Forget the fact that the unemployment rate is at 6.7% and food stamp usage is at an all time high, Congressman Jim Moran (D-VA) believes Congress deserves a raise. Considering the congressional approval rating is hovering around 10%, it is safe to say the American people probably wouldn’t be onboard with upping their representatives’ pay. Rep. Moran, however, doesn’t seem to care.
Members of Congress currently earn $174,000 a year. But that is apparently not enough. Moran, who is a senior House Legislative Branch appropriator, claims some lawmakers have taken to living out of their offices to save money. Others have “small little apartment units” that make it impossible to spend the time they should with their families. Moran argues most state legislatures provide members a per diem allowance, so the federal government should do the same.
“I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid,” Moran told Roll Call. “I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”
On radio this morning, Glenn decided to agree with Moran that the United States is in fact a company. But when you consider the current state of the country, Moran’s logic doesn’t add up.
“This is a company… The United States of America, Incorporated. It is a giant company. That's what it is. We're the shareholders… You would have sold your stock a long time ago. You would say, ‘What the hell is wrong with you people,’” Glenn explained. “They're robbing us. We're at $17 trillion in debt. There's no product we could ever make that's going to pay that off. What the hell's wrong with you? Don't you see they have sold the company into slavery of another company?”
Congressional pay has been frozen for three years, and, as a result, Moran says “a lot of members can’t even afford to live decently in Washington.”
Moments like this demonstrate just how far Congress has deviated from the idea of public service, and Glenn found himself disgusted by Moran’s elitist reasoning.
“What happened to the word ‘service’? You know who is serving the country? The military. [They] get out and they have nothing… Those are the guys who actually served us," Glenn said. “These guys [in Congress] leave with huge pensions, all the glitz and glamor of everything. [They] go on speaking tours. Meanwhile our veterans are starving. It's obscene. It really is. This is King Louis and Marie Antoinette. It's not just the President and his lavish lifestyle. It's all of them in Washington.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP