Our elected representatives play by different rules, not always.
From 1789 to 1815, members of Congress received only a per diem (daily payment) of $6.00 while in session.
The current salary (2015) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year. This is for a regular first termer, certain positions are bit higher. While this ranks in the in the top 2% of wage earners in the U.S., I actually am ok with this salary compensation with two caveats:
- Term limits (suggest no more than two congressional terms and one senatorial term).
- This still allows for up to 10 years, not quite a career, but…………….
- That they play by the same rules as other civil servants with regard to benefits, perks, retirement, etc. Actually in some regards they do now, but not all. Of course term limits would have an impact on potential retirement payments.
Where are the current abuses? Source: http://www.opposingviews.com/i/politics/do-nothing-congress-set-work-only-8-more-days-year-will-put-barely-2-days-week-2014
- Congress was only in session for 126 days in 2014.
- Staff schedulers often times make reservations for members of Congress via dedicated phone lines that Delta and other major airlines have reportedly set up for Capitol Hill customers. Airlines also permit members to reserve seats on multiple flights but only pay for the trips they take.
- Whenever lawmakers decide to show up for a flight, they are also guaranteed free parking at the two Washington-area airports, according to a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
Note: Some progress has been made on this issue in recent years, so it seems to be moving in a better direction for the taxpayer. Probably the reason that any and all representatives become millionaires (even one-termers) is a combination of the information they are privy to as well as the status gained by their position in regards to future employment & speaking engagements.