And I Always Thought It Was About We The People

With the fight going on over the Speaker position, I got kind of curious about who is being paid what for what they do in the House and what I found was, to say the least, amazing…amazing and disheartening. Please keep in mind all these numbers are YOUR TAX DOLLARS! And this is not everything these ‘professional politicians” get while in office. And as I have pointed out before the term “professional politicians” does not necessarily apply to all of them. There are some, like the late Honorable Howard Coble, who has actually worked for the benefit of the people and, in my opinion, should serve as an example of how politicians should behave and perform.

As of December 2014, the annual salary of each Representative is $174,000, the same as it is for each member of the Senate. The Speaker of the House and the majority and minority leaders earn more: $223,500 for the speaker and $193,400 for their party leaders (the same as Senate leaders).

House members are eligible for a Member’s Representational Allowance (MRA) to support them in their official and representational duties to their district. The MRA is calculated based on three components: one for personnel, one for official office expenses and one for official or franked mail. The personnel allowance is the same for all members; the office and mail allowances vary based on the members’ district’s distance from Washington, D.C., the cost of office space in the member’s district, and the number of non-business addresses in their district. These three components are used to calculate a single MRA that can fund any expense—even though each component is calculated individually, the franking allowance can be used to pay for personnel expenses if the member so chooses. In 2011 this allowance averaged $1.4 million per member, and ranged from $1.35 to $1.67 million.

franking: to print a mark on a stamp so that the stamp cannot be used again, or to print a mark on an envelope to show that the cost of sending it has been paid. Last time I checked, email doesn’t require a stamp.

The Personnel allowance was $944,671 per member in 2010. Each member may employ no more than 18 permanent employees. Members’ employees’ salary is capped at $168,411 as of 2009. I’m still looking into if those numbers have gone up.

This is your tax dollars at work and is probably a strong reason why these “professional politicians” work so hard to stay in office. Who wouldn’t want a job where you really don’t do squat and make all that money. And try looking up their retirement options. They become eligible to receive benefits after five years of service (two and one-half terms in the House). A G.I. has to serve 20 years minimum and gets 50% of their base pay.

The Founding Fathers did not see this service as a profession yet that is what it has become.

Although this has been a rant about THEM at a national level, there is plenty of the same kind of…crap…happening at the state level. An example; look at the district that basically follows an interstate almost the entire length of the state. What is that? These “professional politicians”, at the state/local level take every opportunity to redraw districts in attempts to benefit them and their party. What about what is best for US, We the People?

Oh, that’s right; we are just chattel to them; just the way to the means.

 Think about it you peasants.

Carpe Diem

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