Copyright 2012 by Ed Bagley
The absolute best job in America today is a politician in the U. S. Congress.
Oh, they whine and complain a lot, but behind closed doors, they are as happy as a kid’s first visit to a candy store.
Members of Congress earn a salary of $174,000—that’s 3.4 times higher than the average full-time American worker, who earns $50,875 per year.
Even if you compare Members of Congress to more educated, private sector employees, they’re still doing pretty well—those Americans earn on average $83,000 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you count the $110,000 in taxpayer-funded fringe benefits Members receive (including plush retirement plans, paid time off, and contributions to Social Security and Medicare taxes), they’re earning close to $285,000 per year.
Did you know that each Member of Congress in 2010 was also given $944,671 to set up their individual office in Washington, DC and their home district. How would you like an additional allowance of $944,000+ to do your work?
If you screw up on the job, you get fired. If a Member of Congress screws up, he or she gets to serve out their term in office. House members serve 2-year terms, Senate members serve 6-year terms. In some cases, you could—in effect—be a screw up for 6 years and get paid for doing so.
Did I mention that 47% of the Members in Congress are millionaires, with an estimated median net worth of $2.56 million. By comparison, only 1% of Americans are millionaires. Don’t tell me it doesn’t pay to be a Congressman.
But here in the United States, when it comes to being an overpaid federal employee, Members of Congress have plenty of company.
The average federal employee earns an annual salary almost 60% higher than the average private-sector employee — $79,000 vs. $50,000. Federal employees do have more education (on average) than private-sector workers. Their unions argue that this justifies their higher pay. But it doesn’t.
Even after controlling for education and experience, federal employees get paid significantly better — 22% more per hour, on average — than private-sector workers.
Members of Congress have also inadvertently raised “passing the buck” to an art form. There are 535 voting Members of Congress; the House of Representatives has 435 and the Senate has 100.
Should anyone question an individual member’s vote on any issue at any time, they can simply say, “Hey, I’m only 1 of 435 votes in the House” or “I’m only 1 of 100 votes in the Senate.” Hence, there is no real accountability or apparent responsibility.
I say this because the collective Members of Congress are incredibly irresponsible, especially in budget matters. Whether Democrat or Republican, they love to spend our money. Here’s how they do it:
Lesson # 1:
U.S. Tax Revenue: $2,170,000,000,000 ($2 Trillion, 170 Billion)
Federal Budget: $3,820,000,000,000 ($3 Trillion, 820 Billion)
New Debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000 ($1 Trillion, 650 Billion)
National Debt: $14,271,000,000,000 ($14 Trillion, 271 Billion)
Recent Budget Cuts: $ 38,500,000,000 ($38.5 Billion)
As an average citizen with a household budget, you know how damn stupid and irresponsible their behavior is. Here is why:
Let’s remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget to make it clear:
Annual family income: $21,700
Money the family spent: $38,200
New debt on the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Total household budget cuts: $385
And this is what has been happening for years, and it is now more out of control than ever.
Do you know of a credit card company that would let a family with an annual income of $21,700 run up a credit card debt of $142,710? Neither do I, but this is exactly what our representatives in Congress have done, and have gotten away with doing it.
They tax and spend our money like there is no tomorrow. In reality, they sell their votes for special interest money to get elected and re-elected, becoming a career politician.
It has become so bad that if a politician in Congress actually does something in the best interest of the county (rather than his or her own self best-interest), it is more by accident than design, and then they take credit in a fit of righteousness.
This has happened because you can never underestimate the stupidity of the American people. Think about it. We created the system that allows this kind of behavior, we freely elected the people in Congress who committed this behavior, and we appear ready to re-elect the same Members of Congress to keep doing what they are currently doing.
So don’t you dare complain when you are taxed to death, you lose more of your Constitutional freedoms, and you are told exactly what you can and cannot do in the near future, whether you like it or not. You will eventually be fined or prosecuted if you do not do as you are told by your representatives in Congress. They do, after all, make the laws that you must obey.
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