Georgia Repub. complains: ‘I’m stuck here making $172,000 a year’

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posted on Sep, 20 2013 @ 09:50 PM
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reply to post by Aazadan
 


Let's see if I am tracking...

We pay them better. The amount they get paid is dependent on length of service. However, they have a wealth cap. I am assuming anything over the wealth cap would come from the "perks" of being a law writer from friendly "helpers" in the greater DC community. So they will be wealthy but the wealth will come solely from the execution of their duties.

How am I doing do far?

Some questions:

1. How do we determine they are executing their duties per the agreement? Politicians tend to be a little loose with facts. What control do we get for the dollar?

2. I have a hard time accepting they are worth that much. Politicians are already full of themselves. Do we want to acerbate the preponderance of those weak willed individuals at the helm?

3. We really do not get better people for better money. That concept has a point of diminishing returns. Look at Wall Street. For more money all you get are greedier sociopaths. This is service, not a get rich proposition. How do you propose to sell this as a good idea with millions of Americans out of work and so many kids in poverty? 'Let's give them more and they will start fixing things for reelz!'

4. Legally, we have no control over their salary. Congress decides for themselves. They do not listen to us now. Why would they listen to this?




posted on Sep, 20 2013 @ 09:52 PM
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Aazadan
Lots of power+low wages ultimately leads to massive corruption.


That's very true, however the very structure of our government was designed for men of integrity to be elected into office. Unfortunately, it's become so overwhelmingly corrupt that it's hard to find anyone of integrity, and easy to prevent anyone of integrity from getting past the primaries.

The only solution is to remove money from the electoral process, but as someone already stated, the Supreme Court put an end to that dream.



posted on Sep, 20 2013 @ 11:14 PM
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ABNARTY
1. How do we determine they are executing their duties per the agreement? Politicians tend to be a little loose with facts. What control do we get for the dollar?


The same way we do now. Elections. The difference is that politicans no longer have a financial incentive to stay in the system past the point they cap out on wealth. Currently, they need to be reelected to stay on the train, and that ultimately sends them to the corporations that will pay thousands/millions of dollars to get their guy elected. By pricing the corporations out of the game as the primary funders of the system, power goes back to the people. If my suggestion isn't enough to get the corporations out of the game, then double it. We still get improved legislation and are individually paying very low amounts of money for that. A $10 increase on our taxes is over a $300 million increase for the corporations to keep up. It's very easy to simply get them out of the system.

The control we get for those dollars is a very real financial incentive for a politician to get reelected. If it's 12 year terms that means a Senator who wants to make far more money than he would in the private sector must make his constituents happy for his first 6 years to get reelected. So a senator is working for us 50% of the time compared to the current 0% of the time. A Representative would need to keep his base happy for 10 out of 12 years, so he would be working for us at minimum 83% of the time compared to the current 0%. By representing corporations to the detriment of the people, they would simply get thrown out of office. A psychological factor is at work too, and you can see it in the replies to my thread. People tend to be more critical of those who make lots of money, which makes them more likely to pay attention to the issues and vote, creating more participation in the system.


2. I have a hard time accepting they are worth that much. Politicians are already full of themselves. Do we want to acerbate the preponderance of those weak willed individuals at the helm?


It's not about what they're worth. Most jobs in the country don't pay what they're worth. Some pay too high and others pay too low. Low wages (and yes, $172,000/year is low compared to the jobs they get when leaving office, lobbyists, and most other positions that involve highly important material) combined with power leads to corruption. The thing about corruption though, is one needs to pay enough to actually change a persons lifestyle and justify the risk of taking those bribes and gifts. The risk to a congressman right now is minimal. If they're run out of office, those same corporations turn around and hire the former congressman and throw in a raise. They're incentivized to take the bribes, and the bribes cost corporations small amounts of money, because the congressmans wages are so low. They can offer him $300,000 over 10 years, roughly equal to two years of salary, and have that congressman in their pocket on any issue they want. Would a senator accept a mere $300,000 when that's not even 1 months worth of salary though? How many of those that would, would still accept it if by taking it they're facing the very real prospect of giving up another $60 million term? For those in their second term, how many would still accept it knowing they're going to hit that wealth cap? When they hit it, they essentially gained nothing, or if they did gain they're taking a very substantial risk (and I would be in favor of extremely harsh punishments for going over that cap... on the order of that person and their family never being allowed to make more than minimum wage for the rest of their life, stripping all assets and possessions from them, as well as a jail sentence)


3. We really do not get better people for better money. That concept has a point of diminishing returns. Look at Wall Street. For more money all you get are greedier sociopaths. This is service, not a get rich proposition. How do you propose to sell this as a good idea with millions of Americans out of work and so many kids in poverty? 'Let's give them more and they will start fixing things for reelz!'


You're right, we don't get better people. What we do get however are special interests that can no longer financially compete which by default makes the people better represented. As for being out of work, people in poverty, and so on. We could fix that easily, it's just not a national agenda for various reasons. One has no impact on the other. Oddly enough, part of making constituents happy would involve fixing issues like poverty and joblessness. Once politicians have a financial incentive to make things better for the people vs making them better for the corporations at the expense of the people, those types of situations would improve.


4. Legally, we have no control over their salary. Congress decides for themselves. They do not listen to us now. Why would they listen to this?


