House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is calling for a Congressional pay raise since salaries have been frozen since 2009 and "Americans ought to have our nation’s diversity of economic backgrounds better reflected in this House." That's right: politicians should get more money because...diversity! Allow him to try to make sense of that:
“The cost of rent, child care and other necessities has risen substantially in Washington and across the country in recent years, but members and staff pay and benefits have not kept pace with the private sector. If we want to attract a more diverse group of Americans to run for office and work on Capitol Hill, we need to make it possible for them to do so."
Put aside the fact that many of the wealthy politicians now in office weren’t so wealthy when they came to Washington, but somehow got that way while doing “public service” (Bernie Sanders even became a millionaire and the owner of three houses while he was a socialist public servant.) Since he brought up "keeping pace with the private sector," let’s compare the salaries of Congress members to the private sector.
Representatives and Senators make $174,000 a year. The Majority and Minority Leaders in both chambers make $193,400, and the House Speaker makes $223,500. The median household income (not individual, but household) in America is $61,372.
Considering the skills required of a Congress member compared to those required of people in the private sector, I don’t think they’re being underpaid. In fact, I could name someone who probably deserved to be paid more as a bartender but is wildly overpaid as a Congress member.
I have a feeling Hoyer’s plea for a raise will not be met with sympathy from his employers (we taxpayers.) If you had an employee who went wildly over budget, couldn’t handle the most basic responsibilities of the job (such as securing the borders) and spent all day long fighting with and name-calling his colleagues and looking for his next promotion, would you give him a raise?
Besides, we have to think about protecting these poor politicians’ souls. According to stats compiled by this site…
…anyone who earns above $130,000 is in the top five percent of wage earners in America. Earn more than $250,000, and you’re a “one percenter.” Nancy Pelosi is perilously close already, just from her Speaker’s salary (and with her vast personal wealth, surely she’s already in it.)
Considering how eeeeeevil those rich one-percenters are, and how they’re the cause of all our problems and deserve to have their wealth confiscated and redistributed because of their arrogance and privilege, it would be downright mean to force our Congress members to become a part of that class they hate so much by giving them a pay raise. In fact, if we really want them to represent the people the way they say they want to, how about cutting their pay to $61,372 a year and see how well they get by on it? Of course, they won’t get the full $61,372 a year. That’s before taxes.
Another good reason for a Congressional pay cut: if Nancy Pelosi got $61,372 a year and still had to pay taxes, I’ll bet a $1,000 tax cut wouldn’t seem like “crumbs” to her anymore.