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Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:39 AM

"Struggling to make ends meet" on $174K a year?? Really Nancy???

Nancy Pelosi begs us not to ruin her dignity by cutting her paycheck

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is speaking out against a cut in congressional pay because she says it will undermine the dignity of their positions. "I think we should respect the work we do," Pelosi said. "I think it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded." ("Dignity" is apparently a synonym for "fat paycheck.") Pelosi, whose husband, Paul, is a legit real-estate mogul, was quick to add that slicing her own paycheck wouldn’t "mean as much" as those senators who struggle to make ends meet on $174,000 per year. "We are obviously contemplating a sequester," Maryland Rep. Steny Hoyer (D) said. "Obviously we are going to take a cut, like everybody else."



http://m.now.msn.com/nancy-pelosi-says-cutting-congress-pay-undermines-dignity-of-job

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Reply "Struggling to make ends meet" on $174K a year?? Really Nancy??? (Original post)
proud2BlibKansan Feb 2013 OP
annabanana Feb 2013 #1
NOVA_Dem Feb 2013 #5
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #8
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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:40 AM

1. Maintain households in San Francisco AND DC

and watch how far that goes..

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:46 AM

5. is that really a problem? n/t

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:49 AM

8. How many households do you maintain?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #8)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:53 AM

10. What difference does it make?

It isn't a problem for Pelosi and at that salary members can maintain a household in their district and have a roommate in DC.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:10 AM

25. Ever live in DC?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:16 AM

30. NOVA_Dem=Northern Virginia Democrat

I like to think I'm familiar with the place. I worked for the Government Accountability Office (investigators/auditors for Congress).


Do you live in this area?

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #30)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:00 AM

73. Not now, but I did years ago.

IMO, it's not the salaries that are out of line, it's the allowances for staff etc. Particularly in light of how little has been accomplished over the past 4+ years.

I've lived in 'high rent' places most of my life, I would not want to have to maintain 2 such households...even with a roommate, which is why so many congress critters sleep on the sofas in their offices.

Like most people, I have a problem with the quality of representatives...including the Dem from Georgia who was afraid Guam would tip over. Cutting salaries will only lead to more Issa types running for office, he was already a mega-millionaire when he first ran for congress. The newly elected Patrick Murphy of FL's 18th district is a 29-year-old who is probably earning more than he had before...but not that much more. So far he has proven to be a reliable Democratic, no nonsense presence in the House.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #73)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:23 AM

95. Not Pelosi's fault

Now if you want to zero out Republican salaries, then you'd be directing a solution to the problem.

Seriously, how do people not understand that their salaries and benefits are such a drop in the bucket, less than one plane, or battleship, all added up together. Add to that, their enterprises outside of government are so much more valuable.

I find it interesting how many themes here attack Democrats these days, and not on them being too conservative either. What's happened here?

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Response to liberalmike27 (Reply #95)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:26 PM

149. Infiltration by the Republicans pack money

There are organizations paying people to join in any and all media and news conversations on every website to reprint their rhetoric. Be sure of the person and their content, you can trace some it back to the money...it takes time and you will see the same comments on different sites. You know how the tea party started, the Koch's and Rove.

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Response to liberalmike27 (Reply #95)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:51 AM

308. The inmates are running the asylum?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #73)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:37 AM

109. You think the staff is overpaid? You know every time I hear some beltway brat crabbing about how

expensive it is to live in DC, New York, or LA I just about want to puke. Median income in D.C. in 2012 was $61,835. That's right around 9k over the entire nation. Significant, yes. The median income is a mere 29% of what a lowly senator makes. Boo-fucking-who to Pelosi and her brethren.

http://wjcblog.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8341d255953ef013487726ff7970c-800wi

This guy would be more overjoyed on 29% of what Pelosi makes we can be sure of that.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #73)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:44 AM

115. I think her statement is counterproductive.

I'm not advocating for pay cut's. I think Pelosi is one of the last people who should be complaining about congressional pay.

She's more than pulled her weight during Obama's first 2yrs in office but I think her focus (in terms of pay) should be directed at getting rid of the pay freeze on federal employees.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #115)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:10 PM

234. I think anyone who has a pay freeze is quite lucky/privilege. It would be absolutely life-

changing to have the priveledge of earning what I earned 5 or 7 years ago.

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Response to robinlynne (Reply #234)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:55 AM

290. During the campaign, a young man told me that his father

was a doctor and worried that his pay was going to decrease. He apparently meant that his father felt that if
Obama were elected, his pay as a doctor, would go down.

I said that I agreed, that doctors' pay will probably go down in the not-so-distant future. Why? Because teachers' and everyone else's pay has gone down and when other people's pay went down, doctors said nothing. After all, if their patients are earning less, doctors will be paid less.

The real problem is that we don't make anything much any more. Unemployment is, as a result, too high, and overall everyone's pay, everyone's value for their time, is going down.

These congressmen are quick to talk about reducing Social Security and Medicare payments and not raising the minimum wage and cutting here there and everywhere. The obvious solution is to raise the taxes of the rich to the levels they were in the 1950s and 1960s. We had huge war debt to pay back after WWII, and we did it by building infrastructure, thus employing everyone, sending people to school all tuition, etc. paid (the GI bill) and taxing the wealthy at very high rates.

That's what we have to do now. Nothing else will work. It isn't a question of fairness. It is a question of making sure our country, our society, our civilization, survives.

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #290)

Sun Feb 24, 2013, 12:44 PM

335. You nailed it.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:53 AM

64. Exactly

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:45 AM

116. Ever live in DC?

I hear there's a real cheap boarding house on C Street.

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Response to AlbertCat (Reply #116)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:13 PM

141. L...O...L

With a big fat subsidy from "above". But I hear that you have to check your brains at the door when you move in.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:02 PM

133. I used to--and the Congresspeople should go old school--like many of their constituents do when

times get tough.

Back in the day, delegations would chip in and rent a place, and they'd share expenses. This was the paradigm; anything else was an exception. It would be a crash pad, a commuter place. It wasn't where they lived, it was where they slept while they were doing the work of the people.

Now everyone thinks they need their own "Condit condo" love pad. They need to try rooming with three or four others--it's amazing how expenses can be reduced that way.

I say cut their pay and give them free vouchers for air travel home to their district.

That'll put them at HOME during "recess" (such a childish term) and make them more likely to interface with the people they represent, instead of the lobbyists who are bent on influencing them to work against the interests of their constituents.

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Response to MADem (Reply #133)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:02 PM

190. Fuck it.. build them some barracks, with a mess hall.. just like our troops live in..

If it's good enough for the troops, it's good enough for the people who send them off to be killed in the rich mans war for oil...

Better yet, set them up some tent cities like our homeless people live in... how fast do you think they would work on the real issues, like poverty, just to name one?

Peace,

Ghost

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Response to Ghost in the Machine (Reply #190)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:54 PM

200. You know what? That wouldn't be a bad idea, actually--fire up a "SRO" building, with five hundred

and some odd rooms, and let 'em live there. Nothing awful, nothing fancy. Walking distance to work--hell, find a place close enough so that they could put an underground tram from spot A to spot B!

Makes more sense than having them live in multi-million dollar mansions in McLean.

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Response to Ghost in the Machine (Reply #190)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:59 PM

218. Best Post in Years

Worked when I was .mil

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Response to Ghost in the Machine (Reply #190)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:05 PM

240. I like the way you think!

spot on...

screw the plutonomy, once all the boats are rising together, MAYBE, $174k won't be so repugnant.

Cheers,
Agony

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Response to Ghost in the Machine (Reply #190)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:19 PM

242. +13,089

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Response to Ghost in the Machine (Reply #190)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:59 AM

279. With random annual room assignments and shared baths.

I'm more than willing to pay for DC housing for Congress -- at least one of the 52 letters I write each year to my MotHoR and senator is about this -- but I don't want a Republican wing and a Democratic wing. I want them to be neighbors, to see one another when the flu goes around and to see the stress when one member's district gets hit by a disaster. And on living quarters, there should be no such thing as seniority -- pure lottery. Sometimes, you get a corner, sometimes you have to live beside the stairs. Everybody moves, every January.

I also want the Senate and the House to live in the same building so they stop thinking of each other as the enemy.

If they're all in common quarters, and paying for those quarters is not another source of anxiety for them, it becomes much harder for corruption to grow.

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Response to MADem (Reply #133)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:01 PM

205. Did you look at the schedule for this year?

Most of them do go home at 'recess'.... which is defined as a suspension of business or procedure. Some sleep on their office sofas, some share apartments with others. There is, also, the infamous house on C Street.

Sure cut their pay... then we will have only idiots or the very rich representing us. The Issas and the Hank Johnsons (he who worried Guam might tip over). Sounds like an excellent plan going forward. Particularly since the congress closed the loophole that made so many of them wealthy trading stocks with insider information.

I don't have a problem with their pay, under normal circumstances, my problem now is that they are not earning their salaries...but that has only been since Obama took office and the teabaggers gained control of the republican party. Both are temporary conditions.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #205)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:54 PM

217. You coulda fooled me!

When I worked in Europe, I'd spend my summers dealing with those bastards--from April until October--while they came through on "fact finding" (cough, souvenir shopping, fine dining and sightseeing) tours. They'd get a free vacation by pretending to give a shit about security issues overseas--a quick stop at the Embassy for a fast briefing one day, a stop at a military base for a brief and an orientation tour, and the rest of the time spent visiting points of interest, golfing on the best courses, sunning themselves on private beaches, shopping and enjoying sumptuous meals...oh, and being waited on, hand and foot, in Flag/General visitor's quarters.

Free food, free gym memberships, free parking, free rides home to their districts--yeah, these guys are really suffering...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/31/living-large-on-capitol-h_n_1726102.html


Who, save a small cadre of hairshirts, if that (out of over 500 senators and reps), sleeps on their office sofa? I'd love a list! Wait--here we go...it's Republican teapartying men, mostly doing it to "make a point" about waste! And we know what kind of waste they hate--that "welfare" waste that gives things like er, housing, and er, subsidized electricity and heat, and er, free food (but no parking or gym memberships) to the least of our brethren! All these articles resonate:

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/21/members-of-congress-mostly-male-and-republican-sleep-in-their-offices-to-avoid-paying-rent/

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2011/02/13/ethics-group-knocks-thrifty-lawmakers-for-sleeping-in-their-capitol-hill-offices/

WE, The People, are paying for the extra electricity, heat and hot water they are using by mooching off the government. They should be charged rent if they're not going to use the offices solely for the purposes for which they are intended--seems fair to me.

No need to be dramatic about all this--just make 'em go home at recess. Require, as a function of the job, that they work out of their home district or state, in the office spaces that are provided for them in federal buildings for that very purpose, when the legislature is not in session. And limit those damn CODELS. No gold shopping in Bahrain, trips to Stonehenge, or important visits to Germany to coincide with Oktoberfest.

How do you think Gary Condit had time to spend with Chandra Levy? Here's how--he didn't go home.

Do you think that Rick Santorum went home to that shotgun shack house with no furniture that he kept as an address? Of course he didn't. I liked John Kerry just fine, but I know people (stinking rich they are, too) who live on his street on Beacon Hill--and he's never home and he never WAS home, because on the few occasions he came home, they closed off the street and made it very miserable for the regular residents. Teddy K would come home, because his boat was here, but he wasn't always that way--when he was doing coke and partying, he'd rather go to Florida (and get in trouble).

Perhaps a better way around all this is to stop pretending that lobbyists, like corporations, are people. They aren't people, they are parasites, and they suck our blood by attaching themselves to our representatives. There is an unhealthy alliance between corporations and congress, and the goal these clowns have in mind is to enrich themselves while fucking us over. Cut that cord, require congress to put We The People first, and then maybe we'd have something.


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Response to MADem (Reply #217)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:54 PM

248. Righteous rant!

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Response to Hassin Bin Sober (Reply #248)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:39 PM

263. Thank you!

I always enjoy seeing your angry, red-eyed muffin, there!!!

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Response to MADem (Reply #217)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:50 AM

307. So now the issue is 12-year-old scandals,

and perks? That's wandering well off-point. Nothing could induce me to defend these 'fact-finding' junkets. Nor would I defend the absurdity of 15+ member staffs for each congress critter. I simply think the outrage is being turned on the wrong target.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #307)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:33 PM

321. I am not bothered by Nancy Pelosi's comments (or non-comments). I've said that elsewhere

in this thread.

I am not going to "pile on" her, nor am I mad at her in any way. She works her ass off--if anyone deserves perks, it's her. She actually gets involved in the legislative process and she is interested in bringing legislation to a vote, not preventing votes. She is not my "target."

My comments are directed at the institution, not the minority leader.

That said, I do have an issue with Congress, in a generic way. They do too little work for way too much money. They need to equalize their equation. They need to represent their districts, not "their lobbyists."

