Late Night of the (Duncan) Hunter Open Thread

The ol’ ball & chain! Ya know how wimmen are!

Repubs love them some TRADITION…

But the real entertainment value is watching never-Trumpist Tom Nichols’ knife fight with the MAGAts:


86 replies
  1. 1
    Gravenstone says:

    Called it. You just knew from the snippets of the charges against them, and the from Hunter sr’s statements that they would try to blame it all on the wife.

  2. 2
    Platonailedit says:

    What is radio tom’s babbling point?

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    @Gravenstone: When the spending scandal first became public a while ago, he started by trying to blame his son. Maybe, after blaming his wife fails to help, Rep. Hunter will move on to blame dear old Dad.

  4. 4

    Donald apparently doesn’t know how to color in the flag

  5. 5

    @Platonailedit: the old argument goes: it is not necessarily easy to maintain a family and two households on a $170k job. If we paid congresspeople more, we might actually have fewer congresspeople who were independently wealthy. And that would be good, because it is a hard job and should be treated like one.

  6. 6
    Jay says:

    @Platonailedit:

    Radio Tom is twitterbaiting MAGAt’s, and Anne very kindly omitted The Stupid that Radio Tom was responding to.

  7. 7
    Viva BrisVegas says:

    The rewards of service in Congress are like the rewards of Christianity. They come after you have left this veil of tears, so long as you have the right connections.

  8. 8
    sigaba says:

    Prior to the UK Parliament reforms in the teens, there was in effect no Labor Party— it was the Tories and the Liberals, who were able to admit a few commoners and men not born to the purple only by setting them up with sinecures as journalists and other gigs.

  9. 9
    Wapiti says:

    @Major Major Major Major: My personal preference would be for my state to buy or lease a number of decent houses in the DC area and assign them to our Senators and Congressmen and -women. Like the military would do for a bunch of generals.

  10. 10
    Fair Economist says:

    Underpay government employees, get corruption. Goes back at least to the Pharaohs. 174K is hardly poverty wages, even for somebody maintaining two residences, but it is indeed low compared to most jobs with similar responsibilities and work.

  11. 11
    Calouste says:

    According to CNN, a former doorman at shitgibbon Tower sold a story about shitgibbon’s affair and child with his housekeeper to the National Enquire which got never published. But the NE has now released him from his contract.

    There might be a flood of those stories coming, and it wouldn’t surprise me if the NE is working 24/7 at the moment on a book that has them all. What’s the shitgibbon going to do, sue them? The NE might not survive, and it would be a fantastic way to cash out.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    Jay says:

    @Wapiti:

    Set it up more like a live in Embassy.

  14. 14
    Wapiti says:

    @Fair Economist: In 2018, median household income was ~61k, with congress paid 174k (~284%). In 1950, household income was $3300 and congress was paid $12500 (~380%). So yeah, they’ve lost ground.

  15. 15
    NotMax says:

    @Wapiti

    Have been advocating something along those lines for over 50 years.

    You can see how far the concept has gotten.

  16. 16
    Aleta says:

    (In late 2016) a former high-ranking Trump Organization executive … wrote a list of people whom I might contact to find out about anything potentially illegal or unethical that Donald Trump may have done. At the bottom of the list was the name Weisselberg. “Allen is the one guy who knows everything,” the person told me. “He’ll never talk to you.” I have had nearly identical conversations with different people who work or have worked for the Trump Organization many times since. They all described his role similarly: Allen Weisselberg, the firm’s longtime chief financial officer, is the center, the person in the company who knows more than anyone.

    On Friday, the Wall Street Journal broke the story that Weisselberg had been granted immunity by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York so that he could share information in the investigation of Michael Cohen …. (T)he entire world of Trump watchers… went bonkers.

    As the C.F.O., Weisselberg tracked the money that came into the Trump Organization and the money that went out of it, former employees told me. … Some told me he had a couple of bookkeepers, but that he personally handled most of the paperwork. Weisselberg knew who was paying or lending money to Trump, and he knew to whom Trump was giving money. When Trump became President, he placed his business interests in a revocable trust overseen by his son Donald Trump, Jr., and Weisselberg.

