Despite the fact that members of Congress make a salary about 4 times greater than the average American citizen, some members of Congress feel they are “underpaid.”
In fact, Nancy Pelosi has even said that cutting the pay of Congress would violate the “dignity” of the job. This from a woman that flies on a private jet and spent over $100k on gourmet foods, all at taxpayer expense.
In a time of economic stagnation with high unemployment and over 47 million Americans on foodstamps, it seems slightly out of touch for members of Congress to complain about how much they get paid. Especially considering they work less than half of the year, are exempted from the pricey Obamacare insurance, and get to fly first-class on the taxpayer dime.
Democrat Congressman Jim Moran from Virginia thinks his salary of $174,000 is not enough, and is planning to highlight this so-called injustice on the House floor.
“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” Moran told CQ Roll Call. “I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”
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.
He thinks that members of Congress should receive a per diem, much like state legislators get, in addition to their salaries.
The Legislative Branch appropriations bill introduced by Republicans on Wednesday aims to show the chamber’s commitment to austerity by holding spending at current levels. It would continue a freeze on lawmaker salaries that has been in place since 2010.
“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.
Moran is planning to retire at the end of this term, so it could be argued that he is not necessarily seeking a raise for himself. But it is infuriating nonetheless at how disconnected from reality our politicians have become. They do not seem to understand basic economic principles and have no idea what it is like for the regular citizen struggling to get by week to week or month to month.
It is also a gross misrepresentation of facts to claim that members of Congress are the “board of directors” for America. That makes the assumption that they are the ones in charge of the people. He seems to forget that Congress instead works for us, the people. So, if Congress is the “board of directors”, then we the people are the shareholders, and shareholders have the final say.
Maybe it is time that “we the shareholders” fire or slash the pay of our horribly underperforming “board of directors”.