I don't have a problem with larger staffs, either, if the DC office and the district office are being used for constituent services. That is the life-blood of a good representative. People wonder how that doddering old racist basstid, Strom Thurmond, could be reelected, year in and year out. People wonder why black folk voted for that unrepentant old segregationist. It wasn't because of Essie Mae, it was because that old SOB had the Very Best Constituent Services Machine on the Hill. His staff should be called back to teach a class on it. If you wrote "Old Strom" a letter, you got an answer, you got a phone call, and you got a follow-up. And the person who called you was unfailingly polite, helpful, kind and often from your neck of the woods. If you couldn't get the answer you wanted, you understood--clearly--why you couldn't get the answer you wanted. His CS model was the paradigm. It was like a perpetual motion machine, and it kept on cranking even when he was being pushed to votes in a wheelchair during the day, and returned to his hospital room at Walter Reed at night.

It's not "wandering off point" to talk about the failures of Congress. It's taking a flawed OP and putting it BACK on point--unless you'd prefer to play the "bash and defend" game for a few more rounds...? Subthreads, like streams off of rivers, do deviate--and this is a subthread. If you don't care to discuss the issues I've raised, I certainly won't force you, but the OP's topic did lend itself to this offshoot.

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Response to MADem (Reply #321)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:17 PM

324. Madem,

I have read many complaints about threads being hijacked. While you may see it a 'streams off of rivers', others seem to find it offensive. Sorry if you were offended by anything I said, that was not my intent. OTOH, it presented you with an excellent opportunity to rant.

I have said all I need to on the subject. I don't think they are overpaid, I do think they are underworked and very few representatives or senators use their enormous staffs the way Thurmond used his. I have no idea what "bash and defend" means.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #324)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:31 PM

325. The OP is bashing Nancy Pelosi.

Comments directed at me are defending Nancy Pelosi, and are coming at me from the POV that I am somehow bashing her because I take issue with Congress.

I'm not. I am bashing Congress, though, and I don't think it's a 'derail' to note that there is dysfunction in an institution where she is one of the leaders. It's an expansion of the topic, is all.

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Response to MADem (Reply #325)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:50 PM

327. Got it...

I didn't think you were bashing Pelosi. I think any disagreement we have on this issue, may stem from the fact that you see it as a long term problem..or worse, permanent problem...and I see it as something that will be resolved over the next few election cycles.

The issue of congressional dysfunction deserves its own thread, and you are well suited to begin one (or the 15 thousandth)

But you may want to take a look at the linked information before you so vigorously defend huge congressional staffs. What doesn't appear there is that the 'maximum' salary is $169,459 for a senate staff member and $168,411 for a House staffer.

http://www.theopenhouseproject.com/2009/12/02/whats-the-average-salary-of-house-staff/

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #327)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:58 PM

329. I don't think, if we break it down, we have much (if any) disagreement, actually!

Different slants, maybe, but I think we're on the same end of this matter.

I do agree that some staffers are overpaid, and without going into excruciating detail, I have seen "Calista" cases where staffers are kept on and promoted for something other than their administrative and networking skills...!

Some staffers can make even more money than that, if they play it right--there are a lot of expenses that one can "max out" without ever needing a receipt when filing a travel claim. If you're a staffer who travels with your principal often, you can make a very fine payday indeed.

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Response to MADem (Reply #329)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:09 PM

331. That is the true definition of 'big government'

Not what government does, but those giant staffs and the Calista cases.

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Response to MADem (Reply #133)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:31 AM

287. Pelosi NEVER said the phrase quoted by the OP

 

The OP got it wrong and misquoted something that Pelosi never said. Check out the actual article

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #287)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:01 AM

292. I think most people are upset about the "dignity of the job" portion of the statement.

Did Minority Leader Pelosi make this statement?

"I don't think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "I think it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded."

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #292)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:31 AM

296. No, most people are upset about the "making ends meet" fake quote, which is why the OP used it

 

You may have a beef with dignity, but most people are far more upset about the (false) quote which makes Pelosi sound insensitive to the economic woes of most of the country.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #296)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:35 AM

297. I see the word "dignity" mentioned often in this thread.

Can you show that "making ends meet" is mentioned with greater frequency than "dignity" in this thread?

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #297)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:55 AM

300. A quick eyeball of the thread shows many more posts concerned with the money/ making ends meet theme

 

If I were interested, I would count up all the posts mentioning money/making ends meet and then count up all those mentioning dignity--some posts would count toward both totals--and then see where we are numerically. However, an eyeball makes it pretty obvious.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #287)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:40 AM

299. Well, I'm not crawling up Nancy's butt about that particular comment.

I do think that Congress, as a unit, has lost its way, though.

They spend too much time fundraising, and too little time doing the work of the people.

If we docked their pay for every day they diddled around and didn't act on legislation, they just might get the spirit.

Of course, they control the purse strings--they are foxes watching our henhouses.

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Response to MADem (Reply #299)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:57 AM

301. It's good to know she didn't say it though

 

Congress has become, on the whole, much more controlled by corporate money. That's a systemic problem and Citizens United certainly propelled that problem into hyperspace. Bill Moyers had a great show on that recently.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #25)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:24 PM

262. median household income in DC = $59K (2009).

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #262)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:33 AM

303. And?

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #5)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:41 AM

113. Pelosi is wealthy but there are members who aren't

i think she was speaking for them.

and just not paying people for a job, and yes, it's a job, is wrong.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #113)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:50 AM

122. Does that mean they received a raise?

If they weren't wealthy before getting the job I suspect their new salary represents a LARGE pay bump.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #113)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:05 PM

135. 174 thousand a year IS wealthy

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #135)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:36 PM

154. look, Pelosi is wealthy, and doesn't depend on her salary

and yes, average people, surprisingly a lot of average people struggle with poverty, but average people who had to have a place to live in DC and San Francisco for their jobs would need to spend about $2500/month in SF and probably $2000/month in DC just for an apartment.

i think when you account for the housing costs, I'm guessing household expenses in DC probably amount to 30k/year there, that the 174k isn't actually wealthy, as in rich. it is upper middle class. but not wealthy.

it's nitpicky, true and at times i think congressional salaries should be tied to the minimum wage. but then i remember the salaries of legislators in Arizona and they were so low that middle class people couldn't afford to take those jobs on and instead we got a legislature of the worst cronies and industry puppets.

so a lower salary doesn't make for a better congress. in theory it should, but it doesn't, just means that only the rich will take the jobs --if you say, made congress pay 40k per year.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #135)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:05 AM

293. Housing in D.C.is very expensive, and Senators

are also supposed to maintain a residence in their district.

There is a reason that most Senators these days are independently wealthy-- the job doesn't pay that much compared to its increased expenses. People like Nancy Pelosi don't have a problem. She's trying to make it possible for the Joe Bidens of the Senate.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #113)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:52 PM

166. Sherrod Brown was worth ~$150,000 when he became Senator

I recall it was less than I'm worth. So I gave his campaign $1000.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #166)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:55 PM

171. Joe Biden was too

i don't have any issue with a Senator like Biden was, Sherrod Brown or Bernie Sanders or a Rep like Raul Grijalva making 174k/year if they do their job well, and those do.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #171)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:02 PM

174. Sherrod spent his free time at peace rallies and Camp Wellstone activist training

Travel, wardrobe, donations: it's not a cheap life.

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Response to Kolesar (Reply #166)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:50 PM

229. So what? His wife has a career.

It isn't like millions of us who don't have a working spouse or a job of any kind to support ourselves.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #229)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:38 PM

333. That sentence is rather Palineque

sorry

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #113)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:42 PM

185. And?

My wife and I live just outside of DC...both of us together make less then 174,000...yet we have a mortgage, a car payment, utilities, cell phone, etc.

We also have 11 grand children...and I work for the federal government haven't had a pay raise in two years, looks like I won't be getting one this year...I'm not at work today because of the President's Day holiday, but when I go back to work tomorrow...Congress will still be off!

And my place of employment has already submitted a furlough list to the OPM...so don't ask me to feel sorry for the Pelosi's "poor" cousins in Congress!

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #185)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:01 PM

189. it was insensitive comment, i can agree on that

i think the difference between yours and their salary is that they have to maintain a household in two very expensive places.

i'm know you make less than 174k, obviously, but maintaining a residence in DC and here in SF would probably not leave you enough to cover the mortgage you are paying there and other household expenses.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #113)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:39 PM

220. half of congresspeople are millionaires. the other half is mostly very well-off.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #220)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:39 PM

250. yes, i understand this, but not all are

and because there are rich people doesn't mean that the congresspeople of modest means need a pay cut.

i don't think i'm saying anything that controversial.

i've lived in Arizona where we had a horrible legislature, making 15k/year and we were getting what we paid for.

and we really did lack good people in part because it was almost a full time job to do well but people of middle class or even upper middle class salaries couldn't do that much other work for just 15k.

i think the amount we pay congresspeople is so far down the priority list of what's wrong with congress, that it distracts from what really is wrong with congress.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #250)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:01 PM

252. I agree with all your posts on this thread. Thanks. (n/t)

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #250)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:12 PM

255. neither do ordinary people of modest means deserve a pay cut, yet they have gotten one

 

regularly since the 80s.

so i think congresspeople can bear a little pain and austerity.

base salary for congresspeople = $174K. which is more than 95+% of the population gets. cutoff for top 5% = $154K.

that's not to mention health benefits, a nice retirement, and lots of perks.

and half of them are millionaires.

so no more talk about congresscritters of modest means, ok?

i know people who live from recycling pop cans and scrap metal off the highway.

fuck congress and their modest means.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #113)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:30 AM

286. Pelosi NEVER said the phrase quoted by the OP

 

The OP got it wrong and misquoted something that Pelosi never said. The OP has refused to change the title, so I can only refer you to the article to check out the truth.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:47 AM

6. I can see that, but how many Senators live entirely off that $174k? I suppose if we had an actual

working class person get into the Senate, they would find that didn't seem like a lot of money. Cutting them back is a joke compared to what they could do if they actually represented the people.

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Response to brewens (Reply #6)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:15 AM

29. The amount needed to maintain a residence in DC is how they justified paying themselves almost

 

six times the average household income in the first place. A working class person would have no problem making it on this amount. If there's any real problem, it's the insistence on maintaining the lifestyle of a millionaire on the taxpayer's dime.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #29)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:27 AM

38. According to your calculations I make 3 times the average income and....

I live in alone in NJ. I just make my mortgage payment and bills on a modest home in a modest neighborhood. It seems to me that Congress salaries are fair.
Unless you want to make Congress a charity job that only the rich can afford to dabble in, we need to pay these people at least enough to live on in two locations.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #38)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:57 AM

69. Oops, it's almost 4 times average household income ($46K), not 6.

 

If you have problems making it on $138,000 annual gross in NJ, you either need a better accountant or reassessment of your own lifestyle. It's not surprising to hear this as living beyond one's means has come to define The American Dream.

Congress makes a far better living than 95% of their constituents and it may have slipped past you, but Congress is already the province of the wealthy. That's the source of our problem, that and the fact that those that go in not rich soon become rich with alarming regularity.

Compare the job of political representative to other professions and it becomes clear that, aside from movie star, professional athlete, hedge fund manager, or inheritance, it is one of the easiest and most lucrative professions in the nation.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #69)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:50 PM

163. And you don't even have to do the work.

You have a staff to do that for you...paid for by the taxpayer.
All you have to do is show up for the vote and sometimes make a one minute speech on the floor.
And then there are the side benefits...like getting your cousin a job with a corporation that you voted to help, or a book deal worth millions and a loan that is forgiven...(like the Newt)

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Response to zeemike (Reply #163)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:36 PM

183. I'm beyond amazed that Americans just don't seem to care at all about the blatant

 

graft that has come to be, not just common, but SOP in DC. The entire legislature is made up of rich people who come to make themselves richer or middle class people who come to make themselves rich and all at taxpayer expense. And nobody's doing anything for the people who send them and pay the bills.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #183)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:49 PM

188. I'm with you on that.

And someone could write a book on how we were induced to ignore it as if it were normal....but who really would publish such a book?...and who would read it if it was written?
We seem to be in a permanent state of I don't give a fuck...just don't bother me with shit.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #163)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:58 PM

202. Actually, I read that a Congress person spends 80% of their time fundraising

and only 2 hours a day on Congressional business.
Some website pointed that out, I am sure Google can find it.
Plus...a lot of "expenses" are paid for by Congressional budget, and by "donors".
While it is true that some junior members have reported they sleep in their offices,
there are also free showers, a gym, a subsidized mess hall.
Given the option of that vs. 2,000 per month for an apt....I could camp out pretty easily in my office.

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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #202)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:19 PM

219. That sounds about right.

I read where the average congressman has to raise 15k a week for his next election.
If it were me I would sleep in my office and save the money...but then I have not become accustomed to the good life and it would seem fine to me.

And BTW, a while beck Eddy Murphy did a movie called The Distinguished Gentleman (it was not a comedy) that pointed out this things...If you have not seen it it might be worth looking up.

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Response to zeemike (Reply #163)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:34 PM

237. Don't forget the 4 hours a day

they have to spend raising money for re-election.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #69)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:32 PM

211. Here in Bergen County $200,000 per year is just making it into the upper middle class.

The average household income here is about $90,000. In the dozen or so towns in the northern end, it's probably twice that much. My property tax payments are higher that most American's mortgage payments. If you don't live in a high cost area you have no concept of how much EVERYTHING costs.

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Response to Walk away (Reply #211)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:44 PM

221. If it's that tight, then you are living beyond your means.

 

I lived in the Hollywood Hills for a decade and moved when my income no longer supported that. I earned a bit more than you and after all the taxes I got to keep a little more than half. C'est la vie. But that is still beside the point.

Being in Congress does not entitle one to the lifestyle of a multimillionaire. There is a lot of range between abject poverty and the opulence of working inside the beltway. Being in Congress carries additional perqs that neither you nor I come close to, plus it's not even a full-time job.

Sorry, I have no sympathy for the crooks that the parties appoint for us, They broke this nation and they can get by with a little less especially when they are determined to make us get by with a whole lot less.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:57 AM

15. Can I have the rich real estate mogul husband too?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:42 PM

198. he picks out clothes for her

she's a busy person. she doesn't have time to shop and he knows what she looks good wearing.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #198)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:39 PM

238. If he picks out her clothes,

he's doing a great job. - She always looks elegant and well-put together.
I bet a lot of her wardrobe is tailor-made for her - not off the racks.

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Response to No Vested Interest (Reply #238)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:15 PM

241. There was an article about it

I don't think it's custom.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:02 AM

18. There are poor people in both cities

Two modest households should be possible on 174K.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:39 AM

51. DU forum policy prohibits me from posting information that would completely torpedo annabanana's

 

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:37 PM

155. I agree

I don't know about DC, but when I was last in SF, a tiny home on a fraction of land was $250k, and that was the 90's, and I know by 2000 it was up to $400k, and I bet a regular house easily runs a million. What you pay to rent in, say, Boston, you could buy a house for 50 miles north. I assume DC also has multi-thousand dollar rents even for a 2-bedroom. I know $174k sounds like a lot of money, but in the right environment(s) it barely makes it. Nancy has a permanent home in SF, and has to maintain a place to live in DC. I know she's not complaining, but other people with comprable situations would find that tight given the high cost of living in each area, plus airfare which I assume they have to pay for too.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:48 PM

160. Baloney.

One can always sell the mansion in SF and rent an apartment.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:36 PM

212. Then only own ONE house

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:03 PM

253. She's not a single income householder

Her hubby is hauling it in so she's not struggling, at all.

However, I can imagine somebody who bought too much house in a suburb or exurb is living on fast food and Campbell's soups while paying rent in DC. Being strapped on that income is certainly possible and it's not even too difficult to do. All it takes is a motormouthed real estate agent and getting caught up in the thrill of the chase.

However, most of them are not single income householders. Likely their kids go to state universities instead of the Ivies, but they're able to make it on that much quite nicely.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:46 AM

276. Sorry but 174k a year is still a lot of money, even in the city

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:29 AM

285. Pelosi NEVER said the phrase quoted by the OP

 

The OP got it wrong and misquoted something that Pelosi never said. The OP has refused to change the title, so I can only refer you to the article to check out the truth.

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Response to annabanana (Reply #1)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:02 PM

330. See, that's an HP not an MP

 

Her problem vs. my problem.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:42 AM

2. Congress people usually maintain two households.

And just have higher overhead in general.

Yes, some are wealthy on their own, but paying them 'well' leaves the door open for non-millionaires.

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Response to onehandle (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:55 AM

12. Well my family maintains ONE household on less than half of that

So I call bullshit on this claim of struggling to make ends meet on $174K a year.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:29 AM

41. Then maybe you should become a Congress person! nt

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Response to Walk away (Reply #41)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:56 AM

67. LOL! MY approval rating is low enough as it is.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #67)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:02 AM

76. Maybe being more hated than head lice calls for a...

professional salary!

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Response to Walk away (Reply #76)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:08 PM

136. Hey! Proud2B is a public school teacher.

So out there in the "real" world, her profession is considered on a par with head lice.

Proud2B, maybe being a despised CongressCritter would be an improvement!

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #136)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:59 PM

173. Only republicans hate School Teachers....Everyone hates the Congress!!!! nt

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #12)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:34 AM

47. So does ours

But we live in a low-cost housing area, not California or DC, let alone both of them. Even I can understand that the cost of living is far higher in some areas than others.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:42 AM

3. ZERO sympathy here.

Damn, the wealthy really piss me off sometimes. Even the ones with a 'D' after their names.

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Response to sadbear (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:38 PM

184. None from me either!

As someone who just lost a job, I sincerely hope that no one in Congress is expecting any sympathy from me!

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:45 AM

4. Speaker Pelosi has her moments...

like when she said that chained cpi isn't a cut and would strengthen SS.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:05 AM

21. Or when she took impeachment off the table. . .

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:11 AM

26. her worst moment imo

but i think she could have just kept her mouth shut on this issue. what kind of mileage do you get by letting your greed show. she's had many great moments too, if i was in her district i'd still be voting for her.

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Response to barbtries (Reply #26)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:25 PM

148. She's speaking up for the members who don't make as much outside the job as her

If Joe Schmo from Illinois complains, no one gives a shit.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #21)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:05 AM

81. Or when she personally bottled up HR 676 to keep it out of the health care debate

 

for over two years.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #4)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:07 PM

191. ...or when she saved Wall Street...


In a nauseating display of bi-partisanship seldom seen in Washington,
The House and The Senate with Democratic Majorities working with the Bush White House,
delivered a $TRILLION DOLLARS to Wall Street,
no questions asked, no strings attached,
less than a week after receiving a 3-page Extortion Note that threatened
the Quarterly Profits of their Investment Portfolios.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:47 AM

7. I don't think she is speaking for herself...

While $174K is definitely a healthy income, most reps are supporting a household in their home state while tying to stay alive in DC. Many sleep on sofas in their offices, but they still must eat. I've often wondered who pays for all of their trips home since the rethugs came up with this new system of fewer days in DC

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:56 AM

13. It's still a ridiculous notion - whether she's speaking of herself or not.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #13)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:23 AM

34. Okay...then lt's not compensate them at all,

and see who runs....That's the way it was originally set up, after all.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #34)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:58 AM

70. I disagree. They deserve a salary.

I just think that complaining it's low is absolutely ridiculous.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #70)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:04 AM

78. I don't think she was complaining it was too low,

she was speaking out against having the compensation cut. That her phrasing may have rubbed some the wrong way is understandable.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #78)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:13 PM

194. If they were paid like normal people, on job performance, they wouldn't be making jack shit

and would have been fired long ago.

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Response to Harry Monroe (Reply #194)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:02 PM

206. Obviously

their constituents do not agree.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #34)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:44 PM

227. Bingo, lets only elect those who can afford to work for free

and then lets see what we end up with in Congress. i am sure they will represent me

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:19 AM

31. They all get a travel allowance, the minimum is over $6,000 a year with additional compensation

computed using a formula: 64x the rate per mile, multiplied by the number of miles from DC to the most distant part of the home district. They are not paying for it, we are.
www.senate.gov/CRSReports/crs-publish.cfm?pid...

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #31)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:31 AM

44. Yes, I was just looking at it myself...

The greatest amount of money is spent on all of those allowances, staff, offices etc. When government 'works' I have no problem paying for it...the nonsense we have endured for the past 4+ years is what drives me crazy.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:20 AM

32. the $174k is the BEGINNING of their comp

http://library.clerk.house.gov/reference-files/112_20120104_Salary.pdf

their MRA allowance is 1.2 mill a year PLUS 256k in travel and business expenses.

Guys,none of them are suffering

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:33 AM

45. There is a difference

between compensation and allowances, which must be accounted for. It's those allowances, however, that make government so expensive.

So how much did you win bowling? You cheater you.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #45)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:38 AM

50. at the end of the day?

bout 700

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #50)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:40 AM

52. I love it!

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #32)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:49 PM

162. Of course they aren't and the majority of them are rich.

Their obscene wealth is one of the reasons is why this country is so screwed up.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:56 AM

128. the taxpayers pay for their trips home

and imagine that they are paying $3,000 a month to rent a place in DC (an amount that seems way excessive to me) Now that leaves them with $138,000 to maintain their other home, assuming they don't have a spouse with a job. That's not enough money to make somebody super rich, but it is a long, long, long way from struggling. I guarantee you that in 100% of Senate districts and 98% of Congressional districts that $138,000 is well above the median income. That half the households in their own district are living on less, very often much, much less than that. In my case, over $100,000 less than that, and I am hardly struggling myself.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #128)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:42 AM

305. Ah, so they pay no taxes?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #305)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:44 AM

318. they pay no more in taxes, as a percent

than anybody else who lives on much, much less than $138,000.

I live on $34,000 pre-tax and they live on $138,000 pre-tax.

Seems pretty doable to me.

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Response to hfojvt (Reply #318)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:07 PM

320. Okay...

everyone is entitled to their own opinion. If you think the quality of representation will be improved by cutting salaries, that's fine.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:34 AM

288. Pelosi NEVER said the phrase quoted by the OP

 

The OP got it wrong and misquoted something that Pelosi never said. The OP has refused to change the title, so I can only refer you to the article to check out the truth.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:51 AM

9. In typical DC fashion, she has been "extraordinarily lucky" and managed

 

to become a multimillionaire in her own right on that "inadequate salary". Her husband has likewise been "lucky" in his ability to get in on huge profits from trading on government activity.

Of course, she is an amateur compared to Senator Feinstein.

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:23 AM

35. +1000

Best post in the thread so far!

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:54 AM

11. If your chosen career (politics) has become such a financial burden...

perhaps it is time to move on, for better or for worse as a consituent.

This is a chosen lifestyle choice, it is not one that is burdened upon our elected officials.

I find the ability to muster sympathies rather lacking in this case...

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:47 PM

187. No shit. It's a shame how many congressmen have to quit because they can't afford to serve.



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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:56 AM

14. How about we just call their recesses furloughs, as in unpaid leave?

Maybe they'll reconsider some of the many recesses they give themselves? Like the current one that is making the sequester all but inevitable? What about the dignity of the "ordinary" government employees whose already rather meager paychecks will be several hundred Dollars (Dollars they won't have to pay a bill) smaller because of a furlough? What about the dignity of the government employees who will be laid off permanently?

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Response to Blaukraut (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:48 AM

57. Love this idea!

They will argue it's not vacation time, but it's time for them to work in their own districts. If by work you mean campaigning and hanging out with local lobbyists, then yes, that's work. But I'd much rather see more legislating than campaigning, and certainly local lobbyists and even just plain citizens can reach them via phone, skype, email and snail mail. It really is bullshit they need so much time away from DC and doing the actual job they were elected to do.

Me, personally, I'd love to get paid to sit at home and read, since I work at a library and it's related to my job to know about books. But my mean ol' employer just won't let me do it!

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Response to Blaukraut (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:01 PM

204. They'd go out on the "Speaker's Circuit" and rake in millions speaking to lobbyists!

They make the rules when it comes to their wages--they'll never screw themselves. They're foxes in charge of the henhouse.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:00 AM

16. We should pay them more, increase the lifetime benefits, and forbid any of

Them from ever working for any lobbying organization or in any executive or b.o.d. capacity for any company or organization that does any government contracting.

The problem is endemic corruption, not 175k a year.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:29 AM

40. that's the answer.

of course they would have to be the ones to decide that so we can be sure it will never happen.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:52 AM

63. Agree

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:59 AM

130. +1000 n/t

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #16)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:52 PM

167. +1

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:00 AM

17. Every two years they could lose the "job" so maybe they should not think of it that way

They are generally successful people giving back by serving.

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Response to treestar (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:34 AM

46. Of the ten longest serving current House members, the longest term is 54 years, 27 terms Dingle

lowest is Waxman, whom I love, who has served 34 years in 17 terms. For many it is a career, not a way to 'give back'.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #46)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:45 PM

213. But they don't get to treat is as a "career."

They can be booted out every two years.

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Response to treestar (Reply #17)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:46 AM

117. Giving back?

Haha, you're a funny one. Many of them are successful people who think they're entitled to a national political position. But if you think "giving back" is passing laws that consistently benefit you and your wealthy buddies you're living in a fantasy world.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #117)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:46 PM

214. They've passed some laws that benefit people

What about the civil rights laws, the New Deal, Medicare, all that? The Violence Against Women Act? There are thousands.

