151 They get how much?


Tom Garrett 3 years, 11 months ago


Finally got some numbers in answer to a question you asked a long time ago.

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, is returning 20% of his office's operating budget to the Treasury--$600,000.

He says, "I ran to stop the reckless spending, and I pledged to the people of Kentucky that I would work to keep their hard-earned money out of the hands of Washington bureaucrats whose irresponsible spending has threatened our country's economic health."

But whoa, horse.

If $600,000 is 20% of his operating budget, does that mean we are putting $3 million in the hands of each of our senators?

"Are you kidding?" I asked myself. "That can't be true!"

So I checked.

It be true!

Here are the almost unbelievable numbers.

For the House: The 2012 allowances range from $1,270,129 to $1,564,613, with an average of $1,353,205.

For the Senate: FY2013: A range of $2,960,716 to $4,685,632, depending on the state.25 The average allowance is $3,209,103.26

And a little arithmetic:

425 X $1,353,205 = $575,112,125

50 X $3,209,103 = $160,455,150

I'm in the wrong job!

Just in case I was wrong, I did a search for the annual operating budget for Congress and got so many GOVERNMENT site answers that obviously were not going to be answers and were just there to put up a cloud of smoke (there were over 10,000,000 hits) that I could see someone was loading up the internet with trash answers to keep us from finding out.

So I went to wiki.answers and asked "What is the annual operating budget for the U.S Congress?"

Here's the incredible answer:


"Based on an article on Huffington Post dated 2/25/2009, the current annual operating budget is $4.4 Billion. That is roughly $8.2 Million per member of congress. Or $3348.55 per second."

Are we being taken?


Pat Randall 3 years, 11 months ago

Yes, but aren't we letting it happen? Can't we vote against all their freebies? Start with thier postage for junk mail. Yesterday I returned a letter unopened to John McCain that was addressed to my husband. Wrote on the front of the envelope, return to sender. Ronald Randall is deceased. Nov. 13 2010.
Think anyone in his office will get the point? NO they aren't any smarter. It will go in the trash and I will receive another one. They don't send any addressed to me. How many more letters are sent to dead people? Think of just that amount of wasted money. It is very upsetting to me every time I get a letter or postcard addressed to Rony. I don't know how they got the address as Rony had not voted since we moved to this address.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 11 months ago

"I don't know how they got the address as Rony had not voted since we moved to this address."

I've wondered about that, but it's obvious that they use public records as THEIR records.

As for getting rid of their franking privileges, it's a leftover from the 18th and 19th centuries when the only way they had of telling people what was going on in congress was by mail. Now they jump in a jet, fly here at our expense, and make speeches; and they hire political aides--again at out expense--and hit us every which way they can: Through the mail, by e-mail, on TV, in pieces in the paper, through TV ads, in about a hundred ways. You're right. We need to cut back on the waste, and cutting the franking privileges would be a good FIRST step.

One thing that really teed me off about all this is what happened when I tried to do a simple thing like look up how much each member of Congress gets for an operating budget. I'm telling you. Do this. Just Google Operational budget for U. S. Senators and see the millions of deliberately WRONG hits you get. Then do it for house members. They have flooded the internet with so much crapola that you can't find what you want.

That is not a mistake! That is deliberate!!!!


Paul Woods 3 years, 11 months ago

Being in Illinois I'm more than aware of the old DC 2,3,4 waltz dance around the truth. Rand Paul is apparently trying to put a stop to the reckless spending of our money. We had a US congressman who was trying to do the same by sleeping in his office thus foregoing the cost of either a hotel room/suite or a house. He was defeated in the last election by a machine supported candidate. The people of that district are getting exactly what they deserve, someone who will probably throw away any good sense she may have had in favor of paying off those who supported her by installing them in positions that probably aren't needed.

The sad truth seems to be that those who get elected to any level of government soon forget all their pronouncements of supporting governmental frugality and excellence. Seems to be the same problem with both parties, but more prevalent with the Demo-dummies. No matter who is elected they seem to think that they have become our bosses instead of our employees.

Today, Tuesday, there is a primary election in the 2nd congressional district to replace a congressman who resigned because of misappropriation of campaign funds. And his wife has resigned her elected job of Alderwoman in Chicago for apparently the same reason. What is so puzzling is that one of the plethora of candidates (Democratic) is a convicted statutory rapist. Just think, if he should win the primary, he'll have access to all those funds. And it's pretty much a surety that the Democrat will win the general election.

So the question is, how are people allowed to take public office when they have such checkered pasts or show a bend in the direction of forgetting that they are the representatives of the ones who elected them, not their emperors.


Tom Garrett 3 years, 10 months ago

Hi, Paul. Good to hear from you.

The question you ask is an important one.

I am a strong believer in "personal" foregiveness, but simple common sense says that we should be very picky about who we elect to "represent" us. In fact, as you may have seen in one of our recent strings, I think our current system is so broken as to be in need of a sweeping, though very simple, change.

We are NOT actually represented most of the time. Because of a winner-take-all system that fitted the 18th century, but does not fit our times, we end up election after election with a Congress which has a membership which doesn't even come close to matching the percentage of people of each mindset.

How can someone who is from the opposite party represent me when his or her thinking is diametrically opposed to mine? It is obviously impossible. So for either 2, or 4, or 6 years at a time each of us goes unrepresented in some part of our government. We should change our elections so that each group (party if you wish) elects someone who properly represents it, and each party should then send someone to Congress (or the local or state legislature). The voting power of each person elected should be proportionate to the percentage of people in his party in his election district. If we had, for example, three parties: Dem, Rep, Ind, and the percentage was 32%, 32%, and 34% then that is what his or vote would count. Because that would mean having three times as many people in the House as we have now we would have to redraw districts and reduce them to one third as many. That would be easy to do because gerrymandering becomes impossible under a system where everyone is represented.

With that change there would be no more wild swings of the pedulum, no more legislation that could be rammed through by the kind of temporary majority our ancestors so feared, and no more need to allow someone of questionable character to run for office just because he or she is able to pull in votes (or is willing to sell out the people).

We are in trouble. It is time for change. That change would end many practices that hurt us all.

I like it because it would give us all the feeling that someone in Congress actually represented us. As it is now, I look at some of those people and say, "How can this person, who hates everything I love and loves everything I hate, be--by any stretch of the imagination--my "representative?"

If you look at the large number of people who do not vote, and the very large number of people who are now registered independents, you'll see how disenfranchised a large proportion of the nation feels. We can't get good government when people dislike and distrust their own Congress.


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