Pathetic Democrat Whines that Members of Congress Can’t Afford to ‘Live Decently’ in D.C.

rep-moranThis is one of those stories that just makes you shake your head.  Apparently Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) feels that the salary members of Congress are paid isn’t sufficient for them to “live decently” in Washington D.C.

For the record, they’re paid $174,000 per year – or $14,500 per month. 

I’m sure you’re all shedding a tear for our poor members of Congress right now.

Moran said, “I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid.  I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”

“Our pay has been frozen for three years and we’re planning on freezing it a fourth year.  A lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington,” he continued.

So his belief is that members of Congress should be paid like people who are on the board of directors at major corporations.  I hate to break it to this fool, but he’s a public servant not a member of the “United States board of directors.”

If he doesn’t like what he’s paid and thinks he can’t “live decently” on $174,000 a year, I’m sure most of us would invite him to take a hike and seek employment elsewhere.

While I understand Washington D.C. is an expensive place to live, it’s not so expensive that someone making over $14,000 per month can’t live comfortably there.  And it’s especially disgusting to hear someone in Congress, a group of people who barely work as it is, complaining that they’re not making enough to “live decently.”

In a country where the median household income is around $51,000 per year, for Rep. Moran to complain about “only” making $174,000 per year is pathetic.

Millions of Americans would love to make what our members of Congress make.  Especially considering these people are only scheduled to work 113 days all year.  Which is actually down from the 2013 schedule of 126 days.

I would encourage everyone reading this to contact Rep. Moran and tell him what a moron he actually is.  And if he doesn’t like what he’s being paid in Congress, he’s more than welcome to quit and find another job.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • Susan Carnes

    Isn’t Virginia close to DC? Joe Biden took the train home to Delaware every night. This poor moran is so worried about where his next meal is coming from that he can’t even think of something so obvious, I guess.

    • JAMEJO

      Moran?

      • JaredTang

        I believe it was a pun on his name and its resemblance to “moron.”

      • LadyeCatte

        A Teabaggerism. It’s a word now.

  • Mel Lewis

    They all work part time, they shouldn’t be getting pain that much to begin with. If he thinks he’s not making enough, maybe he should find work in the private sector.

    • polliwogg

      Or let his wife get a job.

      • LadyeCatte

        Shush that talk! You see what that did to Clarence Thomas!

    • JAMEJO

      Pain?

  • Randy can’t afford to go to DC

    Allen on this one you are absolutely wrong!!! A member of congress is required to maintain a household in his district, and then, he also has to find suitable housing around Washington, D.C. meaning that he has to maintain two households. One of the major problems in Washington is the number of millionaires/millionaires in Congress. Please note that former Senator Kerry, Senator Warner and others wouldn’t have any problem with donating their entire salaries, likewise, should I have voted for RMoney because he would be willing to forego his Presidential salary? It is a disgrace that we pay the pittance that we do to our highly elected officials. I know that I couldn’t afford to be a Member of Congress on $175,000.00, and therefore I have to vote for and between Multi-millionaire A and Millionaire B in my Congressional district. Likewise, each of them in order to get elected, especially if they don’t have their own deep pockets, have to seek sponsors, so they get to be beholden to them like our Nascar drivers. This “oh, our lousy legislators in Washington get paid too much” fits right into tea pot philosophy, but actually keeps out many potential viable candidates who literally can’t afford to run, and expands the running of our nation by the 1%. I’d encourage everybody to get behind an evaluation of our compensation to these highly elected officials. Perhaps you’d like to re-evaluate your position on this. This fits into the tea pot argument that our President should be flying coach. What do you want, RMoney, because he’ll waive his $400k salary? This is a mosquito issue in terms of our federal budget, and you are providing the ‘knee-jerk’ reaction which supports the unthinking masses.

    • polliwogg

      If he can’t afford to maintain a second residence, I suggest his wife get a job. If he can’t make it on 174,000, let him try 10.50 an hour.

      • JAMEJO

        Where do you people come from? The reality is so far from what the assumptions evident here are, I’d be ashamed to even consider endorsing this kind of thing. These guys are not the problem . . . our country is being taken over by extremely wealthy Republicans, and we keep electing the ones who let them do it. Congressional, indeed government, pay is not even a drop in the bucket, and is most certainly not a problem. We want to folks to represent US,we have to pay them enough that they don’t have to go elsewhere for money. I dare anyone to try to live on the money we pay these guys, with the requisite costs and life-style, let alone the hours these folks have to work. I dare you. Work out a budget, and post it to show how you could.

      • disqus_bvzyOg5eso

        They’re ALL the problem! Democrat, Republican, and Tea Baggers alike They don’t care about you or me only what’s in it for themselves! What we need is to get the common Joe in office who cares about the people of this Country and whittle away at the mess the others have created! I could live on this kind of salary and represent the people. It’s what they receive after they retire that doesn’t go with the grain. Their retirement is what they make while serving for LIFE! Plus we the people pickup the entire tab for this and their FREE healthcare for LIFE!!! So you go do the math post a budget and see where you end up!

      • Matthew Reece

        What we need is to abolish the office because there is no one who can use state power for good. We must throw the One Ring in Mount Doom, so to speak.

      • ML

        Your information is incorrect: Members of Congress are not eligible for a pension until they reach the age of 50, but only if they’ve completed 20 years of service. Members are eligible at any age after completing 25 years of service or after they reach the age of 62. Please also note that Members of Congress have to serve at least 5 years to even receive a pension.

        The amount of a congressperson’s pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of his or her salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        They ARE the problem. They make the laws. I’d be happy to live on $174,000/year. Why aren’t you as worried about people making $7.50/hr?