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Response to treestar (Reply #214)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:30 PM

245. They passed those laws because we made them.

When you start ass kissing and stop holding their feet to the fire they try and get away with anything they can.

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Response to ForgoTheConsequence (Reply #245)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:11 AM

316. We elect them

The voters aren't always such passive losers that they choose the worst people for their representatives.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:03 AM

19. It really isn't much considering the job

And the way they have to live. Two households, travel, clothing, etc.

They probably take home around $7,000-8,000 a month after federal tax, social security, Medicare, state income taxes, TSP, mandatory retirement contribution, healthcare premium, dental, life insurance premium, etc, etc.

I'm a federal employee, I make $48,000 a year and take home about $2400 a month after all the deductions and that's in Florida, no state income tax.

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Response to madville (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:05 AM

20. And I know plenty of unemployed folks who would trade places with you in a minute

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #20)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:48 AM

58. And that has nothing to do with my point

My point being that people typically have to live off 1/2 - 2/3 of their gross salary. If a member of congress is from California for example they probably take home 1/2 of that 174k salary after taxes and other deductions if they are lucky.

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Response to madville (Reply #58)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:01 AM

75. Half of 174,000 is 87,000

More than I earn as a teacher. And I would argue I do more to actually HELP make this country better than 90% of the reps in Congress.

I have zero sympathy for these people.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #75)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:37 AM

111. This is what you chose as your profession. If you wanted to be a politician then you too could enjoy

that pay. While no one is arguing that your contribution to society doesn't merit more pay, this has nothing to do with your first
post about their pay. Are they crying poverty or asking for our sympathy?

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Response to madville (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:37 AM

48. The don't 'have to' have two housholds. They get a healthy travel allowance and other expenses

paid as well. I think we all pay for clothing in our jobs, do we not? Such a burden for them to clothe themselves, really?
Many, many occupations work away from home and are not filled with folks who maintain two full households. Many.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #48)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:02 AM

77. So how much should they make?

Got a dollar figure? Keep in mind they probably actually take home $90,000 of that 174k now.

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #48)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:22 PM

260. do you want to provide a link to a listing of the covered expenses?

That travel allowance does not cover the cost of either household that they must maintain.

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Response to madville (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:08 AM

84. Do you also get all the allowances they get?

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Response to madville (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:12 PM

140. And I believe they have fully paid

healthcare, which can make a large difference.

No matter how you slice and dice it, these people are making much more than the average person in this country. And this is a job they sought out, remember, not simply the only one they could possibly get after college.

Plus, do you have any idea how many events an elected official gets to go to where there's free food? The one time I ran for office I was astonished at how many meals I got just at that level.

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Response to madville (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:35 PM

152. much of that is wrong

they get free healthcare plus use of the congressional facilities for free...which include a spa and massages plus a fully equipped gym.

They pay no SS,or dental,or life insurance unless they buy supplemental.
They pay no mandatory retirement.They are guaranteed a pension for life after they leave washington.

They can fly to the tropics for the weekend and give a ten minute speech to corporate types gathered there and write the whole trip off...IF they can't get it payed as a business expense by the execs...while pocketing a 50k speaking fee...all legal.

They can write a book on any subject they are SUGGESTED to write about by private interests and get a guaranteed payment whether the book sells a single copy...all legal.

any senator or rep who is broke or doing without is naive in the extreme(not likely) or a fool (also not likely)

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Response to backwoodsbob (Reply #152)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:46 PM

186. You are mostly wrong

Most current members of congress are covered by FERS just like any other federal employee hired after about 1980. The main difference is they get 1.7% of annual salary per year applied to their annuity versus 1% like most other federal employees.

They pay social security and make retirement contributions, they also have to serve a minimum number of years to be vested in the retirement and reach minimum retirement age and/or minimum years of service to begin collecting that annuity. Like 30 years of service and age 56, or 20 years of service and age 60.

A few of the old ones might still be under CSRS which is similar to what you mentioned but that's probably <10% of the ones serving and they are trickling away.

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Response to madville (Reply #19)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:54 PM

168. The problem is they don't DO their job

Have you paid attention to how little actually gets done there? Have you paid attention as to how much they are bought and paid for by corporations and the billionaire class? Have you paid attention to how much time they have OFF? In recent years, three-day "work" weeks were very common, and little was even accomplished.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:06 AM

22. Zero sympathy nancy.

Zero.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:07 AM

23. That is $83.65 an hour

based on a 40 hour week - 52 weeks a year.

So install time clocks and pay them for when they actually work.

Problem solved.

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Response to Ruby the Liberal (Reply #23)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:09 AM

24. Do they even work a 40 hour week?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:05 AM

79. Better question is, do they even work a 40 hour MONTH?

Every time I see Congress in the news these days, it's related to them going on yet another recess.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:15 AM

91. Half of that time is spent fundraising

The amount of time that members of Congress in both parties spend fundraising is widely known to take up an obscene portion of a typical day -- whether it's "call time" spent on the phone with potential donors, or in person at fundraisers in Washington or back home. Seeing it spelled out in black and white, however, can be a jarring experience for a new member, as related by some who attended the November orientation.

A PowerPoint presentation to incoming freshmen by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, obtained by The Huffington Post, lays out the dreary existence awaiting these new back-benchers. The daily schedule prescribed by the Democratic leadership contemplates a nine or 10-hour day while in Washington. Of that, four hours are to be spent in "call time" and another hour is blocked off for "strategic outreach," which includes fundraisers and press work. An hour is walled off to "recharge," and three to four hours are designated for the actual work of being a member of Congress -- hearings, votes, and meetings with constituents. If the constituents are donors, all the better. The presentation assured members that their fundraising would be closely monitored; the Federal Election Commission requires members to file quarterly reports.

Cue the Violins


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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #24)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:20 PM

179. Yep - hence the win-win.

Their "standard" hourly rate is set, let them put in overtime and skip vacations if they need more cash.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #24)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:01 AM

269. I'm sure some who defend politicians at every turn might say when they're at dinner

with lobbyists, you know; the dinners most of us couldn't afford after three months of saving...

They're actually at work.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:13 AM

27. I'll express a slim modicrum of sympathy

We live in an era where utility infielders on last place major league baseball teams make that kind of money. Me on the other hand, I get by on a tenth of that. So what is fair? Hard to say in a society with the values that our one has. I get that as often as not the people who make it into the U.S. Senate could command incomes twice as high in the privte sector. On the other hand, a good number of them use their politial office holder fame and conncections to catapult themselves into the top 1% of income makers in America.

All things considered, I don't begrudge our national elected officials the well above average salaries that they earn. With their offices come out of pocket wadrobe expenses I would never put up with having to pay, for just one trivial example.

But we are in an era when politicians like to talk about the need for "shared sacrifices". And if that is the lense that they choose to legislate through, then I am sorry. The sacrifices they are being asked to make fall somewhere near the far back of the line.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:14 AM

28. I wish that I had to struggle to make ends meet on 6X what I make now

How in the world to these poor souls manage it?


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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:22 AM

33. I say they go for it

and watch how quick the "small govt" tea baggers change their tune on "wasteful spending"

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:25 AM

36. My "dignity" is much smaller than theirs

So it's not like it makes much difference if mine keeps getting cut.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:26 AM

37. Necessary for the dignity of the job?

Stop it Nancy, yer killin' me...

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:28 AM

39. Congressional salaries should be set by the market - lower them until candidates stop running.

At current salaries, there seems to be no dearth of willing candidates.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:30 AM

42. Cut in pay got you down?

As my senator you've sat by while the entire VFX industry that used to employ thousands at good pay providing for many families in your state has been off shored. Try going home and explaining to your kids that your job is gone when the company you worked for for 14 years goes bankrupt and that things will have to change dramatically. 174,000? As if that is all senators get paid after factoring in all the gifts they receive from lobbyists and donors.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:30 AM

43. We don't want a situation where only independantly wealthy millionaries can

be elected to government, do we?

It's an expensive life to have. If we want people who don't already have money before they run for office to be able to run for office, it has to pay enough for a great deal of travel and to have two homes, at least one of which will be in in expensive market.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #43)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:51 AM

59. Their travel expenses are covered.

Here is all the information on Congressional Salaries and Allowances:

http://library.clerk.house.gov/reference-files/112_20120104_Salary.pdf

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Response to Bluenorthwest (Reply #59)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:13 AM

88. It's still an expensive life and should earn a good salary

so the job can be held by anyone, regardless of wealth before being elected.

How much do you think congressional reps should make?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:37 AM

49. Nancy is a millionaire.

she can live off of her investments at this point in her life.

She has no children at home and I seriously doubt she still has a mortgage.

She can cut her pay as well as all members of congress.

perhaps if they had to function on what an actual middle class family has to exist on, they would have a bit more sympathy and empathy for our plight.

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Response to Javaman (Reply #49)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:44 AM

55. What they will live off of is the special treatment given by lobbyists.

If they need help I'm sure their favorite lobbyist can find them a paid speaking engagement......

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Response to think (Reply #55)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:57 AM

68. Exactly.

anyone pleading poverty in congress is full of it.

last time it was checked by the GAO only two members of congress were not millionaires. Nancy was not one of them.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:41 AM

53. Actually I believe we should pay them much more BUT

make it illegal for them to take money from the corporations and special interest groups.

No more revolving doors. No more corporate whoring. With long jail sentences for any congress critter that dares to whore himself out to corporations & special interests for additional cash. jobs, or perks.

Pay them like their private industry counter parts but demand they work for US not the fucking corporations.

When you have all the responsibilities and demands that are put on our leaders their pay is paltry in comparison to what it takes to maintain on that level. So disdain them for making 6 figures if you must but these people are watching over the spending of trillions of our money.

If we don't pay them well to work for us the corporations will and and have. It's ludicrous to watch sports stars and celebrities making millions every year while the people we entrust with the spending of trillions of our dollars every year get paid less than 200k yearly.

You get what you pay for.

And for those that speak of altruism I use to be a fan and I am still a fan in theory. But when it comes to leaders in government altruism has a failed record where graft and corruption ultimately overshadow the few true altruists left in government.

I'd rather pay them well and have strict laws to put their asses in jail if they take more from corporations. And reward them with a greater salary if they are really making progress for US.

Be a fan of altruism and the citizen politician all you want but the reality is it isn't working and the congress critters are selling us down the river to their corporate sponsors.....

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:43 AM

54. Information about properties owned by Former Speaker Pelosi and her husband is in public records

 

Easily available in a few mouse clicks to anyone who would bother looking it up, though you may have to pay a few dollars.

I suggest that anyone who takes her complaint seriously do just that and see how many properties are owned by she and her husband, their locations, the financing of those properties, the property taxes paid, etc.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #54)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:51 AM

62. And as long as we pay congress critters what I consider low wages

in comparison to their private sector counter parts; only millionaires and corporate whores will be able to afford to maintain the finances necessary to keep up with the demanding world they must live in as a congress person.

It costs a lot of money to maintain two homes and to keep up with a very busy schedule in a crazy metropolis like DC.

If we can pay baseball players millions every year to entertain us can't we pay our politicians more to make sure they represent us and make sure the money they spend is going to help US not some corporate donor that is greasing our congress person's palms?

JMO

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Response to think (Reply #62)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:55 AM

66. Nancy Pelosi and her husband are NOT struggling to make ends meet

 

Not by a long shot.

The information is available in public records.

Look it up.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #66)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:07 AM

83. I don't want only millionaires to be able to afford to be in congress.

That's the point I'm getting at. If you aren't wealthy already it is very tough to be in congress without being a corporate whore.

sure there are the exceptions to the rule but the fact is the salaries we pay congress is paltry compared to cost of BUYING the position in congress so you can reward the corporate fucks who bought your seat with millions and billions in contracts.

If you can make laws eliminating leaders from taking corporate jobs, money, help etc without paying them more to watch over the spending of trillions of dollars I am down with that.

But if we can pay them more and enact laws so they can't be corporate whores I have no problems with that either.

JMO

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Response to think (Reply #83)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:28 AM

98. I agree with your point, but the Destitute Members Caucus could not have picked a more ironic...

 

...spokesperson than Nancy Pelosi.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #98)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:29 AM

99. Very true. The millionaires in congress continue to do very well

even in a bad economy.....

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Response to think (Reply #62)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:00 AM

72. Nancy Pelosi struggling

Are you a comedian or something? Serious? The family's net worth is n the millions.

Actually this is part of the problem, if a scary cut was really going to byte into her life style she might get it why people living on the mean pay, 37K, are struggling. She is not. She s not going to really lose sleep n how to pay the electric bill, or buy her meds this week.

If they had any political clue, they would embrace the cut as see, we are also tightening our belts, see.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #72)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:26 AM

96. I never said Pelosi is struggling. I said we pay our congress critters far less

than their private sector counter parts.

Basically if you aren't a millionaire already and you aren't willing to be a corporate whore to become a millionaire then the salary offered is chicken shit compared to what one could make in the private sector.

