws and regulations.
How much more salary would be required to stop these “public servants” from accumulating wealth on the side? No matter, the pigs are at the trough. They’ll gobble as much as they can.

lel2007 on April 4, 2014 at 11:01 AM

You know, David Eddings, an author, had what I consider a great idea once (that I’m modifying slightly): Confiscate their entire wealth when they join Congress or become a senior staffer, cabinet member, or President. Put it into trust.

Their only pay is tied to that trust. If the country grows, and the national debt shrinks, the value of their trust grows. If the economy shrinks and the debt grows, their trust shrinks.

Pretty simple. Any compensation outside of a stipend to buy food means immediate jail time. Each party has the duty of investigating the other party for violations, with a citizens committee as well to stop quid pro quo. If you find someone else committed fraud, and you can prove it, you get a percentage of their trust fund.

That should do wonders for the government.

Vanceone on April 4, 2014 at 11:03 AM

It’s tough work destroying an economy and slamming your Jack boot in the faces of honest Americans

roflmmfao

donabernathy on April 4, 2014 at 11:03 AM

When political office holders are bound by ALL of their own legislation (like the ACA), then you come talk to me about a “raise.”

listens2glenn on April 4, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Surely bully Moran knows full well that there many, many millionaires in Congress so his point is not accurate. He won’t be missed in the House.

Amazingoly on April 4, 2014 at 11:10 AM

What a hog. Go to Hell, you scumbags/scumhags of the world.

You live better than kings/queens, at the national trough, you harlots.

Schadenfreude on April 4, 2014 at 11:23 AM

If there ever was an example of ‘income inequality”, it’s congress’ pay check, vs. their constituents.

Wander on April 4, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Retiring Dem: “Members of Congress are underpaid”

…is that why they STEAL so much?

KOOLAID2 on April 4, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Maybe if we get a little more effort for their pay, then Congress can get a little more pay for their effort.

BigAlSouth on April 4, 2014 at 11:39 AM

Hey, by the way Jim, has you son assaulted any women lately?

BigAlSouth on April 4, 2014 at 11:40 AM

Your raise will be effective when you are….
What’s the word, hubris??

Cottonpony on April 4, 2014 at 11:52 AM

File under: What if a Rebuplican had said this.

vcferlita on April 4, 2014 at 12:00 PM

He’s just one letter away from MORON…

Galtian on April 4, 2014 at 9:38 AM

…and a couple of IQ points below.

slickwillie2001 on April 4, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Unless they’ve changed the tax laws (and what are the chances?), every cent of his living expenses while in DC, including an over-priced DC domicile, are deductible on his taxes.

Who does he expect to sympathize with him?

Pless1foEngrish on April 4, 2014 at 12:22 PM

So, quit.
Go sell insurance.

TimBuk3 on April 4, 2014 at 12:43 PM

He needs to take some lessons from Crazy Uncle Harry!

This was originally envisioned to be something you did for a term, possibly two, not a job for life. I say to encourage that we make it pay even less.

Annielou on April 4, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Compare this to Chicago alderman who have a base salary of $110,000 per year plus benefits. The position is considered part-time. Depressing that have we allowed our government to become our worst enemy.

makaput on April 4, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Dear Rep. Jim Moran,

You don’t even earn what you’re paid now! If you want more, go find another job.

sadatoni on April 4, 2014 at 1:23 PM

Perhaps members of congress can free up their expense account information.

Then we the people can make a fair and accurate judgment on this underpaid thing.

TimBuk3 on April 4, 2014 at 1:43 PM

I had to stop reading before I smashed my computer on the floor. Absolutely OUTRAGED by this.

KMC1 on April 4, 2014 at 6:59 PM

Moran is lying by omission. He gets far more than just his base salary of $174,000 — a salary which, by the way, is increased automatically unless Congress votes to not allow it to happen (which is never).

He doesn’t mention that Congresscritters get a range of perks that increase their package to at least $285,000.

They’re in the 1% before we even get to the perks of office (which Congress votes itself). Wouldn’t you love to get free airport parking? A better retirement plan than most mere mortals? How about $900,000 a year to pay for office staff, and another quarter million for office supplies? Then there’s generous time off (over 200 days per year), with paid airfare and free airport parking.

But all that’s peanuts. Congresscritters are all but exempt from insider-trading laws. That’s right: members of Congress can legally trade stock based on non-public information.

That might help explain why most US Senators are millionaires — even though most were not when they were first elected.

So cry us a river, Jim Moran, you poor, underpaid petty tyrant. If the pay’s not good enough for you, resign and get a real job — like your constituents.

Paul_in_NJ on April 8, 2014 at 8:47 PM