Saturday, September 27, 2014

Legislative “Shared Sacrifice”

Each member of Congress “earns” 3.4 times more than the average American worker.

Congress also receives the equivalent of $14,000 in paid time off… assuming they only take half of the time off as the average federal employee. Taxpayers contribute about $6,000 to each Member of Congress’s health and life insurance and another $9,000 to the employer’s share of Social Security and Medicare taxes.

How much work did they do for it? Congress was in session just 126 days this year. They worked just two days in the month of August.

Congressional members average $3,346 per week, and their compensation including benefits totals around $285,000 per year. Unlike state and local government employees, who generally must contribute around 6 percent of their pay to defined benefit pensions, Members of Congress contribute only 1.3 percent of their salaries.

Members of Congress receive contributions toward retirement benefits equal to around 47 percent of their annual salaries, or about $82,000.

The number of laws passed by Congress last year was fewer than at any point since 1947.

Again, the current 2013 Congressional calendar consists of only 126 days. This left members of Congress with 239 “vacation days” to… perhaps… tour our great nation? Or mull over the idea of running for even higher office, or maybe visit a natural disaster or two to get some camera time. We know they weren’t visiting national parks because they closed them down.

Politicians like to say we should increase the retirement age to 70, as people are living longer.
If they actually worked, they might realize 66 is sufficient for most of the work force, as our legislative body works on average 2.3 days per week.

The “average” federal employee salary is $78,500. The median household income for most in the United States today is $50,875.

Federal workers receive health insurance, retirement health benefits, a pension plan with inflation protection, and a retirement savings plan with a government match. They typically receive generous holiday and vacation schedules, flexible work hours, training options, incentive awards, generous disability benefits, and union protections.

Taxpayers could save $39 million a year if members of Congress decreased their salary to $100,000 per year (still nearly twice as large as the average American worker’s salary of $50,875).

Our legislative leaders say they feel our pain; so exactly what is this “shared sacrifice” the people keep hearing about?

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