      • Randy

        you’re a fucking IDIOT….

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      Whine, whine, whine. You wanna be in Congress, you are responsible for your two residences, not us. Pittance my @$$!!! He is free to find another job.

      • Charles Vincent

        I am afraid if I took the job I wouldn’t have it long cause I would end up throttling people lol

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        I can identify with that sentiment. Some people are alive only because it’s illegal to strangle them.

        The standard murder defense in the South is: “But, yer Honor, he needed killin’!”

    • ML

      BS!! Many share apartments in DC, or since he lives in VA he could most likely just go home each night. Tell him to ask Joe Biden how that is done!

      • Phil Keast

        So, having to maintain two residences justifies their exorbitant pay? How about one of those residences is in a middle or lower income suburb without the benefits of servants, with unreliable utilities, poor public transport and no free cars to get them to their offices. Maybe living in conditions closer to those of their constituents might wake a few of them up to reality. Not holding my breath though.

  • Brigidesign

    He’s welcome to take a second job to supplement his income. Prick.

    • Matthew Reece

      They already do that. It is called “accepting bribes.”

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        MY GOD! I actually agree with you!

      • Good one.

  • Michael Siever

    Another Chicken or the Egg debate: Are Congresspersons paid $174,000+ per year because the cost of living in D.C. is so high, or is the cost of living in D.C. so high because Congresspersons are paid $174,000+ per year? Now I know how gentrification got started…

    • disqus_bvzyOg5eso

      Yes you are right on both counts!

  • Kimberly

    Members of congress get $174,000 a years, but work easily just half the time that a full time worker does, but he/she has free medical, long vacations and usually have perks from corporations given. $174k is fine for a public servant..

    • polliwogg

      Congress does NOT get free medical. They are federal employees and pay for their premiums just like any other civil service employee. Other than that, I agree with you here.

  • Nattxn

    Well 126 days worked makes about 1500 every day they work, not bad for a bunch of losers.

  • disqus_bvzyOg5eso

    Awwww!!! Too bad!!! I live on a 10th of what you do a month!!! Big crybaby! Maybe you should go out and get a SECOND JOB so you can make ends meet!!!

  • Sandy Greer

    It’s unseemly, with so many out of work and hurting in this country, for one making his salary to complain he can’t make ends meet.

    There are many ‘perks’ to his position. If he (our employee) does not like what we (his employers) offer in salary and benefits, he is free to find another job. I’m sure a man in his position would have no trouble finding another as a Lobbyist.

    If he complains enough, his employers may decide they’re better off without somebody who can’t be happy with what he’s got, but looks for ‘more’.

    • Matthew Reece

      Saying that we employ politicians and that they work for us is like saying that a slavemaster is employed by his slaves or that a slaughterhouse worker is employed by cows.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        We agree again. Is this a sign of the apocalypse?

      • Sandy Greer

        Nice avatar! 😉

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Thanks. You should see my Steal Your Face biker jacket.

      • Sandy Greer

        I’ve always been partial to the Skull and Roses, myself. In fact, I bought a Skull & Roses tattoo for a husband, once, for his birthday.

        May the Dead live on, and the music never stop.

      • Sandy Greer

        Well, aren’t you just the bundle of joy, with your cynical contempt for the ‘masses’.

        It’s offensive to be equated a ‘slave’ – and worse, a ‘cow’.

        Now, some (you?) might say it’s because I’m ‘unaware’, and don’t see what you see. Still, it’s offensive, and off-putting, to be seen so, when one has a ‘better’ opinion of herself.

        And I don’t see it persuades many to your POV, to be viewed with contempt. But that’s just me, maybe.

      • Matthew Reece

        I am not saying that you should be seen or treated as a slave or a cow. I am telling you that the members of the ruling class do see and treat you this way. They do not care about you; only about what you can do for them. A slavemaster values the slave’s labor but not the best interests of the slave, and a farmer values the cow’s meat and milk but not the best interests of the cow.

        My cynical contempt is reserved for the state and its enablers.

      • Sandy Greer

        If you are a member of the ruling class then you can speak for them. Barring that…

        You can ‘tell’ me what you please. I don’t have to buy it, lock, stock, and barrel, on your say-so, no questions asked, no disagreement brokered.

        I ‘get to’ see the world through my own eyes.

        But let’s assume you’re right, and those with wealth (the ruling class) care nothing for me, unless I can ‘do’ for them. It should follow that *I* care nothing for those even less fortunate than myself – unless they can ‘do’ for me.

        ^^^What follows is a dog eat dog world, with every man for himself.

        You want to see the world that way? You get to.

        I choose something different, for myself.

      • Matthew Reece

        Those with wealth and those who are in the ruling class are not one and the same, though there is much overlap.

        It does not follow that because members of one group want to farm everyone else, that a non-member of that group must want to do likewise.

        The world is a certain way, regardless of how anyone “sees” it. Truth is absolute and universal.

      • Sandy Greer

        Stop with the ‘farm’ analogies. Nobody ‘treats’ me like a slave/cow. I don’t allow it.

        I don’t even allow you to tell me how I’m ‘treated’, and how the world ‘is’.

        *I* decide. You are not the arbiter of my world, and you are not the arbiter of Truth. THAT’S an ‘absolute’.

      • Matthew Reece

        Do you use self-defense against government when they give you orders and take your property, or do you obey orders and hand over your property? If you obey, then you allow them to treat you like a slave/cow. I can understand why you would and think no less of you for doing so, as they have more and better weapons and armor than you do, but it is still the case that they treat you like a slave/cow.

