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Costs of members of congress to taxpayers

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  • Democrat
    Massachusetts
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    We keep hearing about the debt and cuts that have to be made. What is the total amount of money spent on all members of congress for their salaries,healthcare,their children's student loans that they don't have to pay back,travel expenses and other perks? Also the cost of their retirement? Are we paying for Robio's wife's travel expenses, when she accompanies him to the middle east?
  • Independent
    Ohio
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    We don't need professional congressmen. Many people run because it's easy money. You don't really have to do much and you're set for life. Government greed gone wild. I would make congress a part time job. Like being in the National guard. Ditch the free health care, high six figure salary and bloated retirement package. Pay them about 30k for part time work. Let them live at home and travel to DC 10 or 12 times a year to vote.

    Not every congressman is rich when he enters office. But they are all rich when they leave. There is something terribly wrong here.
  • Democrat
    Brookline , MA
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    Altair13 & Annerev .....I share your sentiments. Did the Congress had a recess not too long ago? And now they are again in recess?
    I believe I read somewhere that Congress has more time off than working their jobs.
    What we, the constituents need to endeavor to do is find out....out of the 52 weeks we have in a year how many weeks does these Representative and Senators work in a year and how many weeks are their recess in a year and how much are they being paid by the taxpayers to pay their salary....then we can break down their pay versus the time they work....at least average their paycheck to the number of weeks they work. Then we can take a look at their health benefit and retirement pay at the end of their service. How many times does this congress convene to discuss the nations concern? How many Laws has they produce in how many days? Citizens like us need to start questioning the work requirements of these people....in our jobs we have job descriptions, we have time limit on every thing, we have dead lines to meet...our time is allocated one hour lunch, 15 minutes break one in the morning and one in the afternoon. And how many holidays we have, versus the holidays of these Congresspeople and Senators..I mean physical time off the job....they are now in recess how long is that? It is time off for them. Rubio is going to Israel and other countries with our tax money, not his money, OURS. We want to know why he's going there, for what reason, and why is he going alone and not all the Senators? As far as the Congress is concern all the Senators can go to Israel, why only Rubio? Rubio has not outline why Congress is allowing him to go there with our Tax Money? What important business does he have with Israel that the President, the Vice President, the Secretary of State can not do? What are these Republicans trying to prove? Is Rubio on Official business or what? Who has the say so for him to go or not? Whose the Boss that will give that order? Speaker of the House Boehner? Are you serious?
    Citizens must UNITE TO DEMAND the work load and works days of these Congresspeople and the Senators and what their pay level are. And when they travel. We citizens is entitled to know what Rubio's concern is from Israel beside stirring more Sh*t.
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    EXACTLY my thoughts too. Let me add another issue for them. Who pays for all their U.S. travel as well? With 3 day weeks, and recesses too, they are surely doing unbelievable amounts of travel back-and-forth from Washington to their homes. When I was still working, I flew for my job quite often. I can't even count the number of times I saw our Mississippi Congressman (Sonny Montgomery) sitting on the same flight I was on. You and I both know that he was not paying for all those flights out of his own pocket, so I guess that means that the U.S. taxpayer is footing the bill for all that travel. Can anyone even imagine the number of dollars involved each year for the nearly 600 Senators and Representatives that are using these benefits? I bet the number is mind-boggling.
  • Independent
    New Hampshire
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    Come on people, why are you being so hard on these people that make major sacrifices to represent you. After all you did elect them.
    We have Sr. members of Congress and Jr. Members of Congress. The difference between the Senior and Junior Members is that the seniors know how to play the game while the Jr. Members are learning the rules of the game.
    How many of you spend time watch the House and Senate in action on TV? We must spend a lot of time recognizing anyone for anything. Acknowledging individuals and groups for achievements is an important part of their job. Pro sports teams winning a game or one they consider important or helpful to them.
    What I really like is when they pack-up and go to a disaster site to obtain information. There's little for them to do there, other than standing around, which may also be considered, getting in the way of the workers. Another area of concern is their "Fact Finding Trips". This has to rate right up there with watching a Reality Show, as it has little to do with reality. How much do we pay agencies to gather information? If the agencies are doing their job the trips are not really necessary as the information should already be available to them.
    Test yourself! Make a list of information gathering agencies we have and then visit the Homeland Security Web Site and find the page that tells you what agencies are a part of DGS. You probably noticed the absence of the FBI, The CIA or the NSA. You may not have noticed the absence of several military intel groups.
    Big Government . . . why don’t we reduce the size of Government by eliminating duplication of duties by combining a dozen or so, called making it just one (added for politicians). That might even start thinking about doing that with other groups which share the same function The GOP wants to do away with Big Government and it was Bush that came up with adding another NEW One to a list that’s already too large.
    We should help make life easier for the members of Congress who have chosen to sacrifice so much to serve “We the People”.
    Set a limit on the total time a person can be a member of Congress.
    Allow them to have National Health for insurance.
    Remove retirement Benefits
    Limit their office staff and do away with the free mailing
    On free Mailing: US Postal Service should double the price of bulk mail. It may cause less paper being used for the ads we get, don’t want and just throw away without reading.
    I’m sure there is much more which could be added.
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    Good post "jperry" although there is for sure something I feel the need to comment about.