    In a recording Michael Cohen … described setting up a shell company to pay hush money during the 2016 campaign … The tape suggests that Weisselberg provided guidance for Cohen’s payment, an illegal act designed to influence the election. …If Weisselberg, fearing prosecution himself, tells prosecutors of other criminal activity in the organization, that information will likely be referred to other federal and state prosecutors, thus broadening the investigation of Trump’s business.

    In January, 2016, during Trump’s Presidential campaign, his foundation made a series of donations to veterans-advocacy organizations in Iowa that were explicitly designed to gain support for his candidacy. Weisselberg filled out the checks. In his deposition, he volunteered that the Trump Foundation had no procedures in place to insure it followed the law and that Trump himself knew of and directed Weisselberg’s participation in the scheme to pay those Iowa veterans groups. Were Weisselberg eager to protect his longtime boss, he could have answered the questions far more narrowly. It was an early hint that Weisselberg, like Cohen, may not jeopardize his own freedom to defend Trump.

    The Journal story and other news coverage suggest that Weisselberg has narrow immunity, related, solely, to the payments that Michael Cohen made to silence two women with whom Trump had affairs. With evidence of that crime in hand, prosecutors can subpoena other records from the company. If they have a reasonable basis to believe another crime has been committed, they can ask Weisselberg about it. Weisselberg, fearing jail time himself, could broaden his coöperation. The fact that Weisselberg has “flipped”— and may flip further—could shift the calculus of other figures in the Trump orbit as well. … Fearing that Weisselberg might implicate them in a crime, any cronies, dealmakers, attorneys, and others who might want to exchange information for leniency from prosecutors, will now do so.


    Adam Davidson https://www.newyorker.com/news-desk/swamp-chronicles/allen-weisselberg-the-man-who-knows-donald-trumps-financial-secrets-has-agreed-to-become-a-cooperating-witness

  17. 17

    @Jay: You mean like the Breitbart Embassy? That’s where Steve Bannon lived.

  18. 18
    Jay says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    No, more like Canada House. All the State Employees and Reps in DC would have living space, working space and meeting space, along with accomodations for State Delegations, all in one large building, preferably close to the House and Senate.

  19. 19
    Brent says:

    I mean, sure, Hunter’s family probably has to stretch that 174K a little further than maybe a typical single income family with a similar income might. But its not like the dude has to live on Ramen for goodness’ sake.

    But I guess the key question is what would the pay have to be to really attract the level of skill desired? And really, what is the level of skill desired? That number doesn’t strike me as being so far out of the range of the high end of what a skilled professional can expect to make outside of the finance industry. Obviously some make more and many make less. And then there are the CEO types who make quite a bit more by orders of magnitude. Obviously, the public sector is not going to even try to compete with those sorts of numbers.

    So, to boil it down, I am wondering what Nichols thinks is the right number here and who is he thinking to attract with that theoretical number?

  20. 20
    PJ says:

    @Jay: Make all the representatives from one state live in the same house, like the Monkees. Or, alternatively, like the Monkey House at the zoo.

  21. 21

    @Brent:

    And really, what is the level of skill desired? That number doesn’t strike me as being so far out of the range of the high end of what a skilled professional can expect to make outside of the finance industry.

    Call me an elitist but I want a lot of my lawmakers to be smart, highly-trained lawyers.

  22. 22
    PJ says:

    @Wapiti: It’s the average American household that has lost ground.

  23. 23
    JR says:

    @Brent: No sympathy for Hunter and I’m not sure that increasing pay will stem the tide of corruption — the big problem here is that the money driving corruption is so large than no amount of government salary can really compete with it — but living near your job costs a lot more for a congressional rep than it does for folks like yours truly.

  24. 24
    Brent says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Ok. So that is a fair enough standard. Here is what I could find in a quick search on the median lawyer salary:

    https://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/lawyer/salary

    The congressional salary is not wildly out of range with the 75th percentile in that chart which is a little over 176. Now, obviously the highest paid lawyers make quite a bit more than that but there are a lot of reasons why public policy is not going to try to compete with the multimillion type salaries. But it looks to me that if competing with the compensation of a relevant skilled professional in the private sector is the standard, 174K is really not that far off.