So since we won't pay our leaders much they sell their services to corporations who then get represented rather than us.

I would rather pay congress to represent US with the stipulation that we have stiff laws against corporate whoring. If we can get these laws and still pay our leaders peanuts in comparison to the private sector that's fine too and I'm down with that. But if we can pay our leaders more and end the graft and corrption I have no problems with that either.

As to altruism. The cold hard truth is that in modern politics it just doesn't work. To that end you get what you paid for. Or as it is now you get what the corporations paid for.

It is awesome when a leader is extremely altruistic and I heartily encourage altruism to be a strong trait in our leadership. But the fact is most politicians aren't altruistic and only put of the facade of altruism in order to keep the corporate grease flowing behind the curtains.

If we can pay a baseball player millions just to entertain us, doesn't it make sense to pay those who oversee the spending of trillions of dollars of our money every year enough to make sure that money is spent for the good of the people and not some corporation?

JMO

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Response to think (Reply #96)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:31 AM

101. We pay them enough





Those laws should be enforced regardless. They already exist. These are not supposed to be anything but public servants doing this for a while, not as a career.

Anyhoo, her comment s so tone deaf it is amazing.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #101)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:33 AM

104. And the corporations will pay them more

and the system will limp on unabated to the joys of the corporate overlords.

I expect nothing to change. It never does......

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Response to think (Reply #104)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:35 AM

105. Pray tell me, why do you think people spend millions for these jobs?

That's your clue. But her comment was tone deaf.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #105)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:49 AM

121. I understand Pelosi is too rich too be whining and her comments were

as you say tone deaf. She certainly isn't suffering by any stretch of the imagination.

As to your other point.

They spend millions to get the job because they know the corporate grease works. And after landing a few huge contracts for their corporate sponsors they will get to go on a nice speaking tour, become a lobbyist, or some other payment in kind and make a shit load more money than they did working as a congress critter.

Even a congress critter that I actively helped get elected by going door to door registering voters went on to become a lobbyist after he left public service. He joined a lobbyist group that in fact I have a great disdain for because they represent nothing in the ways of issues of that person I helped get elected. In fact I consider his lobbying to be in direct conflict with the issues he supported when I worked for him as a volunteer many many years ago.


How Tom Daschle Lobbies In Secret: Influence Laundering
First Posted: 03/18/10 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 03:45 PM ET

~Snip~

Reporters Chad Terhune and Keith Epstein wrote that Daschle "advised UnitedHealth in 2007 and 2008 and resumed that role this year. Daschle personally advocates a government-run competitor to private insurers. But he sells his expertise to UnitedHealth, which opposes any such public insurance plan. Among the services Daschle offers are tips on the personalities and policy proclivities of members of Congress he has known for decades."

~Snip~

At the beginning of the Obama presidency, Daschle, too, seemed destined to be the top health-reform adviser in the White House -- and secretary of Health and Human Service to boot. But his nomination crashed and burned when it came out that he hadn't paid more than $140,000 in taxes over three years on a luxury car and driver. But many observers were even more unsettled by how blatantly Daschle cashed in after leaving office, earning $5 million in just four years, much of it from the health industry.

~Snip~

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/11/25/how-tom-daschle-lobbies-i_n_367634.html


You get what you pay or the else the corporations will KEEP getting what they pay for.

I use to have the utmost respect for Tom Daschle and was proud to have campaigned for him. But seeing Daschle now as a lobbyist protecting the health care industry rather than the American people saddens me greatly....

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Response to think (Reply #121)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:11 PM

139. That is the problem. They do not get to office to serve

Public servants, by law, should not be able to lobby...or go to private industry for five years, at least, after leaving office. Right now it is (almost) a revolving door.

That is the problem, one of them.

As to Nancy...good nooz, this is not electoral season. This up is almost as tone deaf as the 47% comment from Romney. Oh, and I bet a commercial anyhoo...she is in a deep blue district.

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Response to nadinbrzezinski (Reply #72)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:35 AM

289. Pelosi NEVER said the phrase quoted by the OP

 

The OP got it wrong and misquoted something that Pelosi never said. Check the article itself.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #289)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:48 AM

315. How much is the mean pay in the US?

Sorry if you miss why this is, once again, another example of how disconnected DC is from the country.

Look, go defend these people all you want...but disconnected does not start to describe it.

Granted one of the two parties is a tad less disconnected, but not by much.

Have a god day.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:44 AM

56. I want to Thank Pelosi for

exposing how much they value their Privilege to serve Us---and of course she's very worried, clearly about the consequences to all of us, before her own needs and is especially worried for her constituents after this comment--right?

Lol, ok--Nancy--sure this is All about you and your colleagues! And That's the GD problem. Thats about ALL nearly every single one of you "elites" can think about---Your benefits, Your Profits, Your Wellbeing and Now of course YOU all feel as though WE are "obligated" to honor "YOUR Dignity"?

Where is all the compassion and concern for the dignity of the American People?
Just an "act" when you all come out "red faced, Podium Poundin Outrage" on Our behalf? Yet when we take a quick peek---We discover Many times when Dems Helped the GOP get enough votes to pass laws that We overwhelmingly OBJECT to. But-yea--this is all about Your Dignity, which is apparently measured in dollar signs over compassion and doing the right thing for us.

You've lo$t your "democratic" way and perfectly example Why after more than 50 Years I've left the Dem Party. The reason? You et al have allowed My party to become a "60's era Party of the GOP"--but slightly worse.

As time goes by---the events that are happening now are allowing the political Scum to rise to the top of the heap and for that I am grateful. There is no more distinction between Dems/GOP for roughly 97% of you. I understand If We, the People are Very Lucky we might have 3%-4% of our total elected body actually working For us.
I no longer view any of you as "D's/R's" but consider the consequences from the Majority Votes on issues--It's good to know that much of what we are experiencing now-Austerity, loss of rights and privacies etc have been achieved with Dems help.
So, stop pointing fingers at each other to distract us, get your butts back to DC, get to work on Our behalf, create the jobs that were/are Promised. Do your Damned Jobs for Free if you must-I don't care. You took an oath. Honor it.
If boehner doesn't show? It would sure make a lot of real Dems happy if the entire Dem Caucus were All there, in DC ready to work and idled because the GOP is absent. That's what I'd do---

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:51 AM

60. Congresscritters should be paid...

A wage that befits the status of a group of 535 people that sets the direction for a nation of 310 million. I don't begrudge them their salary or even the perks. Sufficient pay also goes a bit towards reducing outright graft.

That said, I DO begrudge them a salary and perks while they allow their rich contributors to take the lion's share of this nations's productivity improvements over the last three decades.

I DO begrudge their junkets and luxury "conferences".

I DO begrudge the sweetheart jobs they get once out of office in lobbying and industries beholden to them for their votes on behalf of those industries while in office.

And I DO begrudge them their job security, with over 91% of incumbents keeping their offices every election, thanks to the money and influence of those mentioned above.

Pay them well. Pay them for their performance. And then when they're done, let them return to the private life they left without using OUR HOUSE as a springboard to lifetime wealth and security.

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Response to cactusfractal (Reply #60)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:01 AM

74. Great post. TY.

Unfortunately most people think congress already makes too much money.

We pay celebrities and athletes millions yearly to entertain us while the people overseeing the spending of trillions of our dollars every year get paid in the low 6 figures yearly. This seems extremely disproportional.

In my mind you get what you pay for. If the people don't pay them well (while making strict laws against corporate whoring.) then the corporations will and have. Sop far their investment seems to be paying off handsomely.....

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Response to think (Reply #74)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:28 PM

225. Thanks for the feedback...

My infrequent posts get lost here

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:51 AM

61. Pay raises are off the table. nt

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:54 AM

65. What a bunch of malarkey

I think their pay should be cut until they actually get shit done.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:59 AM

71. Ok.....then let's means test your salaries

like you do with SS and other programs. If you have no other significant income sources, then sure, get the full 174K. Make it 200K, even. Reduce it by 1$ for ever 2$ you earn otherwise, so that if you are making over 400k/year you get nothing in salary. Seems like a good plan to me.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #71)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:44 PM

158. That is the best idea I've heard yet.

I don't begrudge anyone making $174K to maintain two homes when one of them is in the DC area. The part of Virginia where I spent my childhood was all farms and dirt roads when I was little. Today, it's all interstates and shopping malls as part of the DC suburbs. Now my tiny original home town is considered "upscale." Back when I was in grade school, it was "WTF do you live all the way out THERE for?" Just about any part of DC or its suburbs are the high rent district these days, and maintaining even a modest second home there will eat up a good chunk of your after-tax salary, even if you're from Idaho.

Sure, if you're John Kerry or John McCain, it's just extra pocket money they wouldn't notice if it weren't there, but if you're Tammy Duckworth, it's not. If you're supporting children, it can get tight. Commuting into DC from long distances sucks, too. Jim Webb used to live in the part of VA were I grew up (don't know if her still does), and since he was representing VA, he didn't need a second home, but I wouldn't have wanted his commute to Capitol Hill every day, and I sure as hell wouldn't have wanted to finance a house closer to DC on a Senator's salary.

On the other hand paying the likes of Michele Bachmann, Louie Gohmert or Ted Cruz a DIME out of my taxes to spout their crap seems obscene to me.

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Response to n2doc (Reply #71)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:07 PM

175. Means testing is only for the little people.

For the big people sky is the limit...cause they work hard for the money, and let's face it, little people don't.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:05 AM

80. Okay..try this on for size...

Cut Congressional Pay to (say)$50,000 per year...or, maybe $100,000 to make it more attractive.

Provide government-paid Coach airfare to and from the district.

Provide government (say HUD-built/owned) apartments for each senator and congress-person to reside in while in DC.

Provide government subsidized cafeterias for meals on-the-job (I think they do that already)...maybe make them free to MOC.

Disallow contributions, meals, gifts, transportation, vacations etc from Lobbyists, constituents, friends or political parties.

I've probably forgotten some of the loopholes but this would be a start at closing them up.

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Response to ewagner (Reply #80)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:12 AM

87. I think a dorm room in DC should be sufficient.

There is no need for more than an efficiency. We had those congress critters living in their offices. This would alleviate the need for that. Too funny thinking that these creatures need subsidized housing. In the end their bank accounts will be bulging. The thing with politicians is ....that the payday comes down the road when we aren't watching.

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Response to ewagner (Reply #80)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:34 PM

151. Yes! They seriously could live a monastic lifestyle of quiet contemplation while they aren't doing

the work of the citizens in congress or out in their communities. I would be totally in favor of that. My mother, after a life of service to the poor and disabled lives in a tiny one bedroom rental property on her 11,000 dollar per month SS payment. If these creeps wanted to serve let them serve from a place that might urge a sympathetic response. Heck we already know the only way a lack the empathy gene. Lets let then live the life of their non-aristocrat constituents to ensure they really reap what they sow.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:06 AM

82. I don't think she's speaking for herself here.

I think some of the poorer congress people were asking her to do something and she is trying. It's only a gimmick and isn't really legal, so they should stop it.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:10 AM

85. I think the ineffectiveness of congress is not best addressed by cutting their pay

...that's a bit too much like the generic RW solution for every area of the economy - find the guys who are making decent wages and tar-and-feather them.

I would like to see congress keep the "dignity of their positions", and their paychecks, and I'd like to see them earn it by doing the job well.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:11 AM

86. We aren't going to be happy until every person

lives in the same clap board house.
Drive the same 4 cyl econobox.
Eat the same amount of calories a day.
Read the same books.
Watch the same TV shows and the same amount of TV.
Wear the same Walmartesque clothing.
Get paid the same amount of money regardless of what we do.
Have the same computers.

OMG, this isn't a progressive site. This is a site pushing for a "Harrison Bergeron" world.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:13 AM

89. Simple solution

For the idea that they need to maintain a home in DC, build them a dormitory,bunkhouse, one for female dems, one for male dems and one each for male and female rethugs ....Have a cafeteria for each party, that serves the same basic meals based on what they think schools should serve,pick a different school district for each meal every day, allow for free taxi service to and from their job sites, or bus service.. allow for free basic air fare for trips home once a month. All else comes out of their pockets.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:13 AM

90. Nancy, maybe you should learn to tighten your belt as those of us on SS do.

I have no sympathy for pissing and moaning from someone who makes at least 20 times what I do.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:21 AM

92. Huh?

"I think it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded."

What the fuck does that even mean?

Doesn't everyone deserve dignity in their work, regardless of pay?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:21 AM

93. We should be spending a lot more taxpayer dollars to house

certain current and former members of Congress in federal prison.

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Response to klook (Reply #93)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:23 AM

94. +1

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:26 AM

97. Nancy, if it's so difficult for *YOU* and others in Congress to get by

on your salaries, how in the hell do you expect ANYONE to survive working full time at minimum wage?

