So I started to think about what it costs us to have a Congress. If we want to force fiscal responsibility let us take a little look at what it costs to run Congress each year. The most recent numbers I could find in a quick google search came up with these little nuggets.
Each Member of the House has an average of 14 Staff members in Washington
Each Member of the Senate has an average of 34 Staff members in Washington
They all have District offices with staff as well and with Senators they might have more than one district office. (The average District Office will have 6 Staff members with an average salary cost of $292,046)
In 2007 the Rank and File member of Congress was paid $168,000 with leadership being paid $186,600 and the Speaker of the House $215,700.
They do pay 25% of their health care costs however they are eligible for free outpatient care at military facilities around the world and there is a doctor on staff at the Capitol Building. Each member is assessed at yearly fee of $491 (2007)
Keep in mind this does not include benefits or the money it costs to keep the Congressional swimming pool and gym running as well as all of the other perks they receive.
Now what does it cost to run their offices. I hope you are sitting down!
In 2005 the average cost for an average office for a member of the House of Representatives was $1.3 million for the Senate it was between $2.7 million and $4.3 million EACH! There are 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 members of the Senate! Now my math is not great but I believe that comes to $565.5 Million for the House and $270 million for the Senate at the low end! And that is each year.
Just to keep things equal let’s look at Executive and Judicial Branch Salaries
Vice-Pres $208,100 (2005)
Cabinet Secretaries $180,100
Dep Sec $162,100
Under Sec $149,200
Asst Sec $140,300
Courts of Appeals $171,800
US District Courts $162,100
Bankruptcy Judges $149,132
According to the Census Bureau the Median household income in the United States in 2006 was $50,233 a far cry from the $168,000 a freshman member of Congress will make.
I propose the following:
In 2009 the Federal Minimum Wage was $7.25 per hour. Pay each and every elected official and political appointee in the Federal Government $7.25 per hour and only pay them for 40 hours. That would come out to $15,080 per year . From that they will have to pay health insurance and if they wish to have any pension they will have to pay that with no contribution from the Federal Government. This should significantly reduce the amount our government costs us.
I call upon all the candidates that were elected from the Tea Party to reduce their office staff and cut back on the amount of money their office costs us each year.
I am for all the good government we can afford but when peoples lives hang in the balance, people by the way that did not cause the economic situation and people who are just trying to get by, I find it hypocritical that someone who makes $168,000 is denying extended unemployment benefits to people. I take that back it is not hypocritical is shameful and dare I say sinful.