  25. 25
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Jay: Would their families be able to live with them in DC? Do tney now?

  26. 26

    @Brent: as that link notes, the DC salary for lawyers is about 30% higher than national figures. Throw in travel and a second home (in a frightfully expensive market) and you’re not anywhere near the 75th percentile.

  27. 27
    Brent says:

    @JR:

    but living near your job costs a lot more for a congressional rep than it does for folks like yours truly.

    Oh, I certainly don’t doubt it. I grew up in DC and I have a lot of family still there and aside from that, I understand that there are unique expenses involved in being a Congressman or Senator. But my point is more that I am not convinced the numbers are that out of whack for “attracting good people” . if that is the concern. I mean, I wouldn’t be opposed to talking about a reasonable housing allowance but Nichols makes it seem like we are paupering these poor fellows.

  28. 28
    Luthe says:

    @Major Major Major Major: I am shocked he doesn’t remember the design, considering the number of times he has (literally) humped it.

    (Also, is that a Pride flag in the background I see corrupting our children?)

  29. 29
    Jay says:

    @Ladyraxterinok:

    I’d probably set it up so that those with families had flats if they wanted them.

    For a variety of reasons, a fair number of Reps and Senator’s don’t move to DC, but instead “commute”.

    I fully understand it because for several years I commuted, 3 weeks a month to my second job, ( same Company, different Division) 2600 miles away.

  30. 30
    piratedan says:

    It still comes back to the average american and their lack of knowledge about damn near everything, no idea on what the cost of living is elsewhere, despite watching multiple seasons of House Hunters and seeing how the cost vary wildly from location to location, not just state to state. Plus, they don’t want to hear about the costs of the sausage making, they just want you to make the sausage with their own favorite ingredients and make sure that no one else gets any sausage the way that they prefer it.

    That seems to be it in a nutshell as far as the GOP is concerned. While political junkies like ourselves actually know and understand how important that this is, that the baking in of certain items takes times, argument, negotiation and in many cases determining a sense of balance that works financially and ethically, other people don’t see the nuance and the work that it takes to make a piece of legislation that isn’t a piece of crap that unduly favors one specific group. That’s the GOP method, you helped buy me this seat, what do you want in return to keep the money flowing in this symbiotic relationship of you get me elected and I help make you richer.

  31. 31
    nasruddin says:

    @Luthe:
    Dementia symptom.
    Anyone else, this would be a fantastic scandal.

  32. 32

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Call me an elitist but I want a lot of my lawmakers to be smart, highly-trained lawyers.

    The last thing we want is for them to all be lawyers.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Brent says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    Sure, the median salary is even higher elsewhere like San Jose. But yeah. I get it. If you are a very good lawyer, based in DC or Northern California, you can maybe expect to make more and certainly will have fewer required expenses. I think there are probably some reasonable discussions to be had at least around mitigating at least some of the expenses part of that. My only point really is that this is not a crazy number for a reasonably skilled lawyer or say, accountant – one of those good people in other words. Obviously its a job that offers a lot of sizable professional advantages (for even the non-corrupt) aside from the salary and its not like the salary is some sort of pittance, even in context.

    Nichols’ point, looking through the twitter thread again, is probably more in agreement with that sentiment than I initially thought.

  35. 35
    The Dangerman says:

    @Calouste:

    …affair and child with his housekeeper…

    I got money the Housekeeper is illegal.

  36. 36
    The Dangerman says:

    Oops. No edit button and I’m not supposed to use the word illegal for someone that …. isn’t legal.

  37. 37

    @Brent: yeah I’m not trying to say we should quadruple the salary or something, but I agree about mitigating costs. I think the state-Live-work-embassy idea would make for an interesting town too!

    ETA would they be like real embassies, and have different laws? Don’t try to smuggle any of that weed from Colorado House to Utah House…

  38. 38

    @Major Major Major Major: No, lawyers don’t necessarily make good lawmakers and it’s a good idea to have other viewpoints.

  39. 39
    sukabi says:

    @The Dangerman: undocumented is the word you’re looking for. ☺

  40. 40

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I didn’t say they all should be. Nor that every lawyer would make a good lawmaker.

