Living expenses for lawmakers - a hoax?

Congress is thinking of building dormitories for their members.  Sounds good, right?

Well, here is my take on the situation:  In the past, some members have introduced legislation to ban members of Congress from sleeping in their offices.  They actually stated no reason for the ban, other than "propriety".  Then they wanted to grant them tax deductions for living expenses (which no one else who works in the private sector gets) while Congress is in session.

I could see this now:  Later, after all the media attention goes away, they vote the tax deductions for living expenses to be PERMANENT, another 'perk' for being in office.

Another Congressman had suggested that lawmakers received $2,500 per month on top of their $174,000 annual income.  Nice, huh?

Here is the main thing that annoys me:  It seems that most of the lawmakers are major liars.  Remember Hillary Clinton claiming that she and her husband were "dead broke" when they left the office?  Yet they had not one, but THREE million dollar properties of their own.  And they took some furniture and silverware with them when they left office.  Of course, most don't remember that, or the fact that every keyboard was found to be missing keys that matched the incoming President's initials.  On top of that, they paid how much for Chelsea's wedding?

 

The current heartthrob of the liberals is the bar girl turned politician, who claims that she won't have any money to rent a place to stay until January.  And then came out information that she had several thousand dollars in the bank that could well cover any living expenses until she took her seat.  Then, she claimed that the reason that she got elected is because she wore her shoes out, getting her feet wet, knocking on doors.  Strange - every picture I saw of her, she had very expensive shoes and outfits on, some estimated to be in the 'thousand dollar' range.  Poor child had to "work" for votes, it seems.  And those expensive shoes must be a bear to replace.

Don't you just LOVE liars?

Comments

Dino Manalis Added Nov 25, 2018 - 9:22am
 We should reduce living expenses to benefit all of us and allow us to spend more for other goods and services!
Sunshine Kid Added Nov 25, 2018 - 9:24am
I totally agree, Dino.
George N Romey Added Nov 25, 2018 - 9:44am
I’d be so lucky to be as broke as the Clintons claimed they were. 
Marty Koval Added Nov 25, 2018 - 12:15pm
Providing subsidized living housing for the Senators and representatives is a form of welfare and is preposterous for people who have an annual salary of $174,000.
 
Since the Welfare reform bill in 1964, spending on welfare went from less than $100 million to over $1 trillion annually in 2018. Welfare spending is already out control and providing it to people with $174,000 annual salary is wrong and the American people have to say: No Way!
 
This story just reinforces the fact the vast majority of Senators and Congressman are looking out for themselves and not for the betterment of the country.
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 1:08pm
Our former US Representative used to sleep on his air mattress & poncho liner in his office and used the Gym to clean up.  (He was retired Military, so it was nothing new.)
 
Prior to 1994, US Representatives generally lived in DC, but Rick Santorum ran on the issue and now you need to maintain two abodes.   
John Minehan Added Nov 25, 2018 - 1:10pm
In NYS, members of the state legislature earn a per diem during the Session.
Jeff Jackson Added Nov 25, 2018 - 3:12pm
Nancy Pelosi, I am told, regularly flies, at taxpayer expense, her children and grandchildren from DC to Californicate on a regular basis. Nice to know how she serves her taxpayers, flying her family from Cal to DC on a regular basis.
Marty Koval Added Nov 25, 2018 - 4:26pm
Jeff Jackson:
 
I been on many flight from Dulles International Airport, Dulles, VA to SeaTac International, Seattle, WA where I have seen Senator Patty Murray in First Class.  I asked her on one flight if I, as a Washington State resident paid for the ticket or did she. She refused to answer the question.
 
I then told her, it is very obvious by your no response that the tax payers and I are paying for it, which is a abuse of your position.  Then she asked me, who are you? Then I told her I am concern resident of Washington State and I despise  people who think that tax payers should be paying for her luxury.
Ryan Messano Added Nov 25, 2018 - 5:23pm
What an entitled and poor excuse for a politician, Patty Murray is. 
 
These people respect only power.  And if the people haven't got the guts to tell them off to their face, they will remain in power.
 
We have the First Amendment so we can speak truth to power. 
 
Totally agree that not one dime of taxpayer money should go to politicians for housing.
Sunshine Kid Added Nov 25, 2018 - 5:53pm
John Minehand, citizens of the state should demand an end to that per diem.  But more than likely most do not know about it at all.