        There is no such thing as “your world” or “my world.” There is only “the world.” There is also no such thing as an arbiter of truth, only a discoverer of truth. I have discovered this truth about the practice of human ownership through logical examination and have shared it with others, including you.

      • Sandy Greer

        If you look below, I ‘upvoted’ (agreed with) my fellow DeadHead that taxes are not theft. If that’s what you mean by govt ‘taking’ my property. Again w/the slave analogies (obey orders) Good Lord.

        I thought you were supposed to be some sort of Anarchist. Yet here you are, insisting YOURS is the only definitive, authoritative, absolute Truth – just like any other Control Freak. Well, get this:

        I’m not your slave; you’re not my master. I DON’T RECOGNIZE YOUR AUTHORITY OVER ME. You don’t get to say how things are – not for me.

        I’m not buying what you’re selling. And I don’t require your permission for that.

        You believe in Freedom? Then please allow me the freedom to form my OWN beliefs – and not have to buy into YOURS.

        ^^^ There. I just declared my freedom from your oppressive tyranny.

      • Pipercat

        Ouch!

      • Sandy Greer

        What? Too harsh? ;D

      • Matthew Reece

        It is not that I “insist” that what I am trying to tell you is true; it is that assuming that what I am trying to tell you is false will lead to contradictions, and contradictions invalidate premises.

      • Sandy Greer

        My Creep Alert is going off. You’ve given me the heebeegeebees.

        I reject you. And don’t care what you think about that.

        I won’t read you further.

      • Phil Keast

        Let me see if I can follow your logic (I have degrees (multiple) in philosophy, so this shouldn’t be too hard).

        Premise One: What you say is not false

        Premise Two: If what you say is false Premise one is false

        Conclusion: What I say cannot be false.

        Sorry matey, you jut failed Philosophy 101, to assert that you are true by virtual of the fact that being false would contradict what you are saying is poor philosophy and logic, and well as more arrogant than a Republican Presidential Candidate who has a brother responsible for validating the crucial votes that will decide the election.
        Or, in summary, you are a fraud, a twit, and a fool who doesn’t know 1/10th as much as he thinks he does.

      • Matthew Reece

        Ad hominem is an admission of defeat and ignorance. And you failed to follow my logic by setting up a straw man, another admission of defeat and ignorance.

      • Phil Keast

        The problem is, you appear to have failed basic undergraduate level logic. All of your “logic” suffers from the problem of being circular. You include the conclusion you wish to prove in the premises of the argument. Sorry pal, that is the most common error committed by people who think they understand formal logic. It adds up to a completely fallacious argument that can rightly be rejected out of hand (as many of my logic professors would have done. If your logic is that bad, doesn’t matter the quality of your analysis or your conclusions, instant fail, argument over).
        Entering into a mutually beneficial arrangement in which individuals contribute money towards the creation and maintenance of the infrastructure and service provided to the community by government agencies is not Theft. Theft is taking money without any intention or ability to provide any service. Since taxes are money for services they are not Theft. Now, if you wish to object to the Theft of your money in the form of taxes, the government agencies providing those services have, by your own logic, the right to object to your theft of their infrastructure and toss your sorry ass over the nearest border, who will toss you over the next border, etc., Eventually you may be lucky enough to discover the Anarchistic paradise of living on a deserted island with no clothing, food, or shelter, nor any way to obtain any. But at least no-one will be stealing from you (since you won’t have anything worth stealing).

      • Matthew Reece

        Government is not a mutually beneficial arrangement; it is a parasitic arrangement of rulers preying upon the ruled.

        Taxes are not payment for services rendered as there is no opt-out. You will be forced to pay whether or not you use the services. You cannot, for example, decide not to pay taxes to support the military while taking up arms to provide your own military defense.

        The government has no right to deport a tax resister because this would violate the tax resister’s private property rights, which the government violates by taxation.

      • Phil Keast

        There is an opt out clause. You can withdraw from the non-existent society you seem to imagine is oppressing you (oh, btw, the ability to imagine, whether artistically or as Platonic forms, shows that your subjectivist position that physical existance is singular and hence the collective cannot exist prima facie nonsensical), but having withdrawn from this non-existent society you become solely responsible for all of your needs, unable to call upon the resources of others, since you can’t use money, as it is backed by the government you reject, you’ll have to barter, assuming someone is willing to supply you with those things you need on the basis of your ability to provide a service they value, otherwise you’ll be reduced to Theft yourself.

      • Matthew Reece

        A collective has no independent form in physical reality, therefore it does not exist. It is only an idea.

        Why does every statist assume that there is a dichotomy of government-run collectivism versus rugged individualism? People can work together toward common goals without involving a state.

        I suggest that you research Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. It gets by the problem of money that you identify.

      • Phil Keast

        All that bitcoin does is replace one societal based currency with currency based on a different society.

        I am not a statist, I couldn’t give a damn (and more often than not despair) about governments. In my vision of a perfect world people of good faith cooperate to maximize the freedom of the individual while achieving goals beyond the capacity for a single individual to achieve alone, without the unnecessary complications of nation states and governments.

        But that does not invalidate the real existence of non-physical objects. In fact, bitcoin is a perfect example, since unlike normal currency which is based on physical reality such a gold reserves, bitcoin currency is entirely virtual and has no physical existence.

        There is a difference between rugged individualism and philosophical ignorance. I applaud you for the former, but despair of your demonstrated possession of the latter.

      • Matthew Reece

        If non-physical objects can exist, then there is nothing that cannot exist, which renders meaningless the concept of existence, as it becomes something true but trivial. This absurdity leads me to choose nominalism over Platonism.

