It’s more about $, power & re-election We have the best representatives that money can buy. In the presidential election of 2012 cost approximately $7 Billion! With our current system there is only a very small chance of anyone other than a major party nominee being elected. The parties are a major controlling source of campaign funding and in order to receive the party nomination it is crucial to toe the party line. 70 – 85% (depending on the party) of campaign financing comes from either a small number of large amount contributors or from Political Action Committees. PACs are controlled by special interest groups. Special interest groups have a very targeted agenda and often it is not one that benefits the common good. Our representatives have developed a very lucrative compensation package which includes a substantial salary and numerous fringe benefits. They have continued to prosper even during downturns in the economy. After 5 years a representative is fully vested for a lifetime retirement package. What the founding fathers viewed as a part time “service” to the country with a modicum of compensation has morphed into a career pathway to considerable personal wealth. For a history of congressional salaries visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salaries_of_members_of_the_United_States_Congress Following is from: http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/congresspay.htm “From 1789 to 1855, members of Congress received only a per diem (daily payment) of $6.00 while in session” Rank-and-File Members: The current salary (2015) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year.” Following is from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congressional_pension “Congressional pension is a pension made available to members of the United States Congress. Members who participated in the congressional pension system are vested after five (5) years of service. A full pension is available to Members 62 years of age with 5 years of service; 50 years or older with 20 years of service; or 25 years of service at any age” “In 2002, the average pension payment ranged from $41,000 to $55,000. As of November 2014[update], senior Members of Congress who have been in office for at least 32 years can earn about $139,000 a year” Stay tuned for more to follow on this topic.