Jeff Jackson, I understand that she is not the only one who does that.  I'm pretty sure that if every Congressman who did that and got called out on the practice publicly, they'd have to be looking for different employment.

Marty Koval, good on you!  If this is a recent event and she is still in office, start up a campaign in the media about her abuse of privilege.
Marty Koval Added Nov 25, 2018 - 6:52pm
Sunshine Kid:
 
This encounter with Senator Patty Murray occurred about 10 years ago, but I never forgot it. I could tell she was not happy about my comments and the look on her face was: How dare you ask me that question. I am not one to be intimidated by others and just smiled at her.
 
The Owl Added Nov 25, 2018 - 10:12pm
If we are to have citizen legislators, we need to do something to stop the parade of entitlements that we offer the professional politician.
 
I suggest that we demand that our legislatures limit their regular sessions to a maximum of monthsand make "special sessions" subject specific and called foreigner either by the President or upon the agreement of the four leaders of  Congress (Majority and minority leaders, and excluding the Speaker of the House).
 
As a sop to gain concurrence and in recognition of the expense of serving, salaries could remain the same.
 
Andvwile we are at it we could repeal the part of the 17th Amendment that provides for the popular election of senators.
 
That clause has reduced the Senate to being nothing more than a super-duper House of Representatives with no sense of allegiance to or concern for the interests of the states from which they come as the original governance system intended.
 
Ifvwe again had the members of the Senate beholden to the states, we would have fewer McCains or Kerry's or Warren's or Clintons or Bookers or Barriers stumping for their next office.  Heavens, we probably wouldn't have someone sitting there in the Senate who is known in his home state as the Third Senator from Maryland.
 
 
 
 
 
Sunshine Kid Added Nov 25, 2018 - 10:26pm
Owl, I agree about returning the election of Senators back to the control of the state legislators.  A democracy was not what the Founding Fathers had in mind, and that is why the states appointed their representatives.  It was to guarantee the rule of law, not popularity.
Ward Tipton Added Nov 26, 2018 - 12:37am
We have Section Eight housing already. If they want to be public servants, let them serve the public. Section eight housing and EBT cards ... all their assets in blind trusts. 
Sunshine Kid Added Nov 26, 2018 - 1:35am
If the lawmakers had their way, they'd vote themselves mansions for housing.  Moreover, it would be forced segregation - Democrats on one side, etc.
George N Romey Added Nov 26, 2018 - 8:08am
They all fly first class and have a tizzy fit when they don't get it.  That should tell you that politicians do not give a rat's ass about you, unless you are a big campaign contributor.  Why people continue to vote and support this rip off scheme from both parties just boggles my mind.  
Bill Kamps Added Nov 26, 2018 - 9:18am
In Texas our legislature meets every other year for 90 days.  Most of the effort is spent passing the two year budget, which by law they must pass, or they stay until they do.  Since most have other jobs waiting for them, they generally get the job done.  My take on it, is that they cant spend my money, if they arent in Austin :)
Sunshine Kid Added Nov 26, 2018 - 11:03am
Bill, I think you have an idea:  Put bars on the windows, locks on the doors, provide cheap food, the bare necessities until they get the job done, and then they can go back to their homes.
Ward Tipton Added Nov 26, 2018 - 11:52am
And no paycheck ... same as it was in the old days, though I do seem to recall that some did receive a minor per diem in addition to the requisite expenses to travel back and forth by horse and buggy.
 
The only problem with bars o the windows and locks on the doors, is how are you going to get anyone to let them back out into the real world? Would be too easy just to leave them locked away forever ... hopefully to be soon forgotten. 
Neil Lock Added Nov 27, 2018 - 8:19am
I can see both sides of this particular coin. If someone is required because of their job to live away from home for a period, their reasonable travel, accommodation and subsistence costs should be met by those who are putting them in that situation. Is that not the norm in the US now? It certainly was when I lived there way back in 1990.
 
But the reasons this becomes a big issue with politicians are:
 
(1) they "need" to have homes close to both the assemblies they belong to and the people they are supposed to represent;
 
(2) this situation goes on, not for weeks or months at a time as it usually does in the private sector, but for years at a time;
 
(3) politicians are by nature greedy, unethical scum, and will milk any system for as much as they can get out of it.
 
In the UK, things got so out of hand with the expenses of members of parliament that in 2009 there was a big scandal about it: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Kingdom_parliamentary_expenses_scandal.
 