  41. 41
    Platonailedit says:

    @Brent:

    So, to boil it down, I am wondering what Nichols thinks is the right number here and who is he thinking to attract with that theoretical number?

    Bingo. Don’t beat about the bush with snarky tweets at magats. Being a politician is a hard, demanding job despite what we think. As long as they are compensated well based on some real math, not many will begrudge them that. Don’t fucking sell yourself to 1%ers all the time.

  42. 42
    Martin says:

    @Brent:

    But I guess the key question is what would the pay have to be to really attract the level of skill desired? And really, what is the level of skill desired? That number doesn’t strike me as being so far out of the range of the high end of what a skilled professional can expect to make outside of the finance industry.

    Unlike any skilled professional I know of, members of congress often need to maintain a second home at their own expense and cover at least some of their travel costs. Biden was fortunate that Delaware was train distance from DC, but CA congresspersons are a 5 hour flight plus perhaps a 6 hour drive from a major airport. They can’t just whisk home at the end of the workday.

    Rather than scale the salary, I think the federal government should simply build a dormatory in DC for members of congress. It would eliminate the cheap rent from lobbyists problem as well as ensure members of congress don’t see that as a salary differential between members that live close to DC who don’t need the housing and those at a distance that do.

    But if you want better people to run for Congress, then simply switch to public campaign financing. It’s that simple.

  43. 43

    @Major Major Major Major: True, but I disagree that a lot of lawmakers should be lawyers. YMMV.

  44. 44

    @Martin:

    But if you want better people to run for Congress, then simply switch to public campaign financing. It’s that simple.

    Also our CongressCritters won’t be spending a good chunk of their time play dialing for dollars.

  45. 45
    Fair Economist says:

    @Brent: A Congressperson should be well above the 75th percentile lawyer. There are about 1000 lawyers for each Congressperson, and IMO we want the best in Congress. The pay ought to be around the 99th percentile, which I’ll bet is quite a bit higher.

    For one thing, as long as switching to lobbyist brings an increase in pay, we’re facing the ancient truth of underpaid government employees producing corruption. A lot of the bad action in Congress is to get that lobbyist payout later.

  46. 46
    Fair Economist says:

    @Luthe:

    I am shocked [Trump] doesn’t remember the design [of the flag], considering the number of times he has (literally) humped it.

    Yet another sign of his advancing dementia. There have been many others.

  47. 47
    ruemara says:

    Having seen the work that goes into the city & state representatives’ schedule, I think a base of $174k then a differential based on DC COL is worth discussing. It is a 24/7 job & people ask me if I’ve thought about running. I can say at a local level, I can’t afford to. I knew 1 working stiff in office during 7 years of service. He produced the most working & lower class friendly ideas, whereas the PhD retiree, when asked about job development plans to attract jobs that paid enough to afford the high rents, acted like she’d never heard the phrase.
    But conservatives run to have power & the salt of the earth common men think getting people to work without paying them is some sort of meritorious achievement.

    Also, evening all. Been a bit. Had my 4th car accident last Friday while at the obg/gyn. I’m looking at yet another $1k+ damage because Susan McNascar thought she had mad driving skillz to back up into the parking space next to me. Only I can have 4 accidents in 8 months that all feature my car being stationary while people run into it. It’s a large red egg! How can you not see it?! I’ll take that $174k. I can fix the car & budget better than the Hunters. Plus my votes would be for a better gov. Vote me!

  48. 48

    @ruemara: I’d vote for you!

    That’s crazy about the car. You’re okay right?

    (I am off to bed though)

  49. 49
    Another Scott says:

    Piling on with many others:

    If the head of the Smithsonian can make $795k a year then it doesn’t seem reasonable to me that we expect $180k for a member of Congress to be enough.

    The whole civil service pay system needs to be revised. Secretaries and the like make poverty wages, people in the middle with 20-30 years experience get stuck at the top of their bands and never get raises, and people at the top have to be independently wealthy. It’s a system that needs an overhaul.

    It’s even worse in the states – IIRC, Virginia legislators make about $15k a year (“it’s a part time job!!111”)… :-/

    People shouldn’t get rich on public service, and breaking the public trust needs to be appropriately punished, but the salary needs to be reasonably responsive to the real world if we want more than oligarchs writing our laws.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  50. 50
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    These people barely show up to work.