    You said: "We should help make life easier for the members of Congress who have chosen to sacrifice so much to serve “We the People”. Set a limit on the total time a person can be a member of Congress. Allow them to have National Health for insurance. Remove retirement Benefits Limit their office staff and do away with the free mailing On free Mailing: US Postal Service should double the price of bulk mail. It may cause less paper being used for the ads we get, don’t want and just throw away without reading."

    Sure it would be nice for all of us IF these suggestions of yours would be implemented, but you need to be realistic at the same time. What are the chances of these suggested changes ever becoming reality? The President cannot with one swoop make these things happen. Congress is where this has to happen, and these "offenders" are employed (if you can call their positions as being employed) as our congress-persons. They are not now, or ever, going to vote to further limit their own terms, or to remove their retirement benefits, or to reduce their office staffing, etc. Like you said, something needs to be done about it, but how that might ever happen is sure beyond my comprehension.
  • Democrat
    Missouri
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    We need all of Congress and Administrative assistance to House & Senate to give to the American citizens an honest day/week/month/year of service. Our vote is the pay-for-performance, use it. Where elected politicians do not provide excellent work, fire them at the next election. Some would say even the President has this work ethic, but I disagree. Sure the President goes golfing, fishing, hunting and time with the family, but also look who gets the calls in the middle of the night, ordering special administration sessions, campaign runs, emotional issues of events that claim American lives and prosperity. I believe the Presidents Office is the most heart-breaking, pressure cooked, head hurting emotional environment of any job or career that anybody can have. To see the physical toil on the person in the Presidency, you only have to look at timely pictures from enterring and throughout the elected service. So, why is the Presidency not like Congress? Congress only works 25% of their elected time in service. Congress can adjourn by their Speaker during hotly debated issues that they don't want to vote on, which seems more often now than ever. American voters need to stand up and vote those Congressional people out of office that don't provide hardy service. Congressional aids and politicians have many sources of pay from lobbists, media, speaking engagements, big business, other countries and more other sources I can remember. Is there such thing as a poor politician after being in service for 10 or more years? There are hard working civil servants in US/State/Local Government, but I do not believe that most of our Congression politicians give us a forty hour work week for 42 weeks in any given year. Americans should base the retirement of any politician within a performance plan dependent on what they provided to the American People. If that politician serves less than six years, he can only receive credit for Social Security benefits.

    VOTE THE BUMS OUT!
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    I just wonder; have we become an real "island" but instead are still thinking we are a world power? How come that in Europe they had the guts to implement very deep cuts in just about everything and even raised taxes on milionairs/billionairs in France up to 75%? Should n't we look at what happened there and even set a better example?
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    Hey Dutch, what is the European tax rate on those making under a million? I ask because if the rate on those at exactly 1 million is 75%, their "take-home" would only be $250K. If the person making making $600,000 was taxed at say 50%, then a "take-home" of $300K would be more than the person making a million. This would definitely get the millionaires hacked-off to no end, I bet.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    michaels39301 Wrote: Hey Dutch, what is the European tax rate on those making under a million? I ask because if the rate on those at exactly 1 million is 75%, their "take-home" would only be $250K. If the person making making $600,000 was taxed at say 50%, then a "take-home" of $300K would be more than the person making a million. This would definitely get the millionaires hacked-off to no end, I bet.
    I'm not that familiar with the French top level incomes ( I'm not that rich!!), however when I lived in the south of France; the rates were already quite steep. But the lower class pays may be 20 to 30 percent anyway. The 75% level was just introduced last year; so I do not the exact details.
    But I'm trying to paint a picture, so people here, especially the rich should be glad they live here. However for some people this is not good enough, because I saw o nthe news that Paulson did hide ( I do not the exact amount) a lot of money on Bermuda.
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    Thanks for the info Dutch. I bet Paulson was just following the example set by Romney and maybe Ryan too. I think I heard that there are actions in Switzerland to report all the interest earned at their institutions, to the country of the account owner's residence. That will be a big first-step in the process to get all interest earned by U.S. investors reported to the IRS. I also bet old Romney is all puckered up.
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    michaels39301 Wrote: hanks for the info Dutch. I bet Paulson was just following the example set by Romney and maybe Ryan too. I think I heard that there are actions in Switzerland to report all the interest earned at their institutions, to the country of the account owner's residence. That will be a big first-step in the process to get all interest earned by U.S. investors reported to the IRS. I also bet old Romney is all puckered up.
    By the way I saw that Paulson moved 450 million to Bermuda.
  • Democrat
    Meridian, MS
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    Then for sure the Island of Bermuda needs to be the Fed's (or whoever was able to get Switzerland to report U.S. accounts' interest) next target, and get it done worldwide.
  • Independent
    New Hampshire
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    AmcmurryFreedom

    The same people get elected over and over again. It doesn't matter how they performed with a month to go until election its a whole new game. People don't know or care how or what a politician did the current term, they hear his new or rehashed promises and they vote based on that.
    I wonder what the Constitution would have been like if they knew that in 200 years there would be 300 million people that cared noting about those around them, only themselves. Corruption is nothing new, it was used as the groundwork for the forming of a new nation. We the people are not represented on the Federal Levels and only slightly on the State Level.
  • Other Party
    Nebraska
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    And of those who care nothing about those around them, only themselves some of the worst ones are our elected officials. They only care about keeping the 3 day a week jobs with those great benefits. Term limits now!