The Gross National Debt

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

But COULD, not would, you do it?


.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Ask most any American today what he thinks about the pay elected officials get and he's going to say it's too much. The higher up the food chain the elected person gets, the more people are going to complain said elected official makes too much money.

Can I get a witless?

That was not a typo. Nor did I mean to insult anyone. I just wanted to make a point.

If you are among those who think members of Congress make too much money, I ask you: Do you know how much they make?

Since the answer to that is probably "No," I ask how do you know it's too much?

Lemme help you out. Members of Congress earn $174,000 a year.

"TOO MUCH!" you scream.

How much should a member of Congress earn? Remember, the congressman has to cover the expense of two places to live, one in Washington (which is very expensive) and one in his home district, cost caries widely across the nation. He's still got to live; food, clothes, gas, taxes, return to his district every so often, etc.

One idea is that members of Congress should not be paid at all. An all volunteer congress. Awesome.

Who's going to foot the bill for their living expenses?

"They should!" you scream. Well, certainly a bunch of them can. I could not find an actual "cost of serving in Congress" but I have read stories of some members of Congress who lived in their office to save the cost of renting an apartment or buying a house in Washington.

If you say Congress should be a volunteer job, you like the idea of having a Congress composed of only the ultra rich. You do not want to have a Congress which can relate to the average American. You are not interested in having a Congress which knows what it is like to actually have to work for a living.

"NO!" you exclaim, "But we've already go that."

And, I ask, whose fault is it that the same people and only rich people get elected to Congress? Who did you vote for in the last election? If you didn't vote at all, your opinion doesn't matter to me. So the fact that members of Congress are rich is your fault. You had a chance to vote for a working-class stiff but didn't.

Come back to the original question. Do members of Congress make too much money? Pile onto this the idea that we should restrict campaign fundraising, contributions and etc.

Lemme put you to this question - Could (not would but could) you walk away from your job for 2 to 6 years and serve in Washington as a member of Congress for free? Could you? Do you have enough money to live on for two to six years?

Not would. Could. I don't care if you are willing or not. I only want to know if you have the financial wherewithal to do it.

Didn't think so.

Could, not would, you serve in Congress while earning the federally mandated minimum wage? Didn't think so. (I'm intentionally ignoring the idea of raising the minimum wage because that gets way complicated in this discussion.)

If you cannot quit your job to serve in Congress for free and still manage to survive, why do you say anyone else should?

All I'm after is parity. Be fair. I'm not saying be equal, just be fair.

No comments:

Post a Comment