    They only work 138 days of the year, with a large number those being half days.

    Their main job is attending fundraising dinners.

  51. 51
    Fair Economist says:

    @David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch: It’s not true that they only work 138 days, because they also work on constituent service and as public figures. They do spend a lot of time fundraising, and insofar as that’s their job they are working for the donors and not us – which is a highly undesirable situation.

  52. 52
    NotMax says:

    Absent each state providing (or offering to rent out to them) quarters, House members ought to be paid the median wage of their district, Senate members the median wage of their state. Plus an opt-in non-primary residence housing allowance pro-rated by either the number of miles from the U.S. Capitol to their respective state capitols or by time zone of primary residence when elected.

    Comparing the salary of Congresspeople to the salary of coaches is futile and ludicrous. If anything, lower the coaches’ salary.

  53. 53
    Jay says:

    Lost History:

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fVet82IUAqQ

    Bunch of female wargamers won the Battle of the Atlantic during WWII in real time.

  54. 54
    TS (the original) says:

    @Fair Economist:

    but it is indeed low compared to most jobs with similar responsibilities and work.

    That assumes they work – how many have done anything other than attack the Clintons for the past 6 years. I cannot believe that anyone thinks $174K is insufficient. Most people have lived on less than $100K all of their lives – including me.

  55. 55
    Ian says:

    @Platonailedit:
    His point is that the completely unacceptable antics of the Representative (S-JR) are somehow not really all that bad because the overpaid football coaches,- look over here as I defend people who can raise their own pay and do so regularly, and skim the public trough- but overpaid football coaches.

  56. 56
    montanareddog says:

    Another profile in courage from the party of personal responsibility.

    Meanwhile, Al Franken is still no longer a senator.

  57. 57
    Starfish says:

    @NotMax: That is how you get corrupt rich folks in office. Our city council doesn’t get paid. It is mostly rich folks.

    I installed Brave finally because I was tired of the video ads. I don’t care if they are silent. They are annoying.

  58. 58
    Fair Economist says:

    @NotMax:

    House members ought to be paid the median wage of their district, Senate members the median wage of their state

    I can’t believe I’m seeing this here. If that were the wage, basically nobody would run for Congress except crooks and dilettantes. Mostly crooks. In government, as in most things, you can’t get what you don’t pay for.

  59. 59
    Platonailedit says:

    @NotMax: Link the mofos’ wages to the minimum wages and their health plan to their states and then how quickly and how often the minimum wages and the health plan for plebes get raised.

  60. 60
    Starfish says:

    @Platonailedit: Why raise minimum wage when corruption is profitable? You wouldn’t want to upset your rich donors who will fund your next election.

  61. 61
    Platonailedit says:

    @Starfish:

    Then they can stay with whatever salary is fixed. If you want a raise, raise the minimum wage.

    Corruption is a different issue to be dealt with in other ways.

  62. 62
    Peale says:

    Yeah, to put it in perspective, my company has about 190,000 employees globally. Probably 30,000 of them make more than a congressman, including yours truly, who is hardly up near the top of the mountain. Were I to take a secondment elsewhere for a year or two, my living expenses would be added to my salary. I would not be expected to sell my house or give up a lease unless it was a permanent transfer. Such are the perks of working for a company headquartered in Europe I suppose. But still…I’d pay them 300k per year if they would stop their insider trading and self dealing habits.

  63. 63
    NotMax says:

    @Starfish

    That is how you get corrupt rich folks in office.

    As opposed to whom we witness in office now?

  64. 64
    Gregory says:

    The “it’s all my wife’s fault!” defense is particularly odd in that according to what I read on the MetaFilter politics thread, some of the spending (hotel rooms, gifts) appears to be supporting an affair.

  65. 65
    Apocalipstick says:

    @Major Major Major Major: No one who made money in real estate or insurance would be a good start.

  66. 66
    Apocalipstick says:

    In this context, note that the highest-paid employe in every state and in the federal government is a coach.

  67. 67
    Apocalipstick says:

    In this context, note that the highest-paid employe in every state and in the federal government is a coach. @NotMax: I think that’s kinda his point.