So, to me it sounds a nice idea to make them stay in "dormitories" instead of a nice hotel or town house. Reminds me of my long ago time at an English boys' boarding school - everyone crammed together, no privacy and a spartan lack of comforts. (In the really bad old days, this extended to cold baths and non-flushing toilets...) Yes, I do like the thought of forcing all politicians to live in such conditions. It might even remind them of who their true masters are.
 
Of course, it would be even better if they weren't spending so much time being politicians. Never a truer sentence was uttered than: "No man's life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session." Why don't we just limit all legislative assemblies to, say, two weeks a year? Oh, and hold the politicians personally responsible for their share of the bad effects on innocent people of the laws they make.
Sunshine Kid Added Nov 27, 2018 - 8:41am
Neil Lock, you have some very good points, and I fully concur with your last sentence.
Ward Tipton Added Nov 27, 2018 - 9:11am
"In the really bad old days, this extended to cold baths and non-flushing toilets..."
 
Add in no electric and you can come stay with me. 
Bill Kamps Added Nov 27, 2018 - 9:26am
Ward,  the point in Texas is that the legislators HAVE to have other jobs, businesses or at least lives to get back to.  They are not full time politicians.  They get paid relatively little to do the work, and they have a fixed defined period of time to get it done.  The governor can call a special session, but even then he has to have a specific piece of law for them to work on, they cannot be just  come back and screw around.
 
Now people can say that Texas is small compared to the US, but it is a $1.6 trillion dollar economy.  About the same size as Canada, and 10th in the world if it were a country. 
 
So if a $1.6 trillion dollar economy can be governed meeting 90 days every two years, surely the Feds could be governed meeting far less than the essentially full-time they are doing now. 
 
One of the nice things about this system, is that our legislators have to LIVE with the laws they create.  They are not a special class of citizen that dont have jobs or businesses.  I remember Mondale's comment after he "retired" and decided to open a bed and breakfast.  He couldnt believe all the paperwork and regulations that applied to a small business.  Why? because when he was a politician he didnt live in the real world he was governing. 
Sunshine Kid Added Nov 27, 2018 - 10:24am
Bill, your example of Mondale being introduced into the real world of business says more than most people could put into a couple of concise sentences.
Riley Brown Added Nov 27, 2018 - 10:30am
I don't like most politicians but the job of being a representative does need to include reasonable travel and housing perks so they can meet with people at home and in Washington just like any businessman with similar geographical issues would.
 
I'd provide unlimited basic economy airfare for THEM, not their families, and if they want to upgrade it, they can on their own dime.
 
I don't know what food and housing costs are but I'd provide reasonable food, lodging and taxi/Uber reimbursement for the duration of their stays.  If some want to live there and a single bedroom apartment is less, ok.  Most hotels accomodate two people so if they paid for their spouse to fly over, and their meals, they could stay with them for free.
 
Flying family members, paying for their meals, and taxi's, NO.
Steel Breeze Added Nov 28, 2018 - 9:48am
once your in a job where you can vote yourself a raise........skys the limit.....
The Owl Added Nov 28, 2018 - 10:01pm
Neil, the reason that the residents of my state have a snarky title for "our" junior senator, i.e. the distinguished third senator from Maryland, is that Ed Markey has been living in a fine subdivision in Chevy Chase, MD, and has been therether the more than twenty-five years he has been in Congress.  His wife is a well-paid, high-ranking member of Deep State, qualified for a significant golden handshake on retirement.
 
When Markey retires,  if ever, he will claim a substantial pension from Congress which, when added to the pension of his wife, could well put them in the $150K to $200K range with far better health care plans than even the private sector can dream of.
 
These are not people with the interests of the the constituents or taxpayer at heart.  They are self-dealing charlatans in the life-time employ of of "government of the hack, by the hack, and for the hack".
 
We need to do something about this sort of theft from our national treasury, and do it quickly before Deep State bankrupts us all.
 
The Burghal Hidage Added Dec 2, 2018 - 4:44am
simple solution: shoot them all upon leaving office and pay for their burial. A barrel of gas and a box of matches should do it. Or maybe a pyre in the public square. I'm sure you could even sell tickets
Ward Tipton Added Dec 5, 2018 - 10:46am
You would start riots with everyone attempting to meet their match first! 

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