      • Phil Keast

        In one reply you call upon quantum physics to refute an point, yet you ignore the fact that the same mathematics (and quantum physicss is mathematics, since, as you point out, observing a system changes a system making observation as a means of verification of the theory nigh on meaningless), as I was saying, the same mathematical model you use in one post you seem to ignore here. The mathematics of quantum physics opens up the possibility that there is, indeed, nothing that cannot exist.

      • Matthew Reece

        I was trying to show you that even if your approach was correct, that the result was still in my favor. But since this understanding seems to elude you, try focusing on the category error of using a posteriori evidence in an a priori discipline.

      • Phil Keast

        For anyone still reading, an interesting piece of philosophical stupidity.

        The following was, as of 2003, the philosophical orthodoxy in Epistemology and Metaphysics:

        a) It has been shown that all human actions are the result of purely physiological responses to environmental stimuli. Given there no evidence of a physical structure that can be called “the mind” as we understand the term, the mind has no efficacy (i.e., it cannot in any way effect the “real” world).

        b) If the mind has no physical efficacy then it is, at most, an observer and seat of consciousness. Yet, as with physical efficacy, there is no evidence of any sensory neurophysiology which could provide access to stimuli by a non-physical mind, so consciousness is also ruled out.

        So we must conclude that

        (1) When you think you are thinking, your thoughts are mistaken, for you have nothing to think with.

        (2) When people sit around a table to have a discussion, all that is really happening is that the products of respiration are passing over membranes to produce sounds, purely as a physiological response to environmental conditions. There is no exchange of ideas, as ideas, being unmeasurable, non-physical entities are logically inconsistent. It really is all just hot air.

        So, there we go we folks, philosophers can, and regularly do, successfully argue their entire discipline, and all other areas of knowledge, and even human intelligence and awareness out of existence.

        A rather simplified account of the debate I’ll admit, but if interested:
        Philosophy of mind, 3rd Edition (2011); Jaegwon Kim; Westview Press (mine is the first edition, 1996) presents an interesting argument.
        Also, The Nature of Consciousness (1998); Block, N, Flanagan, O, Güzeldere, G (Eds.); MIT press, Cambridge Mass. is an excellent collection of peer reviewed journal articles covering most of the major developments in the debate.
        However I’d recommend Matter and consciousness : a contemporary introduction to the philosophy of mind (1984); Paul M. Churchland; MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass. as a much easier read.

        Having myself argued the above, I must conclude [as I did, about a year later], with all fondness towards the philosophers I studied with, that when philosophers rigidly and inflexibly apply their rules of logic and categories and other philosophical idiocies that no-one who is not a philosopher can comprehend without a dictionary of philosophy at hand (makes a great door stop), they are a bunch of wankers with no connection to reality.

        Michael, I stopped paying attention days ago, I was just curious to see how far down the road of Argumentum ab auctoritate you were willing to go [yes, I know, I just did it myself, but seriously, category errors? the three pillars of rational thought? appeals to physics to support a political position? oscar wilde quotes?]. Congratulations, you are a true philosopher, which is to say a total wanker with no connection to reality. And if you choose to be offended, convinced that I am unworthy to sit at your philosophically superior feet for concluding this ludicrously extended failure to communicate with an ad hominem attack, then good, you finally got something right.

      • Phil Keast

        Property rights? Where did you get the “right” to have property. Did you pay for it using that folding stuff the illegal government calls money? Or did you just sit on it and declare it yours, effectively stealing it from whoever was there before you? An individual who refuses to consent to the social contract that grants rights and benefits to members of a group has no rights with respect to that group. No property rights, no “rights and freedoms” as described in the Constitution of the USA, no human rights as defined by the UN Charter on Human Rights. In fact, no rights at all, because by refusing to agree to the social contract you have declared yourself to be apart from, and of no consequence to, the society you reject. Enjoy your little deserted island.

      • Matthew Reece

        Rights do not come from a social contract. Rights are valid because arguing against them leads to contradictions, contradictions equal falsehood, and proving invalidity false proves validity true. (For a simple example of how this works, one cannot argue against freedom of speech without exercising freedom of speech, which is a performative contradiction.)

        The right to own property is a corollary of the right to own one’s own body, which cannot be argued against without performative contradiction. Owning one’s body means owning the effects of one’s actions. Included in this is owning the fruits of one’s labors. Thus, property rights are established by mixing labor with unowned natural resources.

      • Phil Keast

        Actually “we hold these rights etc. etc.” [can’t be bothered checking the exact wording, you aren’t worth the 30 seconds of my time to do so].

        The right to freedom of speech includes the right not to speak. Failure to exercise a right does not in any way invalidate that right. Nor does it require that one object to the infringement upon one’s rights in any way contradict one having such rights. There is no contradiction, there would only be a contradiction if the right to freedom of speech (or any other right) required the active exercise of that right to validate having that right.

        How would the right to owning one’s body be demonstrated through action? If that right is never infringed upon (unlikely, but possible), then what affirmative action would satisfy your requirement that failure to exercise that right is required to establish the validity of that right?

        There are some cultures where the right to own property is complete foreign to their understanding of the world. The land is owned by the land and cannot be owned by an individual. So there is no unowned natural resource for you to claim. You may see this as a contradiction, but it is philosophically just as (if not more) valid as your philosophy.

        There is also the issue of unowned natural resources. Before the arrival of European settlers the land which you claim as unowned was owned by the indigenous peoples. Or do you mean undeveloped? Does this mean that if a farmer chooses to allow part of his property to retain its natural state rather than chop down the trees and plant crops, then by going onto that part of the farmers property and chopping down a tree using your own labor you now own that land?