  68. 68
    Apocalipstick says:

    @Ian: You missed completely.

  69. 69
    trnc says:

    But the real entertainment value is watching never-Trumpist Tom Nichols’ knife fight with the MAGAts:

    I don’t think they were DT supporters or anti-gov’t. I think it was the “peanuts” comment more than anything that brought their ire, because even if it’s low for DC home plus primary home, $174K plus benefits ain’t peanuts. Which members of congress are struggling with their bills while maintaining a reasonable lifestyle? Also, this is in the context of a congress that just sent 1.5 trillion to millionaires and corporations.

    I could absolutely support low cost subsidized housing for congress members who want to use it in lieu of a raise at this time.

    Found this 2010 compensation doc.
    http://library.clerk.house.gov.....Salary.pdf

  70. 70
    MomSense says:

    JFC I think I’m losing it. I just spent 10 minutes zooming in and out on photos of Melania boarding AF1 and exiting AF1. I saw a seemingly non loony post saying that the Melania who exited AF1 wasn’t Melania and down the rabbit hole I went. It is a Melania. It has to be Melania, just a 20lb heavier, athletic build with darker hair Melania.

    I think I need some coffee and some sleep. I’m either turning into a conspiracy theorist or a certain First Lady needed a night off. In my defense, we are dealing with a pretty fantastical daily spectacle.

  71. 71
    SFAW says:

    I’m too fucking cynical for my own good, but regarding whether 174K Congressional pay is too much, too little, or “just right”: who gives a flying fuck?

    Oh, I forgot, we’re Democrats (more or less), so let’s get our practice in for our all-too-frequent purity fights.

    And besides, the REAL amount a Congressman/woman should be paid is 187K for men, or 152K for women (‘Murican wimmins get paid approx 82 percent of what men get paid, per Wiki).

    Signed,
    People’s Front of Judea

  72. 72
    rattlemullet says:

    More monetary compensation is not a guarantee to bring in better qualified people for seeking public office. Throughout most of the comments here that seems to be the expectation more money equals better qualified people. This is what the Reagan mantra was to lure the top business people to government. Its not the money folks it is the integrity of the individual. If anything it seems honesty and integrity is sorely lacking in the some that are in the news a lot. I suspect that many of the that are not seeking the limelight just hunker down and do there job they were elected. They don’t whine about the 174k per year. Lets us not forget the generous benefits bestowed to congress people and senators. Seems the only ones that whine about the money are the one caught with their hand in the till. I would say its time to get dark legal money out of politics and talk more about how the main job requirement is public service. Many more people of integrity would run if the playing field did not require millions of dollars to play. That in itself is a killer to most potential public servants want to be one. I remember when Reagan ran for president they had to remove all his movies from television because stations would have been required to give free air time to there opponents. One of the main drivers of the current occupant of the White House is that he wa given over one billion dollars in free air time. The station if they were still require to compensate their opens with like time he would not be in the White House. To bring back public integrity you must remove private dark money from campaigns.

  73. 73
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Jay: In fact most larger nations have the equivalents of “live-in embassies” in the DC area now – they’re known as “ambassadors’ residences.”. Embassies are all about the business of state: no one gets further inside one than the passport/visa/citizens-in-distress offices without an invite & an escort, because that’s where they keep the stuff they don’t want anyone else to get hold of. Any entertaining, from intimate dinners to gala events, on behalf of the natioin is done at its ambassador’s residence – which is why they’re typically significantly larger & more posh than the ambassador’s family needs.

    (NB this is not common knowledge;I had this explained to me in the early 1990s when our Balkan folkdance ensemble was invited to perform at the residence of the Yugoslav ambassador to the US, as part of an affair celebrating an exhibition on Macedonia at the Smithsonian co-sponsored by the Yugoslav government.)

  74. 74
    Kristine says:

    And another member of the party of Personal Responsibility is For Other People ducks and dodges.

    Someday a GOP’er is going to say “yeah, I did it,” and–what am I saying? Never gonna happen.

  75. 75
    Ken says:

    @The Dangerman: I’ll bet she was a documented alien, but (like most of the Mar-a-Lago housekeeping staff) was brought in on one of those visas where the employer claims they can’t find anyone in the US able to do the job.