Congress doesn't work a 40 hour week most of the time, if ever. Let them go out and get a second job to make ends meet, just like they expect everyone else to do!

Out of touch, totally.

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Response to AndyA (Reply #97)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:48 AM

120. Pelosi wants a far higher minimum wage and better health care

...bigger subsidies, expanded Medicare, etc.

Pelosi has supported closer to what we want and even gotten her members to vote that way too.

She's rounded up votes against the Iraq War, when the party leadership had thrown in the towel.

Pelosi is liberal.

And the 174k is high. But if they have to live here, rent in San Francisco is high, in my modest area a 2 bedroom apartment is $2000 per month. In her district, it's easily $2500/month. In DC it is probably similar or a little less.

So, in housing alone, that's maybe $4500/month for a modest place.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #120)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:24 PM

180. I know all of those things

However, it is insensitive of her to make a comment about members of Congress struggling to get by on their salaries, when most of America would be glad to trade places with them and have the "struggles" they suffer with.

Even raising the minimum wage to $9.00/hour still doesn't meet the cost of living increases over the last few decades. I heard minimum wage would need to be somewhere north of $11.00/hour to come close.

Most of America has to perform at a certain level to get a raise. I know that Pelosi works hard to get things through, but the bottom line is Congress hasn't been functional in years, and that means the work of the people isn't getting done. None of them should get an increase until the American people see one. Perhaps that will give all of them the motivation to get more done.

With most average Americans struggling at exceptional levels to get by the last few years, it's not appropriate for her to comment that Congress has it bad without a raise. Many in Congress are multimillionaires, like Pelosi, so the rent shouldn't be a problem for most of them.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:31 AM

100. I wouldn't pay any member of Congress one cent more than the national average income.

Sorry. No one fiorced you to take the job, you asked to be elected to it.

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Response to Ikonoklast (Reply #100)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:43 PM

157. I would be willing to offer them 25% more than their home state average

plus a free efficiency apartment on a direct bus route to Congress and one round trip business class ticket home a month if they live further way than a 3 hour drive. Why should a representative of the poorest state be paid the same as one from a more expensive state? I think this would accomplish several goals. First, it would make them work harder for the welfare of their home districts and in the process they wold have to be more cooperative with representatives from other states because they won’t be able to accomplish much without others help. Second, they would be more aware of the struggles of their constituents. Third, it would encourage them to shorten their careers in the Congress. It is absolutely insane that any representative serves 54 years in what was meant to be short-term service.
Did i mention that accepting money or gifts from lobbyists would be the grounds for immediate expulsion, The district would than have to pay the money for special election or be forced to do without representation until the next election. I figure there will be 4-10 expulsion the first year but only 2 the next year and then only once in a blue moon after that


I am actually kidding about most of this but I think that achieving the stated goals would instill greater respect for the institution.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:32 AM

102. Suck on it Nancy!

No pity here!

You should pay more taxes though!

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:33 AM

103. Sorry but I don't agree with you. Most have to maintain 2 residences. If you have children etc.

This may seem like a lot money until you have to factor in how expensive DC can be. Some of these jr. reps were sleeping in their offices. Is this to save money or just be abel to live in DC. 174k may seem like more money than most, but most don't
have to travel and live in 2 cities.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #103)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:36 AM

108. If they can't afford it, they are free to step down.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #108)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:39 AM

112. And it would be even worse in Congress with only millionaires running for office or able to afford

to take the job. This enables the chance that we actually get a citizen to represent us instead of the aristocracy.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #112)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:43 AM

114. We are already there

Just saying.

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Response to Pisces (Reply #112)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:48 AM

119. Ugh...

That's what we have now.....

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Response to Pisces (Reply #103)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:37 AM

110. And people whose jobs are regularly shipped overseas can't afford ONE residence.

They can thank Congress for the trade laws that allow this.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:35 AM

106. Anyone who believes Congress cares about regular people, stand in the corner. nt

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:35 AM

107. I think senators and reps are compensated fairly, considering the perks.

That said, I think they should be required to stay in session a minimum of 3 weeks out of every month. Maybe then they would have time to enforce some ethics. Their personal finances should be under a microscope at all times.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:46 AM

118. This attitude is pervasive...

... amongst those making VERY substantial incomes. Tho they are receiving compensation of 5xs or 10xs or more than MILLIONS of us would be more than happy to be getting, it's NEVER enough for the greedy bastards. And goes for those on BOTH sides of the aisle. The Dems are almost as bad as the Repubs when it comes to feathering their OWN nests FIRST. They care fuckall if "the little people" are staving and homeless, as long as they cash in.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #118)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:53 AM

125. Yes.

And we let them get away with it. We have elevated our politicians to celebrities instead of public servants. Just look at how many people are defending them in this thread.

And every time there is a thread on here about wages there is always someone making 6 figures or more talking about "how hard it is to maintain my lifestyle in San Francisco" us wage earners don't understand how hard it can be sometimes having to choose to sell the Acura or the BMW. Some of us have to choose between going to the dentist and putting food on the table for our kids.

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Response to 99Forever (Reply #118)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:13 PM

142. As she says "dignity of the job"

Well how about the indiginity of having to borrow money from friends and family just to be able to eat and that's me with a full time state worker low paying caseworker job. I cannot imagine the neverending stress and daily indignity of those less fortunate, the homeless, the unemployed, those trying and working hard with no end in sight. They have never had to suffer and never well, they say they care because they want to stay in office.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:52 AM

123. Nancy is worth every dime she earns...

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Response to secondwind (Reply #123)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:55 AM

127. Oh?

Even the millions she's made insider trading using her powers as a congresswoman?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:52 AM

124. In Pelosi's defense many legislators are maintaining two residences, one in expensive DC, the other

wherever their home is. So although on a whole that seems like a lot, and I suspect other house members make less then she does, I can understand a bit of what she's saying.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:54 AM

126. Nancy I live off a fixed income of 51,700 a year pension

In NJ where EVERYTHING is high as hell .And your complaining about a pay cut LOVE YOU!! Nancy but your not living in the real world

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:58 AM

129. It is trivial compared to the paycheck they'll get as lobbyists when they leave congress.

Being in congress is the dues that lobbyists pay to get the big bucks.

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Response to lumberjack_jeff (Reply #129)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:01 PM

132. Bingo /nt

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:01 PM

131. Nancy Is Right!

Now I'd like to see her make the case, with unflagging fire and fury, that all Americans who want to work should be able to find full-time employment at a fair living wage with free health care and generous other benefits--just like she has. Because to accept the hand-to-mouth existence of a worker-drone stuck in a dead-end job will, as Nancy rightly points out, "ruin one's dignity."

Here, here!

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Response to cer7711 (Reply #131)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:25 PM

147. Nice turning of the tables....

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:04 PM

134. Arrogance

They are so out of touch with reality and get more so every day.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:08 PM

137. Shouldn't that be the new minimum wage then?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:11 PM

138. Wisconsin's Rep. Sean Duffy "struggles on $174,000 salary



With Wisconsin's median household income at $53,000

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:15 PM

143. I thought the dignity came from holding public office?


Oh, well. Let's all show them sympathy by renting garments and nashing teeth.

When Americans have their paychecks sliced, through cost cutting measures by corporate America, what does Congress do about it?

When Americans see their jobs outsourced, to India and China by corporate America, what does Congress do about it?

When Americans lose their shirts unable to find work for years, thanks to by corporate America, what does Congress do about it?


When there is even the hint of a shadow that Congress might have to suffer a little what does Congress do about it? Complain.


If I were in Congress I would damn well be realistic. If we can't do right by our own citizens then we don't deserve pay raises, perks, junkets, lobbyist jobs after leaving office or time off until we rectify the problems. Why is that so hard to understand?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:17 PM

144. First world problems...

ugh...

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:20 PM

145. Get it straight people!

First the billionaires, then the millionaires and if we still need a little more, then the megathousandaires!

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:21 PM

146. I and my wife could live for 10 years on 174k. n/t

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #146)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:28 PM

181. Do you give regular TV interviews and meet with foreign dignitaries?

Are you still paying back loans on a law degree from an Ivy League university?
Do you fly across the country several times a month?

The real point is that a CEO of a pretty middling company can make ten times as much as a congressperson. Why are we pissing about complaining about Nancy Pelosi's $174K when it's the multi-million dollar salaries on Wall Street and in insurance and pharmaceutical and defence firms that are sucking this country dry.

If she was really good at coaching baseball nobody would blink an eye at her earning $17 million a year, so how about a little perspective?

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #181)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:01 PM

203. I'm not rich so its kinda hard to have your perspective.

I can't write off my expenses like a CEO or Exxon does.

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #203)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:12 AM

294. I'm not rich either.

But I understand that if you want smart people to do hard jobs you need to compensate them adequately for it.

I can't do what Nancy Pelosi does and neither, I'm betting, can 99% of the people complaining about paying her what, in DC and San Fran, is an upper middle class salary at best.

Nobody in congress is getting rich on $174K. Let's focus on the people actually robbing us blind some of whom make, literally 1000x what Nancy Pelosi does for doing a much more dubious job in terms of the public good.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #294)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:30 AM

317. Just because I don't make $174k doesn't mean the person who does is smarter than me.

There are plenty of dumb asses in our government and no one in government should be immune from "shared sacrifice".

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #317)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:17 PM

323. I didn't say that.

I said if you want smart people to accept jobs with long hours and a lot of responsibility and liability and risk, you can't pay them $10 an hour.

Go ahead and cut their salaries. I'm sure that will solve the "dumb asses in government" problem.

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Response to wickerwoman (Reply #323)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 07:59 PM

332. I sure don't want to see dumb asses get paid more. n/t

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:32 PM

150. I think the salary is about right

If you set the salary too low, you get more rich people and those who seek to enrich themselves as a fringe benefit of their position. There's already too many of those as it is. We need more people like Franks and Kucinich who become members of congress because of their convictions, not their payday.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:36 PM

153. How many vacations do they take a year?

A month here, a month there. 6 or 8 vacations a year?

Pay them hourly. Bet they get a LOT more work done.

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Response to AgingAmerican (Reply #153)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:51 PM

165. Moreover, how many days a week do they "work"?

I saw a lot of three-day weeks in recent years, with weeks and weeks off for "vacations."

A more useless bunch would be hard to find.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:41 PM

156. Dignity...

or the lack thereof at or below $174,000/yr.?

I stand firmly planted at the base of that ladder, apparently rooted in a mire of dishonor.

Could be worse.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:47 PM

159. I am normally unsympathetic to the complaints of the well-off but I also think that congressional

salaries are reasonable and don't need to be cut.

While it is true that many live on less, it is seldom the case that those earning less are expeced to split their time between their home district, Washington, and wherever the job sends them. Nor is it likely that they have the work and public apperance demands of congresspeople. Doing their job takes time and money.

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Response to JVS (Reply #159)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:55 PM

170. ^ That was thoughtful...eom

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:49 PM

161. Congressmen should be paid the average American wage earner's income from the previous year.

 

So if the average American wage earner's income was $39,000 a year, then Congressmen should be paid no more than that the following year.


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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:51 PM

164. Forgive me but I could give a Fuck about her dignity.

What about the dignity of the working class barely scraping by and begging for what little we do get. Give us a liveable wage and dignity than we can speak about yours

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:55 PM

169. The source doesn't have that phrase in it as a quotation - you were trolled by the msnNow writer....

Pelosi: Congressional pay cut undermines dignity of the job
By Mike Lillis - 02/14/13 06:37 PM ET

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she opposes a cut in congressional pay because it would diminish the dignity of lawmakers' jobs.

"I don't think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "I think it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded."

The comments were made in the context of the looming sequester, which would force across-the-board cuts affecting most federal offices, including Congress. With lawmakers nowhere near a deal to avert those cuts, federal agencies are bracing for ways to absorb them with minimum damage to programs and personnel.

Pelosi, whose husband is a wealthy real-estate developer, was quick to note that a cut in her own pay would be far less significant than that for both staffers and less wealthy members of Congress.

...

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/283341-pelosi-congressional-pay-cut-undermines-dignity-of-the-job-#ixzz2LHXczJJO


However, I would agree that any complaints regarding that level of compensation would be ridiculous. Thanks for posting this.

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Response to xocet (Reply #169)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:19 PM

177. Mentioning dignity and Congress in the same phrase is bad enough

And she definitely said that.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #177)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:09 PM

249. True...

However, placing "struggling to make ends meet" in quotation marks leads the casual reader to believe that Nancy Pelosi actually said that.

Her statement regarding "dignity" is bad enough - it does not need to be exaggerated.

Why create that illusion?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 12:56 PM

172. Let's see...federal workers get a pay freeze

but these useless politicians are whining about how hard it is to make ends meet?