        As for contradictions equating to falsehood, consider this:
        Light has the properties of a particle (scientific experiments have observed this to be the case)
        Light has the properties of a wave (scientific experiments have observed this to be the case)
        Despite the apparent contradiction, both of these statements are true, hence contradiction does not equate with falsehood, and one of the fundamental premises of your argument is flawed.

      • Matthew Reece

        If I am not worth 30 seconds of your time to check something, then you must type inhumanly fast to have made this long of a response.

        My actual claim is that freedom of speech must be valid because arguing against it requires its use, meaning that the content of the argument is contrary to the act of making the argument. Performative contradictions invalidate arguments, which makes freedom of speech logically unassailable. Part of having a right is being able to choose whether to use it, otherwise one must be perpetually speaking, an absurdity. Ownership of one’s own body is also provable in this fashion.

        Any number of people may choose to live by rules other than those provided by logic. Eventually such systems will fail because while logic can be avoided, the consequences of avoiding logic cannot be avoided.

        If a farmer leaves unowned land in its natural state, then he cannot gain ownership of it in the first place, as he does not mix his labor with the unowned natural resources.

        Your last paragraph needs two responses:
        1. Logic is non-empirical, and bringing an a posteriori example into an a priori discipline is a category error, a sign of confusion. The three laws of thought (identity, excluded middle, non-contradiction) are required for empirical inquiry (science), and cannot therefore be revised by a finding of empirical inquiry. That which is dependent cannot supersede that upon which it is dependent.
        2. This example is not contradictory, because in quantum mechanics the act of observing a system alters the system being observed. Light behaves like a particle when it is directly observed and like a wave when it is not directly observed. Read about the double-slit experiment to understand this better.

      • Phil Keast

        I’m going to keep this reply short (well, shorter than usual).

        I apologize, I didn’t realize I was dealing a philosopher of such edudition and perception. You are indeed correct in everything you ever have or ever will say, for, like most philosophers who have delved as throughly as you clearly have into esoteric realms of pure thought and logic, your arguments are irrefutable. The fact that they are completely divorced from reality, only being applicable to thought experiments beyond the capacity of mere mortals to understand is the fault of reality, not your philosophically superior world view.

        Congratulations, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, you have proven that black is white, do try not to get killed next time you are crossing the road.

        Oh, and for the record, my Philosophy Thesis was on the increasing disengagement of the public from philosophical thought, and the ongoing and inevitable budget cuts to philosphy departments due to the failure of philosophers to engage in communication accessible to those outside their own narrow fields. Needless to say it wasn’t a popular position to take, but it was marked well.

      • Matthew Reece

        “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.” -Oscar Wilde

      • Phil Keast

        Actually a sensible slave owner or farmer is extremely interested in the health and best interests of their property, since a healthy, happy, well-fed, well treated slave will be able and willing to provide he services or produce the goods the slave owner expects from them.
        of course, the fact that many representatives and senators, quite probably (almost certainly) regard the majority of their constituents with thinly veiled contempt, they do not and cannot OWN those constituents (I read somewhere of a war being fought over that issue), The oppressed are not the slaves of the oppressor, merely the victims of the oppressors policies and actions.

      • Matthew Reece

        The only disagreement I have here is that the Civil War was not fought primarily over slavery; it was fought over tariffs, banking interests, and nationalism, with slavery as a secondary issue. Note that the slaves in the Confederacy actually had a better chance at escape after secession, as they only had to cross into the Union rather than get to Canada to be free, as seceding from the Union meant losing the fugitive slave law that brought slaves back from the Union states to the Confederate states. As for ending slavery, the result of the Civil War that states could not leave the Union if the people wished spread a new sort of slavery to every American.

        Yes, a master wants a slave to be healthy, but not without ulterior motive.

      • Joseph Andrew

        Not really. Voters put these guys in office. Theoretically, they are supposed to answer to the needs of the community. And also they are paid with taxpayer money.

      • Matthew Reece

        Do you really think the government would be abolished if everyone stayed home on Election Day? It would send a powerful message and there are few things that I would more enjoy seeing, but it would only take the velvet glove off of the iron fist of the state. The rulers would not just give up power because we all “voted” to have no rulers.

        Theoretically, they are supposed to answer to the needs of the community. But that is an a posteriori theory, and is therefore subject to revision by experiments and observations. Experiments and observations concerning government almost unanimously suggest that rulers answer to their own needs and wants above the needs of those whom they rule.

        Taxpayer money is stolen money.

      • Kim Serrahn

        well, technically your statement is correct. Without the slaves where would the master have been or the butcher, without the cow what would he have done.

  • Sondra Rene Eisenman

    lol, can’t live comfortably on174,000 per year in D.C and yet I live very comfortably in LA on 30,000 a year. What an ungrateful asswipe!

  • Jack

    Learn to give up things, like the rest of us earning just barely minimum wage, I could live on his salary just fine, it’s all in how you budget your money. I don’t understand how they can complain.

  • Matthew Reece

    It is impossible to “live decently” at any salary when that salary is paid with stolen money.

    • suburbancuurmudgeon

      I agreed with three of your posts; but taxes are not stolen money. I keep challenging you to find a country that doesn’t have taxes. So far, you’ve come up empty.

      • Charles Vincent

        This is a false equivalency just because every nation taxes does not mean that it isn’t theft.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        We’ve been through this before. It isn’t theft. It’s the price you pay for being part of society. Think of it as rent or dues.

      • Matthew Reece

        There is no such thing as society. Each individual person exists; a collective does not exist.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Yeah, there is and you’re part of it because you reap the benefits of such society. So, until you plan on moving away from everyone, growing/processing your own food, building your own roads, generating your own utilities, become an army of one and stop using the Internet, which is TRULY a product of a society, then STFU. We live in a collective and no amount of libertarian whining will change that.

      • Matthew Reece

        There is no such thing as a collective. Existence requires an independent form in physical reality; otherwise, anything may be said to exist or not exist on a whim, which renders existence meaningless. All physical forms are taken by individuals, so there are none remaining for collectives.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Blah, blah, blah, Just because you don’t think it’s not so doesn’t mean doesn’t exist. Like I said, stop using collective things and I’ll buy into your argument.

        PS. I hated philosophy.

      • Matthew Reece

        It doesn’t matter what I subjectively think. What does matter is what must be objectively true. I only use collective terms as a shorthand to avoid having to name every individual in the collective. Such a usage is only a figure of speech, and should not be construed to imply that collectives exist as entities apart from their individual components.

        If you hate philosophy, you may not wish to keep conversing with me, because philosophy is all you will get.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        Thankfully, you don’t get to decide what is objectively true. I’d like not to converse with you, but you are persistent in your need to try to get everyone else to believe there is only the individual. When you are ready to COMPLETELY exist without the benefits of that thievery of which you speak, then I’ll consider your point.

      • Matthew Reece

        No one gets to decide what is objectively true, but everyone gets the opportunity to reveal what is objectively true by presenting logical arguments and/or empirical evidence.

        Again, I will remind you that your claim that a beneficiary of evil has no standing to complain about evil is a tu quoque fallacy.

      • suburbancuurmudgeon

        I call it hypocrisy. You benefit. STFU.

      • Phil Keast

        A collective is a group (of persons, objects, concepts, energy, etc.) with common characteristics, hence collective nouns: a murder of crows, a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, a nation of citizens. Basic Linguistics: you’ve failed another subject.

        A society is a group of individuals living in cooperation under the rules of a social contract. Social contracts occur at all levels of nature (again, pride of lion, herd of buffalo, pack of monkeys, hive of bees, etc.) and consist of individuals of the group providing services to the group in return for service the group can provide to the individual. Sociology and Anthropology; another 2 subjects you’ve failed.
        And yes I know what ad hominem means, but I’m actually using the philosophical debating style known as reductio ad absurdum, if you’re not familiar with it, look it up.
        [I almost feel guilty engaging in a battle of wits against an unarmed opponent.]

      • Charles Vincent

        What Matt said :~)

      • Matthew Reece

        Your challenge lacks merit. To assume that things must be a certain way just because they happen to be that way during one period of time on one planet is a logical fallacy.

  • suburbancuurmudgeon

    How about worrying about all the other people who aren’t being “paid decently.” You know, like minimum wage workers.

  • Beau Brennan

    WalMart is hiring.

  • Scaramongus

    It’s about the money for him?

  • Charles Vincent

    Strangely I agree with Mr. Clifton… hell must have frozen over.

  • ML

    What a cry baby! My monthly income is less than 1/3 of his (and I have not had a raise in 10 years!!!) and I’m doing fine. Maybe he needs me to take a look at his BUDGET!

  • Kimberlee Bell Gasper

    $174K/yr isn’t enough?? I’m on disability, as is my son. Our combined annual income is $17K. Most months I juggle things around as best I can so we can pay our bills AND afford groceries. Some months we can’t do both. It makes life interesting, to be sure.

    I would love to invite this Congressman to live my life for a couple of months; he might find his salary is more than sufficient.

  • Max Ibanez

    They’re not worth a tenth of that salary. Congress should be a job where people get drafted into the duty. It shouldn’t be the jackpot these corrupt fucks make it to be.

  • Hamish

    I don’t agree. It we actually work at it, selecting and electing the proper people to become members of Congress, we should pay them a lot more than we now do. They are confronted by people who pay more for a wrist watch than they make a year, and are supposed to devise laws to regulate, govern, and protect us from those people. If you are not going to pay them, someone will, and the someone is not going to be your friend. Few people of ordinary means can survive in Washington D.C. on the salaries paid members of Congress. That is a factor in our present Congress being over 50% millionaires. We should take the private money out of elections, publically fund shorter contests, and pay members of Congress substantially more than the relative pittance they are paid at present. A lot of the irritation on this subject among citizens is just envy. If one investigates they will discover that members of Congress work very long hours. They aren’t turning a wrench, digging a hole, or mending a fence, but they are working very long demanding hours whether we approve of what they’re doing or not. Most of the work of Congress does not occur on the chamber floor.

    • Phil Keast

      Or, when confronted by people who pay more for a wrist watch than they make a year, politicians should show the moral fortitude and decency not to succumb to temptation but instead legislate for the country, not for special interest groups. If you are not going to pay them, someone will, and the someone is not going to be your friend. They are already paid, and even if that pay was just a dime, taking money from others to change your support for legislation from the desires and needs of both your electorate and nation is corruption, pure and simple, and should be treated as a criminal conspiracy to gain money by deception.

      • Hamish

        Of course I don’t know, but I suspect that you are expecting a standard from elected representatives that you could not meet yourself. The temptation is enormous, particularly when the people you ‘serve,’ most often, haven’t the first clue about what a member of Congress actually does. Witness the nonsense expressed in this article, and among the comments, that Congress is only ‘scheduled to work 113 days all year.’ A stupid thing to assert when it easy to discover that members work very long hours at various aspects of their job, including vast amounts of time trying to raise money for their next election. They could provide much better services if they didn’t have to find funding from the people with the expensive watches, and could chat with us.

