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writing for godot

Time to Lower the Pay of Senators and Representatives

Written by Judy Pasqualge   
Saturday, 06 March 2021 04:18

After the Senate vote on the $15 minimum wage amendment, in which eight Democratic senators voted against, and thus prevented, a raise, I have a proposal that could gain the support of many republicans, democrats and independents: lower Congressional pay.

Right now, they make a minimum of $174,000 per year (Senate majority/minority leaders and president pro tempore make $194,400; and the House speaker $223,500).

Let's be generous and set pay at $10 per hour ‒ a rate some senators think would be adequate (not the current $7.25).

That comes to about $20,000 per year in pretax pay.

Let's go further: they are free to take additional part-time jobs, also at $10, as long as this does not interfere in the work of their primary job (but NOT running in primaries).

They would put all their assets into some kind of escrow account for the duration of their time in Congress.

And, let's be really generous, and allow them access to a buffer for emergencies ‒ say, about $30,000. This, with their pay, comes to $50,000 ‒ an amount some of them suggested should be the cut-off point for receiving the new COVID-19 stimulus checks.

We'll also keep their access to the Affordable Care Act health insurance program, for them and their families. After all, while many of them find it perfectly acceptable that 20 to 30 to 40 million citizens lack health insurance, we don't.

Since they are dedicated to public service, while they are in office, they should have access to their houses in their home states, and some set allowance for returning to their states to see voters and mailing information to them ‒ but these should not be extravagant, and must be enforced/accounted for with receipts.

But as for some of the perks that go with the job, there can be no longer be: $25/month luxury gym access, free parking in illegal zones and at airports, monetary help with workplace disputes, only partial disclosure of stock trades, and free overseas trips (for member and staffers).

All this is contingent on a requirement that assets and liabilities, and thus net worth, are publicly reported every year.

It's here that things get interesting (net worth in $; most from for Responsive Politics, and for 2018): keeping in mind the eight thrifty DP/I senators: Coons (DE); King (ME); Manchin (WV); Carper (DE); Shaheen (NH); Tester (MT); Hassan (NH); and Sinema (AZ); and with no mention of the worth of any family members:

‒ President Biden is worth from 2,137,033 to 7,924,998, but another source notes 9 m.

‒ Sen. Coons: 10.13 million ‒ (did he actually cast his fellow Delawarean Biden's vote?)

‒ Sen. King: 9.49 m

‒ Sen. Manchin: 7.62 m

‒ Sen. Carper: 5.73 m

‒ Sen. Shaheen: 3.82 m

‒ Sen. Tester: 3.67 m

‒ Sen. Hassan: 3.47 m

‒ Sen. Sinema: 32,500

By way of comparison, let's add the following:

‒ VP Kamala Harris: 3.5 m

‒ Sen. Susan Collins (ME): 4.12 m

‒ Sen. Mitt Romney (UT): 250 m

And, to see how several former presidents are doing:

‒ Bill Clinton: peak 75 m (wikipedia); Hillary Clinton: 45 m (2016, Forbes)

‒ George W Bush: 9.49 m (2008); 39.5 (current, USA Today)

‒ Barack Obama: 3.62 m (2014); now 40 (wikipedia), maybe even 70

A final requirement to be in Congress is to stop talking about values when actions defy them ‒ whether the values concern your country, state, religion, etc.

This is for your own protection, and to increase your chances of being reelected; this will also serve to illustrate your 'heart' and 'empathy' ‒ that is, real compassion ‒ for all the voters who have had listened to it. your social media marketing partner
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