The base salary for all rank-and-file members of Congress is $174,000, more than triple the median household income of the United States. In exchange for that generous salary, members of Congress work one out of three days.
The House of Representatives was in session for only 18 hours a week in 2013. Members worked only 130 days in 2015. In case you needed more evidence that Congress doesn’t earn its salary, consider this: House and Senate members only worked eight days in April.
Eight work days in a month, with an annual salary of $174,000. Can you imagine? Must be nice!
Meanwhile, in the real world, the average American worker puts in more hours than a medieval peasant. Full-time U.S. employees use only 54 percent of their paid vacation days, sacrificing the rest for fear of falling behind or being replaced. The idea of a congressman skipping that much vacation is laughable, at best.
I was raised to believe that how people spend their time is a direct reflection of their priorities. The United States holds more than $19 trillion in debt, not including unfunded liabilities. Our health care, immigration, and justice systems are in desperate need of reform. Public schools are under performing, while families and small businesses are being taxed out of financial security.
Where is our elected leadership? Clearly, they have other priorities.
Members of Congress spend most of their time in their districts, schmoozing with donors, speaking at private events, and securing their next elections. The average House member spent $53,170 of taxpayer money on travel in 2013.
These aren’t legislators, these are professional campaigners.
The American people aren’t being heard by government because the game is rigged. Washington isn’t broken. It’s “fixed.”