Cry me a river, Nancy.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:14 PM

176. I wish the Dems would keep their yaps shut on things like this

make the R's the sole owners of these memes.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:20 PM

178. Congress is useless. We should switch to pay for performance.

It's pretty simple. My proposal:

(Base rate of pay) x (approval rating (as expressed by a fraction of 1.00)) x ((total days spent in district) + (total days in-session in DC)/365) = yearly pay.

This year, the average US representative would have made $8534.76. It's really low but they had a really-poor year performance-wise. They can vote to give merit increases of up to 100% to individual members but the votes must be 50%+1 and the merit-pay is pro-rated out of the pay of every member that voted for that individual-merit increase. Members may choose to work for free and their pay would be distributed equally to all other members of the chamber. (I call this the Eric Cantor rule. Mostly because he's rich enough that he'd not notice the pay-cut...but he'd never agree to work for free for the benefit of his peers.)

Not only do I support cutting their pay, I support building them dormitory housing out in Ward-8 they're mandated to live in (free room and board!) while in DC.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 01:29 PM

182. Nice work, Nancy.

You just wrote Faux Noise's script for the whole day. Maybe Jon Stewart's, too.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:09 PM

192. Members of Congress get much more than just their "base" salary

There's health coverage, travel perks, various allowances, etc.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:09 PM

193. Ya know I have quite a bit of respect for Nancy Pelosi

But less now. It is time for her to shut up on this issue. If Congress was paid on performance, they wouldn't be getting jack shit. And dignity? Madam, the dignity of Congress as a whole went out the window a long time ago. "

Respect for the work you do?" Again....

Nancy, please shut up. You are losing your dignity and respect with me with comments like this.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:21 PM

195. Proud2Blib: Dignity is a little more than "fat paycheck"

 

I can't speak to Pelosi's specific financial situation, but 174K in the DC area (and in SF California) is middle class. (No, I am not kidding. It's not wealthy in places where a modest home in a low crime area STARTS at over half a million and goes up from there.)

Secondly, Congressional reps deal constantly with business lobbyists and industry lawyers who make MORE than they do. There is something about the dignity of the job at stake when the lobbyists and lawyers coming to influence your vote are far better attired and much better accoutered than you are.

I am not saying Pelosi is sympathetic. But there are other Congressional types, especially new reps, who are living on a salary that makes it difficult to buy a home, no less maintain two residences, and still do their job without letting the lobbyists walk all over them.

I believe Congress deserves higher salaries, not lesser ones.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #195)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:37 PM

196. I live in the DC area and that's not accurate.

You are doing very well in DC if you're making that kind of money. This shouldn't be their career; why should they buy a home out here? They can find affordable rent 10 minutes away in Alexandria.

Are you arguing that they should be paid more so that they can wear nice suits like they lobbyists that are looking to screw the taxpayers?

Let me tell you that most of DC dresses like SLOBS. Most men wear suits that are two sizes two big and how much money they make has no bearing on their wardrobe.

You have to be trolling with that kind of reasoning.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #196)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:20 PM

208. Depends on where you live in DC. Fairfax county modest 3 BDR homes away from crime are 500K

 

Townhomes can run 350-400. Closer into the city, like Arlington and Alexandria can be higher if you avoid the high crime areas. (Alexandria has some very high crime areas, which are cheaper, of course.) McLean, where Ted Kennedy used to live, is in the millions.

And yes, I am arguing that Congress should be paid more so that they can have leverage in negotiations with the fat cats who come calling. I don't know who you know, but lobbyists, attorneys, and other professional types who interact with Congress are almost ALWAYS better dressed that the government types they come in contact with. It is possible that your GS11s or your Booze Allen engineers don't dress so well, but the telecommunications law partners dress to the nines when they let Congress know how telecom law is going to be written.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #208)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:53 PM

222. They shouldn't buy a 2nd home.

What rule says that a congressional member should purchase a second home? Serving in Congress is not like being appointed to the Supreme Court. They should rent a place.

DC has more crime than the VA suburbs and Alexandria has perfectly affordable areas that are the safest locations around.

What does congressional pay have to do with negotiating with "fat cats."

Who gives a damn about what a lobbyist wears? How is that relevant?

You're saying that Congress has inferiority complex (laughable on its face) and needs to be paid more so they don't "feel bad" when they meet lobbyists.

I have a much cheaper solution CONGRESSIONAL UNIFORMS.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #222)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:02 PM

231. Renting is not ideal and can cost just as much as a mortgage

 

Housing rentals in nice parts of the DC Metro area aren't cheap, and the rent is usually equal to (or even more than) a mortgage. The owners of these places have to pay their mortgages on the place after all and you, the renter, will be paying that mortgage.

If you're only staying in the DC Metro area for 2 years, I could see renting. Military families who expect to move in 2 years rent for that reason. But after a Congress person has gotten re-elected, renting is just waste of money, especially in NoVa and the DC Metro area where the homes tend to rise in value, even under difficult conditions.

Since Congressional reps are going to need the money for two residences anyway, whether they buy or rent--and the mortgage and rental amounts may be close or the same-- why shouldn't they buy and make a profit on the house? That's what I'd recommend to anyone else. If you get into the Senate (6 years), then you should certainly buy.

Now as to location, DC has areas with high crime (like Anacostia), but it also has really nice areas that are prime locations for a Congress person who needs fast access to the Capitol. A close location is great when you've got sudden calls for votes, late night meetings, and long sessions that go into the early morning hours. DC's low crime areas cost a hell of a lot lot more, though. In fact, the rule is that as you get closer to the city, the nicer areas cost way more than houses in the VA or MD suburbs. So you could conceivably end up paying 400-500K for a 700 sq. ft. condo in Arlington along the Orange line, which seems insane, but that's the market, and you've got faster access to the city.

At any rate, the upshot is that it costs money for a Congressperson to have a residence close to work. The Virginia or Maryland suburbs are a better bang for your buck, but the prices are still high. I don't begrudge these folks a second residence nor a safe place near work. It's part of doing their job.

Finally, as to meetings with lobbyists, I don't know what your job is, but it doesn't sound like you've ever had to do those public/private sector get togethers, in which the private sector person wants something from you. I have a friend who goes through that on a regular basis, and I can tell you it gets annoying for him. He's at a high level where he is, but it's public sector, so he's in this old building from the mid 20th century. The private sector folks who come to see him have modern, sleek offices, tailored suits, and salaries 3 times what he makes. These private sector folks are not always pleasant and spend their time telling him that they "pay his salary" so he must do all sorts of things for them, even if it's not in the law. My friend is cool about it, but the people that come to him judge him by the fact that he doesn't have the BMW they have or that his suit doesn't always fit his shoulders perfectly. Seriously, some of these people are just that shallow.

Clothes may not totally make the man, but they go a long way toward making an impression. It may not sound possible to you, but your job may not require you to interact with people making 300K a year for running their mouths and making your job harder. If it did, you'd want to make the best impression you could.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #231)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:37 PM

243. Renting is fine and can cost much less than a mortgage.

You can live 10 minutes away from DC, make all the votes you need, as well as rent in a safe area for less than 2K a month.

Your friend has low self-esteem who doesn't understand that he's the one with the power to grant the lobbyist's requests.

You're right you don't know what my job is that's why your wrong about who I associate with during the course of the day.

You don't need to spend a lot of money on clothes to look important. If they bought clothes that fit properly they would be better dressed than 99% of the poorly dressed (yet rich and powerful) slobs in the District.

I just think it is comical that half of your argument is that they need more money to wear better suits.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #243)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:16 PM

257. Could you please give me specifics on those "safe areas"? Better yet, give us links to those apts.

That way, I will have some confidence that you really know the costs of living in NoVA.

Even if you were correct, most people do not have an extra $2000 (or slightly less) AFTER TAX to spend on a second home, whether renting or owning (to say nothing of utilities, maintenance, and other duplicate expenses).

I think you are deliberately pretending not to get GiaGiovanni's point. Clothing is simply one part of the picture, as he made very clear. If we skimp on Congressional salaries, it is hard for them to afford ALL aspects of living. And no, I do not want public employees who are highly educated, skilled, and dedicated having to feel like poor cousins to lobbyists, leading many of the good ones to leave or never to enter public service. Eliminating one unnecessary aircraft carrier would probably fund all DC federal employee salary increases for years.

Further, YOU are the one who made fun of how DC area people dress. Do you not see the irony in your own comments? Maybe they can't afford the time or money to get great clothes.

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Response to spooky3 (Reply #257)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:36 PM

266. You don't care whether my point is valid or not.

First you ask for links then you say even if I provided them it wouldn't matter b/c most people don't have an extra 2k.

So why bother providing you with links? Go to washingtonpost.com and look under Rentals, plug in Alexandria with a max rent of 2k. You will find plenty of apartments. Or you can go to Apartmentguide.com and do the same and you would find MORE affordable safe apartments.

Where do you live? I've lived AND worked in the DC area since 2005. I lived in Alexandria, VA as of Jan 2, 2013. Are you telling me you know the area better than I do?

I get GiaGiovanni's point and that's why I recognize it as being "uninformed."

Further, GiaGiovanni's stated their friend had an inferiority complex b/c lobbyist have better suits. Gia's rational for higher salaries based on attire is weak.



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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #266)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:44 AM

306. This is getting amusing.

You would do better to post facts and evidence than to second guess what others are thinking. Without those, you have little credibility when you post opinions that contradict what others know or believe.

I've worked in DC since the 1990s, rented in Alex City first, then bought a house in Arlington. So yes, I think I do know the area well, know the realtor sites like franklymls.com and I know the info sites like Spotcrime.com. So if someone tries to tell me about cheap apartments close in in safe areas, it's pretty easy to call them out.

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Response to spooky3 (Reply #306)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:03 AM

310. You've added nothing to bolster your point.

You asked for specifics and disregarded them in the next sentence. You stated that most people don't have an extra 2k month.

Well, fewer people make 174K a year. I provided sites that show there's affordable safe housing next to the Van Dorn Metro.

You then continued to support higher salaries so that congress members could buy better clothes so they don't feel like "poor cousins." Why should that play any part in this?

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #310)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:09 AM

312. I'm sorry but I am not interested in spitting

Contests with you, devoid of evidence other than general references to WaPo real estate listings. I have to get back to work.





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Response to spooky3 (Reply #312)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:11 AM

314. You wanted specifics from me and you've provided nothing.

I've backed up my argument and answered your requests. You've got jack and you know it.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #243)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:18 PM

265. Not a decent place in a decent area

 

Unless you have some unusual situation. The market is the market and DC is really pricey as markets go.

You don't know my friend, so I'd appreciate your not psychoanalyzing him.

And, no, I don't know what your job is, but I am assuming it's not in any area where you have to use diplomacy and tact.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #265)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:51 PM

267. Where do you live in the DC area?

You act as if a congressional member doesn't have condo in McLean he has to live in a Mad Max or Book of Eli setting.

Half of your rationale for higher salaries was "There is something about the dignity of the job at stake when the lobbyists and lawyers coming to influence your vote are far better attired and much better accoutered than you are." This is YOU pyscho-analyzing YOUR friend.

If YOU knew the definitions of diplomacy and tact you would not have made this condescending statement:

"Finally, as to meetings with lobbyists, I don't know what your job is, but it doesn't sound like you've ever had to do those public/private sector get togethers, in which the private sector person wants something from you."

If you dealt with C-suite and SES personnel you would know better than to make assumptions.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #267)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:34 AM

272. You're just repeating what you've said before

 

Now as to this:

If YOU knew the definitions of diplomacy and tact you would not have made this condescending statement:

"Finally, as to meetings with lobbyists, I don't know what your job is, but it doesn't sound like you've ever had to do those public/private sector get togethers, in which the private sector person wants something from you."

If you dealt with C-suite and SES personnel you would know better than to make assumptions.


You were not psychoanalyzed, nor were you treated poorly. You were not forthcoming with information and I was left to assume your level at work based on your lack of understanding of the meetings I described. I still don't know what your pay grade is, and until I do, I will assume that, with the abrasiveness that you have exhibited toward me, you'd have a difficult time making it to any executive position, at least based on merit. The management and people skills simply aren't there. Of course, there are ways other than merit to advance.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #272)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:57 AM

278. What information did you request that was not provided?

Did you ask for my resume?

Did you request my W-2?

When did you request my pay grade?

Where do YOU live?

You shouldn't request any information that you aren't willing to provide yourself.

What you interpret as "abrasiveness" is just the dismantling of an extremely weak argument.


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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #278)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:05 AM

280. I don't want your information

 

I assume that most people will not give out information on line. But people will watch how you interact with them and with others and make judgments accordingly. My judgments of you are based on the interactions I have had with you today. In the absence of knowing any real information about you, I go by how you interact on the board.

