Are you assuming that they don't spend any of their salary? Many if not most Senators were millionaires before they even entered the Senate. A very few, like my Senator and Joe Biden spend decades in the Senate without becoming millionaires. Not to say you shouldn't be paid more.
5. Rich is rich... and it is hard to be a real defender of the poor when you are a millionaire
I mean, all those tax breaks they say they are against, benefit many of them....and the other top 5%.
In the past ten years the senate pay has gone from 145,100 to 174,000... almost a $30,000 raise. What other public employees have had a $30,000 raise? Between 1989 and 1991 they got a $35,600 raise...almost $12,000 a year.
As a teacher I get a raise...and that raise does not cover the cost of the classes I have to take to get the raise. So, I get a raise, pay more than the raise out in tuition, and then pay taxes on my raise so I actually bring home less money...but if I don't take the classes I lose my license.
13. right. FDR sucked at that. So did Teddy Kennedy.
Bernie Sanders? Clearly his salary makes him utterly callous re the poor.
Look, I don't think they needed that raise- but btw, I'll bet there are quite a few other public employees who have gotten a commensurate raise. Some in federal gov't and- for instance, Presidents of state colleges.
but I dispute your assertion that it's hard to be a defender of the poor because of what they get paid.
7. Biden's yearly income: $248,754. If he is poor it is because he spends it all.
Biden ranks as the poorest member of the U.S. Senate. The Center for Responsive Politics estimates his net worth is at most $277,000 (see Related Links for report). A more recent release of tax returns by Biden indicates a yearly income of $248,754 (see Related Links).
Senators make $174K/yr. With that they have to maintain two households (one in their home state and one in Washington, DC). There are 100 Senators in the entire country. There are about 3 million public school teachers. They are responsible, as a group with the Representatives and the President, for spending $3.5T/yr($6.5B/politician/yr).
Also what is the definition of a millionaire (someone who has $1M plus in net worth). Obviously an immediate 30-40% of the salary goes for taxes so you are not going to see an increase in net worth on your salary alone to $1M. Of course you are in the position to pass laws and have influence that may impact your family, and eventually you can go across the table and become a lobbyist etc ensuring big bucks.
The salary, in my opinion if they are doing a good job, is the least of our concerns. I do think the pension is generous, and these benefits should be structured to compensate a person well while in office but not to encourage them to stay for too long. Also I think those around them (staffs etc and the unending departments that continue to be formed but never dissolved need to be pruned down).
Currently we spend $14K/student between local, state, and federal spending. Alot of this spending sticks to the fingers of administrators in Washington and the state capitals. $14K*20 students works out to be $280K/yr. A typical professionals benefits package is around $25K (I assume this is comparable for teachers). While you do have facility expenses, etc, you might want to find out where the other over $200K/teacher/yr is going.
I appreciate your service as teacher, and I do feel, as a professional, you are underpaid, but I would not load up on the Senator's salaries as an area of complaint.
20. Same salary in the House, there are 435 of them so your whole
'just a hundred' logic seems to me to indicate the House members should be paid less. Odd that you do not mention that. Our House rep makes about 5 times the median income in his district. It is absurd to claim that the job is that difficult, it is done by the likes of Michelle Bachmann. How hard could it be?
A friend of mine on facebook, someone who never used to be political, had made a post about Alan Simpson and his social security comments last year. (social security is like a cow with 3 million teets...something like that...but basically putting down the system and people who live off of it) and she wondered how much he had made off the system. I was just doing the math for her...and after seeing how big the senate raises have been...it kind of irked me. NOT that they don't deserve to be paid...but that so many of them complain that government employees are "entitled" and "leeches"... yet they make the most off the system.
25. sigh...it says "make a million" I will make a million myself after I teach for
But, I did edit the millionaire statement right after I posted. Maybe you read the original post's wording that had "millionaire" in it.
So, let me restate...if you work as a senator for less than six years you will be paid ONE MILLION DOLLARS. On top of that the position allows book deals, public speaking, etc etc etc to pad what you make. You probably won't be a millionaire from those wages because of living expenses.
$46,326 is the mean HOUSEHOLD income in the US. A senator currently earns $127, 644 more than the median HOUSEHOLD income. (household vs. SINGLE SENATOR INCOME)
Just pointing out numbers. Math. Comparing incomes and how much a person is PAID (not what they save)
I really have no problem that a Senator makes roughly 3 times the mean household income in the United States. The fact is that many of Senators would make more money in the private sector. Many are lawyers, who could be making the type of money John Edwards did as a trial lawyer - by the time he entered the senate he had a minimum of $27 million dollars. Many could use the same leadership and communication skills to rise to the CEO position in a major company - making several million a year. (Frankly, John Kerry chairing hearings is impressive - and those same skills (even without the Forbes connections) would have made him a top executive if he had gone that way.) Although there are some Senators, that cause me to scratch my head and wonder how they ever were elected, most are relatively impressive - which you see more in the hearings.
The average person does not have the same skill set or abilities that the average Senator has. It is entirely likely that there are some people who are currently teachers, who have the desire and the skills to run for office and win. They could then go onto to become Congressmen or Senators.
In addition, imagine that your persuaded Congress to lower the pay to $50,000 - slightly more than the average. Who would this affect? It would not affect John Kerry. It would not affect John McCain. It would not affect Frank Lautenberg. It would affect some - like Bob Menendez. Menendez, a son of immigrants is not wealthy and has a young family. NJ is an expensive state and living in DC is expensive as well. Do you want people not to be able to be Senators because to do so would leave their family unable to afford a middle class life style? Also remember that some states are far more expensive than others.
Then there is another problem. If legislators were poorly paid, the temptation would be even greater to accept favors from people who want access. This is already a problem, but imagine someone without outside resources, who really does not have the money to afford living in DC as well as maintaining their house within their state, on less money than they had in the prior job - because most who become a legislator will have been making more than the mean, being offered something that seems innocent at first- ie a below market apartment or free rides back to their state in a corporate jet.
<snip> The report, based on financial disclosures covering the calendar year 2009, finds that 261 House and Senate members reported a net worth of more than $1 million. Of those, 55 had an average wealth of $10 million or more, and eight lawmakers reported holdings of $100 million or more.
28. Here are the top 10 most valuable players in congress
Name Maximum Net Worth Darrell Issa (R-Calif) $451,100,000.00 Jane Harman (D-Calif) $435,429,001.00 Vernon Buchanan (R-Fla) $366,180,982.00 John Kerry (D-Mass) $294,869,059.00 Jared Polis (D-Colo) $285,123,996.00 Mark Warner (D-Va) $283,077,995.00 Herb Kohl (D-Wis) $231,245,995.00 Michael McCaul (R-Texas) $201,537,000.00 James E. Risch (R-Idaho) $179,131,990.00 Jay Rockefeller (D-WVa) $136,218,002.00
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