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You don’t always get what you pay for

You don’t always get what you pay for

Mitch Coffman
August 1, 2014
August 1, 2014

A good case can be made that the less time Congress is in session, the less damage it can do. The classic example, of course, is then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s famous quote about the need to pass Obamacare then we can all find out what’s in it. Fantastic …

Congress has just left Washington for a five-week recess ostensibly to make nice with the constituents back home since this is an election year, but also to escape the heat and humidity of Washington.

On average, the House is in session 142 days annually, the Senate 162 days. Members of Congress are paid $174,000 annually, quite a step up from $6 per day in 1789, $7,500 annually in 1907 and $125,000 per year in 1991. And no one, by the way, is comparing members of this Congress at $174,000 with the Founding Fathers at $6/day. And we won’t even talk about all the benefits that Congress receives. Yikes.

Compare that to the typical Idaho worker who labors 240 days per year for an average salary of $38,000. That is a daily average of $158. If that same Idaho laborer were paid by congressional standards, his average daily wage would be $725.

A familiar refrain is that you get what you pay for. Guess again, and your choices are the $38,000 wage of an Idaho worker, versus the $174,000 of a member of Congress.

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