And based on how you behave on this board, you seem quite young and somewhat immature. If you are an older person, it might be worth some self examination to see why you give this kind of impression.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #280)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:07 AM

281. You can't refute my arguments or defend your own.

That's why you stopped defending your arguments or answering any questions.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #281)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:11 AM

282. You haven't made any arguments to refute

 

Your arguments about apartment rents in good neighborhoods close to DC are just silly to people who know the area.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #282)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:16 AM

283. Do you live in the area?

I've been in the area from 8/2005-Present.

I provided two popular websites that show affordable rents in Alexandria. You haven't provided any data to show that Alexandria is some post-apocalyptic hellscape unfit for congressional members.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #283)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:26 AM

284. Alexandria has lots of crime, unless you live in certain areas like Old Town

 

and some of those old brick homes are a million dollars. Low crime areas will always cost you more, especially the closer you get to the city. I've lived in my share of high crime areas and you get tired of having stuff stolen from your car or having your friends get mugged at the ATM in broad daylight. Alexandria also has street gangs. I would not recommend that anyone live in much of Alexandria outside of Old Town and the parts of Fairfax County that have an Alexandria address & zip code, like Kingstowne, Hayfield, etc.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #284)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:58 AM

291. I don't believe you live in this area.

Do you currently live in the DC area?

If you think the only safe area in Alexandria is Old Town then you probably are afraid of the "unwashed" who make 70-90k.

There are plenty of SAFE and AFFORDABLE places on Van Dorn and Beauregard. You can find nice apartments next to the Van Dorn Metro for less than 2k.

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Response to NOVA_Dem (Reply #291)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:28 AM

295. Van Dorn metro is close to the border of Fairfax County

 

Sorry, but I wouldn't live in Alexandria unless I had the money for expensive locations. There are places in Fairfax County I wouldn't live now either. Anywhere near Springfield Mall is pretty awful, and that used to be a nice area way back when.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #295)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:00 AM

309. Van Dorn and Beauregard also are NOT

What a lot of people consider close in, and certainly not a 10 minute commute away from Capitol Hill, mentioned up thread. With the BRAC relocation and lack of metro near there traffic is expected to worsen.

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Response to spooky3 (Reply #309)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:09 AM

313. It's a 10-15 minute drive on 395 to DC from that area.

We weren't talking about specific metro stops at that point.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #295)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 10:07 AM

311. I think most people would like to live within walking distance of a metro stop.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:40 PM

197. Don't worry Congress, there's light at the other end of that revolving door.

 

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:47 PM

199. Payraise is "off the table", LOL

 

No impeachment for Bush the war criminal, no universal health care, no raise.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 02:56 PM

201. Being a member of Congress isn't cheap...

...and one of the reasons we have a Congressional revolving door is because lobbyists pay so much more than the public does and without a need to spend half the week fundraising and without living in a fish bowl.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:07 PM

207. While Pelosi's statement was unelegant, a lower congressional wage attracts lobbyist cash.

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Response to alp227 (Reply #207)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:22 PM

209. Yes, especially for newer members who are struggling to keep up

 

The average person doesn't understand the context.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:27 PM

210. Let's see

Wasn't the pay for President $150,000 till Bush upped his pay to $250,000. So 12 years ago the President of the United States was making less than congress is now. They don't deserve $174,000. They should only be making $74,000, and the President should go back to $150,000.

25 years ago $8.00 an hour was a average paying job. And 25 years later, you are lucky to get $8.00 an hour. And after the recess stunt, they shouldn't get anything at ALL. Fuck them. Poor babies can't live on $174,000. They have lobbyist who fill their pockets. The $174,00 a year is probably their pool guys fee, and groceries.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:48 PM

215. These politicians should try the dignity of a minimum wage job.

These politician should respect the work that a lot of Americans do.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 03:49 PM

216. As many have already noted ....

She gets a very generous allowance for housing and travel, and when she was Speaker she basically traveled everywhere for free courtesy of the USAF. Only a minor note that she, as Minority Leader, actually gets a salary of $193,400, nearly $20K more than her fellow Representatives.

Her husband is a real estate mogul worth many millions of dollars, so my give-a-damn is pegged at pretty much zero for her housing and travel and clothing expenses.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:22 PM

223. Nice made-up "quote" by msn.

Its absolute bullshit. Pelosi never said that.

"It's a hard question to ask me because most of my colleagues are the breadwinners in their families," she said. "A pay cut to me doesn't mean as much."

sigh.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:27 PM

224. Give me $174K and I shall be the happiest person on Earth

My wife and I would never worry about money again.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:32 PM

226. Note that this "quote" is not in quotation marks. In other words, it's made up.

Pelosi, whose husband, Paul, is a legit real-estate mogul, was quick to add that slicing her own paycheck wouldn’t "mean as much" as those senators who struggle to make ends meet on $174,000 per year.


Note that the part everyone is up in arms about is not a quote at all. If it were, there would be quotation marks around it. If you think Pelosi actually said this, please provide proof.

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Response to Nine (Reply #226)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:47 PM

228. Not the point.

She and her ilk think that these people in Congress are just having such a rough time "surviving," when they are grossly overpaid for what little they do and when do actually do something, it is against the best interests of the American people.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #228)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 05:50 PM

230. Got a link for that?

Or is it just more bullshit.

"She and her ilk think that these people in Congress are just having such a rough time "surviving,"" <--- provide a link.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #228)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:06 PM

232. Actually duffyduff, it IS the point.

 

If Pelosi really didn't say it, then the OP is a lie. Your assumptions about what "she and her ilk" think have no value at all. Can't even buy a cup of 7-11 coffee with them.

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Response to duffyduff (Reply #228)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 02:36 AM

298. Exactly

Thankfully most responding in the thread do get that.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:08 PM

233. i agree with Nancy. The position should attract and pay people well.

$174k is not a lot for the amount of time and effort and expense of these positions.

mind you, for the repugs there, the pay should be a fraction of that (they should have to pay because of the damage they cause).

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Response to samsingh (Reply #233)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:10 PM

235. I agree.

 

You do get what you pay for. The private sector pays people who do much less a lot more.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #235)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:17 PM

258. I also agree. Pay them fairly and hold them to a high standard.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:12 PM

236. not like everybody else. they still get health benefits and retirement, don't they?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 06:59 PM

239. I say give them crazy raises. Minimum wage of 1 million for a freshmen

Last edited Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:40 PM - Edit history (1)

up to Speaker at 10 million. For the Senate, pay starts at 2 million and tops out for Majority Leader at 15 million.

Their pensions pay immediately upon departing Congress, even a single term Congressman would get 10% of their pay for life. Health care paid for life, even after one term. Five terms in the House gets you full pay and two in the Senate.

The cost of the arrangement is after 5 terms you are banned for life from any lobbying, board, or executive position-anywhere. 4 terms is a 20 year ban, 3 is 15, 2 is 10 years, and one term is a five year lockout. For the Senate one term is 10 years, two is 20 and three and above is a lifetime ban.

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Response to TheKentuckian (Reply #239)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:41 PM

246. The proposal you've put forward is logical

And if there are any altruistic members of congress they can take a share of their larger income and donate it to the causes they see fit.

Somehow someway we've got to stop the pay to play corporate lobby mentality and get OUR leaders working for US.

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Response to think (Reply #246)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:27 AM

270. and attract the very best for the work and the people's sakes with no hope to profit

other than the pay and direct benefits of the job, forgoing essentially all non-government opportunities for gain.

It might move some out earlier too, in no time there is no benefit to running, the scrutiny that comes with the income, and showing up.

I think closing the revolving door will help with the money in politics situation too. No golden carrots to chase.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 07:50 PM

244. She is worth 35.5 Million. IMO, she should be working for free at this point.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 08:45 PM

247. i can easily get by on that much, even having a home in 2 locations

you don't HAVE to get the most expensive places.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 09:41 PM

251. It is true that they have to "struggle" for a few years...

Until they leave office and become a Lobbyist! The 44 members of congress who left office in 2010 for a career as a Lobbyist are starting to make some decent money now ; )

http://www.republicreport.org/2012/make-it-rain-revolving-door/

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:07 PM

254. this has been found to be a total lie

why is it still here? Why is there not a thread by you denouncing the fact you were taken in?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:13 PM

256. Once again - SHE NEVER SAID THIS

She never used the words "struggling" or "making ends meet" or anything like that. The bolded below is EVERYTHING she said on this:

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she opposes a cut in congressional pay because it would diminish the dignity of lawmakers' jobs.

"I don't think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do," Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. "I think it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded."...

Pelosi, whose husband is a wealthy real-estate developer, was quick to note that a cut in her own pay would be far less significant than that for both staffers and less wealthy members of Congress.

"It's a hard question to ask me because most of my colleagues are the breadwinners in their families," she said. "A pay cut to me doesn't mean as much."


That's it. That's all she said. If anyone disputes this or claims she said more, please provide proof.

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/283341-pelosi-congressional-pay-cut-undermines-dignity-of-the-job-

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Response to Nine (Reply #256)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:19 PM

259. sometimes, some DUers seem to be doing Rush's bidding, don't they?

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Response to Nine (Reply #256)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:12 PM

264. I wrote to the OP asking him/her to alter the title

 

If the OP does not alter the post, we can take that as a general lack of ethics.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #264)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:31 AM

271. Are you the boss now?

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #271)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:35 AM

273. Not at all. It was a suggestion to change a misleading statement.

 

You may choose not to do so, but understand that keeping the title is not ethical. That's all.

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Response to GiaGiovanni (Reply #273)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:37 AM

274. Thank you for the suggestion.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Reply #274)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:41 AM

275. We'll see what you do with it.

 

.

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Response to Nine (Reply #256)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 03:15 AM

302. I agree

at work we were asked to vote on different work hours; it didn't matter to me so I begged off in favor of letting the people with kids vote, because it meant something to them - I think that is what Nancy is saying. But I understand how it could be interpreted as out of touch.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 10:24 PM

261. It is very, very easy for the very wealthy to forget how many people have to get by

on much, much less. They truly live in a different world.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 11:59 PM

268. Nancy Pelosi: You and your cohorts vote yourselves pay raises in the DARK OF NIGHT

and as RIDERS to other bills.

Fuck you and the banker you rode in on.

Let them have their current pay... and cut EVERY perk. Make them pay for THEIR OWN healthcare. Make them pay for their own travel. Increase their pay using ONLY COLA calculations, once every three years.

My hatred for politicians burns with the intensity of a billion stars in a million galaxies.

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #268)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:36 AM

304. ^^this^^

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Response to cherokeeprogressive (Reply #268)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 11:55 AM

319. D.C. politics and politicians together are the reason

this country is in decline. It's all governed by far right ideology; nobody is making decisions based on facts or on history.

Congress is especially responsible for every single problem we are suffering from, and, at the same time, they don't do shit because they don't WANT to reverse course. Almost every single politician in D.C. is bought and paid for by Wall Street and other neoliberal interests to continue pursuing a debunked and discredited ideology.

They sit and play a game on the voters that they are trying to do something when in fact they aren't doing squat and don't want to.

The far right poison also infected the state legislatures, both Democratic and Republican, and even into the school boards.

It will be a miracle if the USA still exists in 10 or 20 years.

Read the work by Barlett and Steele, and you will KNOW where the problems of this country lie.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:48 AM

277. If they were worth it, that would be fine, however, except for a very few, I do not think so

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 12:35 PM

322. Ugh. They've only been in session 11 days since the beginning of the year.

And really, they get a LOT of time off. I love Nancy, but this is an unpopular stance for her to take, considering the negativity surrounding the House, albeit due to Puke control.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:35 PM

326. For a House leader who took impeachment off the table, shouldn't she be making more?

 

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 01:57 PM

328. Her pay doesn't seem unreasonable but I do believe they should freeze congressional pensions and

move them all into 403(b) retirement plans. Let them save for retirement in the same way as the rest of us.

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Response to proud2BlibKansan (Original post)

Tue Feb 19, 2013, 09:58 PM

334. The problem with all this "starve Congress" talk

is for what we expect Congress members to do - not what they ARE doing, what we WANT and NEED them to do - $174,000 is a damn disgrace. In the private sector, someone with the level of responsibility a Congress member has would be making $1.5 million in salary and a few million in stock options, bonuses and other compensation.

The caliber of people we want in Congress - the ones who are worth a million-five plus ISOs and bonuses - don't want to take that kind of a cut in pay. Yes, being a Congress member is an honor but most people don't see honor in a 90-percent pay cut. The result is we get, for the most part, two kinds of people in Congress: guys who are trying out for a job on K Street, and guys who have an agenda, usually either a very-far-right-wing one or a selfish one like cutting a tax that affects their own businesses. Notice that there are very, very few people like Alan Grayson in Congress. There are PLENTY of guys like Raul Labrador, an immigration lawyer who went to DC to alter immigration law to his benefit.

We can't afford to pay a congressman $1.5 million nor should we consider it...but we need to quit bitching about someone who's basically a mid-level executive making $174,000 per year.

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