      • Sandy Greer

        You make good arguments. But I think you assume that if we PAY them enough:

        It will BE enough.

        ^^^And that’s not always the case. Bribes (graft, corruption) aside, when it comes to money, there are two kinds of people in this world:

        1) Those who live within their means, and ‘make do’ with what they’ve got
        2) And those who don’t. Whose standard of living is always just beyond reach.

        IOW, those who spend every dime they make, and then some. And those who’ve always got a little something tucked away, for a rainy day – no matter HOW little they earn.

        If you’ve spendthrift tendencies, you can get a raise and be satisfied – for awhile. But you will raise your standard of living to match, and eventually – be right back in the same boat.

        Better to live within your means, from the get-go.

        When it comes to ‘temptation’ and/or greed – some people are never rich ENOUGH. They will always want more, even if the ‘more’ is more than they can spend in a lifetime, and their children’s lifetimes.

      • Phil Keast

        I will not compromise my principles or promises for cash. Full Stop. Non-negotiable, even if I was offered inducements that would take care of my every material, financial, health, accommodation, and recreational needs for myself and my entire family and all my friends for their rest of our lives and the lives of all the future generations of my family and the families of those I care about. Won’t do it. It’s called integrity. A representative of the citizens of a nation without integrity is a criminal. Too high a standard? For the pigs fighting over the size of the trough they are sucking from? Unfortunately it appears too much to ask. And that to me is a sad state of affairs.

      • Hamish

        Usually, such a forceful blanket statement is made by somebody who has never been within arms reach of REAL money. Perhaps you are an exception. If you are not, It would be possible to purchase you for far less than the level you have suggested. Look around at the people you know well. Who among them would not sell you, and your family, for hide and tallow if the offer was a million dollars tax free?

      • Phil Keast

        If by real money you mean being offered enough to comfortably retire to the resort of my choice anywhere in the world in return for merely looking the other way, then you are wrong.
        Do not presume to judge my integrity and and declare that I can be bought just because you can.
        And as for my friends and family, I don’t choose to associate myself with those who would sell out their friends or family (or even work colleagues or chance acquaintances), certainly not for something as ephemeral and meaningless as money. Trust me, (not that you will), some of them have had the chance and turned it down, even for things they desire or need that cannot be merely bought with folding paper (such as having their academic and professional credentials certified despite not meeting the requirements, in return for lodging a false complaint against a professor. He didn’t even have to follow through, and could drop the complaint later, all he had to do was make the initial complaint).
        There are people with integrity, but apparently none of them live in DC, while others have become so cynical that they believe everybody has a price.
        It’s that latter attitude that lobby groups thrive on, searching for the politicians that can be bought. If politicians had more integrity, lobbyists would be without a job.

      • Hamish

        So, we’ll accept that you are an exception, just to get along here. However, I still maintain that we are placing mere mortals in unreasonably tempting circumstances when we elect them into an environment wherein money and power are the totems, and they have relatively little to support them, especially when facing an unreasoning lack of respect from the very people they are expected to selflessly serve. Almost without exception, those who bloviate about how unscrupulous politicians ALL are, are completely uninformed about what a politician actually is or does.

  • Kurt Cocking

    Another job where he would have to work 260 days a year? You sir are exceptionally lazy and your constituents and the American People deserve better.

  • Dave

    Sigh. The list of people who need to be strapped to an armchair and beaten with hammers grows longer by the day.

  • Smilin’ J

    this is a perfect example of how there is no difference between a Republican and a Democrat. This guy should try living on $47,000 which the median American income have the same medical coverage that the majority of Americans have, oh and not received paid vacation or sick days either. This guy can kiss my chunky Czech-Irish ass he is so put upon.

  • Wano Nymous

    Pathetic Democrat is a redundancy.

  • Eddie Krebbs

    One weakness in comparing his salary to the national average: Remember that Congress critters don’t work a 52-week year like most folks – adjust for the number of days he works. Plus, don’t forget that congress critters spend most of their time across the street in a special building there specifically so they can make fund-raising calls (forbidden on govt phones). The result is that his WAGE PER HOUR WORKED is probably 4 times the national average.

    • Matt

      While I agree that Moran’s comments were probably a tad out of touch, members of congress work a lot more hours than the average person. Just because they aren’t physically in their Washington offices doesn’t mean they aren’t working. Being a Senator/member of congress is truly a 24/7 job.

      I think the point he’s trying to raise is that we should pay members enough so that it doesn’t discourage non-wealthy from running in the first place. There is a fine line, however, that we don’t attract people to the job for the money – which I don’t think is the case right now.

  • ebonydiva06

    That is why I think congress and the house should be regular everyday people not voted in but selected throughout America jury selection style every two to four years. Only regular people can understand regular problems.

  • rossbro

    A S S H O L E !!!!!!!

  • MJames

    Feel free to live on the 36k I net as a teacher in the Bay Area. THen we can talk about comfort levels.

    • Kyle Brown

      I didn’t even think 36k could keep you fed in the Bay Area! It’s a shame that real public servants are paid so poorly relative to local cost of living.

  • BILL

    HEY IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT QUIT, YOU POOR BABY.. HEY JIM , TELL THE FOLKS ABOUT THE RETIREMENT YOU FOOLS GET…

  • 1EdMeadows83

    I am very disappointed that it is a Democrat that is complaining about being underpaid. This ys usually the complaint of Republicans.

