Have you ever been completely stunned by the news that Congress has just voted themselves yet another pay raise? I have. Every single time. I always wonder, “If they’re doing such a good job that they deserve a raise, why haven’t I seen it? Shouldn’t there be some justification for a person in their position to get a raise?”
With all of the “gridlock” we hear about in Washington, DC, where both of these behemoth parties are constantly at each other’s throats over stuff that has little to no bearing on any of our day-to-day lives, they always seem to come to a bipartisan consensus that they deserve more money. Isn’t that remarkable? Actually, there are a lot of things the two parties get along splendidly about, and it almost always has to do with money. Your money, usually. Our money.
I think there’s one surefire way to force them to be accountable to us again: Base their pay on ours. If they want a raise, they simply have to make sure their constituents get one first.
The starting salary for a member of congress is $174,000 per year. If you didn’t know that, you do now. It only goes up from there. I want to base their pay on the median household income in their district instead, and do similar for the senate and the executive branch. I even have a plan to effectively “trickle down” this pay structure to every elected official at the state and local levels as well.
And I’m no hypocrite, so until this bill gets picked up, passed, and signed into law, I will donate all of my congressional salary above my district’s median wage back to my district. That will come close to $100,000 per year that I’ll donate back to you; so when there’s a park that needs new grass, or a school that needs new computers, I will happily hand that money over.
In addition to the exorbitant pay, congress gets, on average, over $300,000 per year to cover living and working spaces in DC, travel between DC and their district, and other expenses, and then another $944,671 per year to hire staff. (A complete breakdown of this pay and benefits package can be found here.)
I plan to hire all of my staff from my district, which will bring even more money back home from DC. Once I win this election, my campaign volunteers will be first in line to be hired, and then I will put out a hiring list on my website and hire the most qualified applicants to come with me to DC and partner with me to take on the establishment.
I’m not better than any of you. And I want better for all of you. With your help, and the help of others around the nation putting more people like me into their service, we can realign our government with its people.