    Which I suppose would be true if she did have an affair with Trump….

  76. 76
    Ken says:

    I like the idea of apartments for the congresscritters. Actually I’d prefer something more like a barracks, but I suppose we have to allow for families.

  77. 77
    Hitlesswonder says:

    @Platonailedit: Tom’s salary at the Naval War College by law cannot be more than what a Congressperson makes. You can see why he would feel they are underpaid.

  78. 78
    J R in WV says:

    @Wapiti:

    But then someone like us would need to share a home with someone like Senator Shelly Moore Capito (R) WV – Ugh, no way!

  79. 79
    MomSense says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    It’s a perfectly good Russian flag.

  80. 80
    Another Scott says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: There was a house down the street in my subdivision that always had a Union Jack displayed. It was apparently owned by the UK. It was just a normal house for the area. I always assumed that it was housing for someone who worked at the embassy, but I never knew the details. (It was sold a few years ago.)

    Many universities have housing that they own and rent to staff, instructors, etc., at often subsidized rates, also too.

    There are many ways to address the costs of Congresspersons needing to maintain two residences beyond raising their salaries. But that’s only part of the reason why it’s expensive to serve. Even with that (Congressmen and women aren’t going to live in a dorm if they have children in school, etc., so some sort of housing allowance is likely required rather than the ability to use a state-owned house or condo), salaries should be much higher. It’s a 24 hour job, with lots and lots of travel involved, and the requirement to understand and oversee vast swaths of the giant federal bureaucracy (if they want to do the job well).

    Personally, along with addressing the 2-household issues, I think, say, doubling the pay (and consequently raising the GS and SES pay band maximums as well) would be a good investment. There’s something vastly out of whack about people spending years and millions (or tens of millions) of dollars to try to get a job that pays so little. The head of the Smithsonian shouldn’t make 4x as much as a Congresswoman. The current system invites all kinds of corruption with giant LED signs, klaxons, and armies of sign spinners….

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  81. 81
    Jinchi says:

    @Fair Economist:

    but it is indeed low compared to most jobs with similar responsibilities and work.

    A household income of $174K puts all Congress people securely in the top 5%, even before secondary income (like a working spouse) kicks in and that salary is well in the range of a highly skilled professional.

    This seems like more than enough incentive to get competent, intelligent candidates on the ballot. It’s fine to argue that having “unpaid” legislators would make it a hobby for the rich, but this is not even close to that, and paying exorbitant salaries would result in completely different level of perverse incentives.

  82. 82
    Another Scott says:

    @Jinchi: Jefferson’s salary as President in 1801 was $25,000. That would be about $496,000 today. The President’s salary was raised a few years ago to $400,000.

    House and Senate members got paid $6/day per-diem then, but the job was different then, also too.

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  83. 83
    boatboy_srq says:

    Welcome, all, to the true reason behind Tentherism. Better to lose all those other protections than to continue tolerating wimminvolk and Blah People (gasp) voting.

  84. 84
    Yutsano says:

    @Another Scott:

    The head of the Smithsonian shouldn’t make 4x as much as a Congresswoman.

    The Smithsonian, while working closely with the federal government, is a private institution. Comparing salaries like that will cause distortions. Plus per OMB rules the highest pay scale in federal government is always the President, and that salary sits at $400,000/yr as of present.

    doubling the pay (and consequently raising the GS and SES pay band maximums as well) would be a good investment.

    Indubitably. Federal government pay scales lag far behind those of the private sector if you have a degree. And almost all federal employment now requires at least a bachelor’s degree for hiring consideration.

    *Disclaimer: I am of course biased on this, being a federal employee and all.

  85. 85
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Jay:

    All the State Employees and Reps in DC would have living space, working space and meeting space, along with accomodations for State Delegations, all in one large building, preferably close to the House and Senate.

    And all visitors must sign in, .. with Picture ID.

    For security, don’t ya know.

  86. 86
    The Pale Scot says:

    @JR:

    the big problem here is that the money driving corruption is so large than no amount of government salary can really compete with it

    Silver or Lead, the result of allowing large concentrations of unfettered wealth

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