  • Pat O’brien

    yes I understand that living in DC is very expensive plus they have their homes in other states and families to provide for, so maybe 174,000 a year isn’t as much as it sounds…but really…when more and more people are slipping into poverty, depending on food stamps, finding jobs hard to find. I really don’t think Mr Moran that this was the best time to bring this up. Most citizens are pretty disgusted with all of Washington right now , so buck-up and try to make do on your meger wages.

  • D.Dudley

    The job they are supposed to be doing is passing laws that their constituates want. Not what the Koch brothers want. The do nothing congress is the worst in American history. So, I think there could be a serious conversation about their salaries. First, start them at minimum wage. Then pay them production rates. The more they pass laws that empower all, the better thee tip. If that is not enough to live comfortably in DC, get a second, third or forth job. Also, congressional salaries includes health insurance for life for straight members. Add that to what they earn. Per year. All in all, Moran needs to keep his stupid remarks to himself.

  • MLR

    It’s not enough that the majority of republicans are morons, now we have those in the Democratic party as well. How about having your salary frozen for the last 30 years? Hell, most Americans would even be happy making half of what he makes. I say their pay should be frozen permanently until we vote all the idiots out of office and they actually learn how to get along again and get something done and move this country forward.

  • Cw

    Once he quits that job he’ll still be making more pension than most people earn in a year.

  • Dr. Gadfly

    Look, I’m as dissatisfied with Congress as the next guy but the situation is a bit more complicated than what is portrayed in this simple-minded article. First of all, members of Congress are representatives of either a state or a Congressional District somewhere outside of Washington, DC. This means that they are expected to maintain two households; one in whatever place they came from and another in DC. That can be an expensive proposition but how can they possibly represent another place without maintaining a residence there? So take that $174,000 annual salary and, for all practical purposes, slice it in half when it comes to supporting a home. So now you’re down to $87,000 per residence out of which the Congressman or Congresswoman in question must pay income tax, which will vary according to their dependents and other deductions but will likely be at least $12,000 per year. So now they’re down to $75,000 per year per residence. That might seem like a lot to some folks but all things considered it ain’t much in this day and age, especially for those who are professionals who could make a lot more money in the private sector. If you make the salary schedule such that only those who are independently wealthy can afford to serve, then you will end up with a Congress consisting of all rich people. Is that what you want? As for their being “only scheduled to work 113 days of the year,” that is a bit deceptive. Congress may be scheduled to convene only 113 days this year but part of a Congressman’s job is to visit his home turf to stay in touch with constituents and monitor their concerns, and this takes time also. It is part of the job. If you really want to see positive change in government, focus on campaign finance reform instead of on Congressional salaries.

  • Ally

    Awwwe, the poor, needy, greedy “public servants” having a hard time keeping their lights on?? Piss off!

  • bruse willlis

    Walmart is hiring !!!

  • eye

    I think that progressives need to take a stand and stop attacking and judging people by sound bites. Members of Congress dont have the luxury of not being a Member of Congress once they clock out. They are always on the clock 24/7. Most of them don’t have the luxury of having several residences. They have to have a place to stay in DC and in their district. Members are ALWAYS on the clock. Recess from Washington only means they are going back to their district to work. If you have ever seen the schedule for a Member of Congress you would know that they dont have a typical 9-5. Laymen can go to work and leave their job but these guys can never leave their job because they are always representing their district. Rent in DC on Capital Hill starts at 2K a month. Buying a place starts at 300K so please dont go in on these guys for being required to have 2 residences in a city that is increasingly becoming one of the most expensive places to live in the country. We aren’t in the late 80’s anymore. Everyone wants to live in DC and salaries in this area can easily be in the 300K a year range.

    • Nonnymouz

      Teachers don’t get to clock out either, and yet we aren’t paid for the hours outside of the school. I can’t possibly plan, grade, write reports, do tests, and run a club plus attend school events during the hours I’m paid for. I work during the summer, too, so don’t trot out that ancient whine about teachers working half time (members of Congress apparently work less than teachers!). I make 1/3 of his salary, and shamefully enough, Moran represents the area I teach in. I own a house, a car, pay my bills, buy groceries, occasionally go out with friends, volunteer in my community (outside of the hours I volunteer to my school as a club sponsor) and make a monthly donation to the food bank. If I can do it, why can’t he?
      And given where he lives, he doesn’t NEED two residences. He can join the commute the way I do, my neighbors do, and my friends do.

  • LadyeCatte

    “…public servant not a member of the “United States board of directors.”

    Ugh. Now that it’s been brought up, expect to see the GOP push through a change in their job titles, and THEN demand salaries commiserate with what Microsoft board members get. And the thrice-damned Teabaggers will go along with it as long as “poor people, women, non-Christians and minorities” are not the biggest recipients.

  • Frash

    Really?? God bless his heart poor thing. must be a hard life(eyes rolling)

  • Shay

    I tried to click the link to contact Rep. Moran 3 times but kept getting sent to the website in the giant ad above the link and gave up. Your website? It sucks.

  • MomOf2Veterans

    Hey Jim Moran, Moron, whatever your name is….I can make you feel better. I have to decide between buying groceries and paying my electric bill, so chin up! Ungrateful a$$ho1e.

  • James Fleeting

    The truth is that it’s very expensive to be a congressman. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for them, but you have to maintain two residences, and property in DC is very expensive.

  • MaryAnn

    We should ALL be so bad off !

  • FlSam

    This just illustrates yet again how completely disconnected too many in Congress are from most of its citizens. Disgusting.

  • tomcatv1

    Obscenity. Jim Moran needs to be drummed out of the Democratic Party. I’m he’ll be very happy as a Republi-bagger. Just pathetic.