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Why Not Pay Congress What We Get Paid?

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I read an Associated Press story that, while the government is shut down, we are paying members of Congress $10,583.85 per hour.  That’s for the 532 members of Congress and yes, it’s being paid by us taxpayers.

Now, they get that pay even if the federal government is ‘shut down’.  And if the federal government get’s going full steam again, they’ll get that same wage.  Doesn’t matter, either way, we’re paying Congress $10, 583.85 per hour.

Now, I’m not going to take the time to split that all out and see what each individual member (Senate and House of Representatives) makes.  But whatever it is, it seems like a lot.  Especially with all the perks that come from the job (no, I’m not talking about ‘under-the-table perks), including expenses, free mailing privileges, etc.

So, my small contribution to reducing federal spending is simply this:

Why not pay members of the Senate and House of Representatives the same as the median income of the people they represent?  In other words, if the average salary in, say, South Dakota is $35,000 (I have no idea if that is correct, but just for the sake of the discussion) then our Senator’s and Representative would get that amount in salary.  They could keep their expense account on top of it (something that most South Dakotan’s don’t have I’ll bet).  Since we only have one House member, and they also represent the whole state, the salaries would be the same.  In other states, like Minnesota, where they have multiple House member’s, the salary would be the average in their district.

The beauty of it would be 1) Reduce federal spending which sounds like something everyone wants, 2) Our folks in Washington would be making about what the people they represent make, 3) It would serve as an incentive for our representatives to do things to help us because as our wages go up, so does theirs and 4) Perhaps the ‘same old bunch’ wouldn’t stay in Washington for a lifetime.

So, as an example, maybe the representatives in New York would make more than the representatives in South Dakota because I assume people in New York make more.  Again, bottom line: The people that represent us make what we make.  Seems fair, yes?  After all, they work for us.  And I’m sure they’re not in it for the money.

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