Congress will always vote in congress's own interests. Something like this puts almost all of them in a better financial position both short term and long term and it's not the sort of thing corporations can fight through lobbying. What are they going to do, offer each senator/rep $70 million in bribes, kickbacks, and gifts to get them to vote against it? That would cost the corporations 37 billion dollars. Congress would see they get a huge influx of money by voting for this provision, and put it up for another vote because they're greedy, then they would do it again, and again, and again, and the congress would catch on quick, before long they would increase their pay which would force the corporations to pay even more money (it's about a 30:1 effect, for every $1 increase in pay to a congressman it would cost the corporation $30 to match). The corporations would not be able to stop it through lobbying congress. A bill like this is in congress's interest and against the interest of special interests, which by default makes it in the interests of we the people, because we're the ones that would be voting them into office.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 10:12 AM
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reply to post by Aazadan
 


A very thorough reply. Thanks


1. The taxpayer prices the lobbyists out of the game. Basically 'free market' competition for their effort. I think that idea has merit but I do not fundamentally trust the politicians or the system to abide by the rules. This part may sound a little tin-foil-hatty (but hey, we are on ATS) but the lobbyists and their minions are deeply entrenched. Phase One of this plan would need a mighty rototilling in DC. I imagine the talking points already: this is communist as it limits wealth, this is elitist as is limits free speech, blah-blah-blah

2. I like the idea of the current low risk to the politician. I do agree part of it has to do with the monetary compensation angle we are discussing but also they are their own judges as they write the laws. That is a big part of the low risk. However if they see we which side their bread is buttered on, it may be forthcoming more quickly. This will definitely cost us though...

www.rollcall.com...

www.opensecrets.org...

3. I totally agree taking care of constituents is what they guys need to be doing.

4. I am on board with the basic premise. I am just concerned about the policing element. I am hesitant about the tax raised funds going where they are supposed to. I do not trust the creative financing these politicians will use to quantify their wealth. Sadly, I do not trust the American electorate at-large to keep their thumb on the situation. But honestly, your idea has many sound facets and makes sense.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 01:17 PM
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reply to post by buster2010
 


----soooo true.he is crying because ALL he makes is 170k a year ?..it really is beyond my understanding...my spouse & i live on $14,400 a year.we do not need for anything.we own our house,cars,etc.we enjoy cable,the internet,& we are NOT hungry...i guess it is all about "WANTING", versus "NEEDING" ...the greedier get greedier, & i feel,(believe it or not),a bit sorry for those who are this way..if i somehow won,or inherited a million $$$, i just do not have it in me to spend it on myself..,my "conscience" would not let me..i would give it ALL to people who are not as "fortunate",as myself,(having shelter,food,& transportation)...,the REAL needs in life...in the end-it is all about love,giving,sharing,that will count anyway...



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 08:35 PM
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1. The taxpayer prices the lobbyists out of the game. Basically 'free market' competition for their effort. I think that idea has merit but I do not fundamentally trust the politicians or the system to abide by the rules. This part may sound a little tin-foil-hatty (but hey, we are on ATS) but the lobbyists and their minions are deeply entrenched. Phase One of this plan would need a mighty rototilling in DC. I imagine the talking points already: this is communist as it limits wealth, this is elitist as is limits free speech, blah-blah-blah


No doubt, that's why the first step of this plan isn't selling it to congress, they already like it. It's selling it to the people. If the people don't sign on, the congressmen who approve it will be voted out and not get their windfalls. Corporations would certainly oppose this, but I think that if argued logically the people would support it. The real power of the plan lies in reelection, and that's where you get the strong multiplier effect from. To us, we're just paying $60 over 6 years as a contribution to a senators salary. To a corporation however they're paying $60 million to cover that senators next term that poor legislation will cost him from getting. If that's spread out between say 20 like minded corporations that's still 3 million per corporation. Then throw in the fact that they have to bribe 51 senators to their side and suddenly an individual expense of $10 for us is $153 million for them. This multiplier ensures corporations cannot compete with the people. If the corporations can still play ball at those prices, lets double them. If that's still not enough, we can double it again and pay $40 in taxes... which is still well within what we'll save through improved legislation. At that point an individual corporation would be paying $612 million to compete.

It doesn't take very long to make it impossible to eliminate their lobbying influence. Even the banks would cave to this tactic (though it would take a little more money than my proposed 8/120 mil... their profits were higher than I realized).

When it comes to the proposed arguments lets start with the idea that it limits wealth. 97 out of 100 senators are below the proposed cap, well below it actually. Of the three that are above, I think it would per perfectly reasonable to write in exceptions to them that their cap equals their current wealth plus their pay through the rest of their term. That just strikes me as fair. For the rest of them, maybe it does limit their wealth, but you could also turn it around and say it makes them far richer than they would otherwise be. Lets take the average senator who is worth 10 million. Over the next 20 years they might be able to raise that to 20 or 30 million. This proposal would take them up to 120 million (or whatever the final number is). Financially they're clearly better off under the proposed system.

When it comes to the free speech argument I'm going to let the Supreme Court answer this for me. Money equals speech. We're paying our congressmen to be heard and the corporations who have less money than the collective population of US citizens therefore have less speech. If the corporations want to be heard, they're simply going to have to start giving more cash. If they don't have the cash to outspeak the people, that's just too bad. They had no problems with it when the people couldn't afford lobbyists and they could.


2. I like the idea of the current low risk to the politician. I do agree part of it has to do with the monetary compensation angle we are discussing but also they are their own judges as they write the laws. That is a big part of the low risk. However if they see we which side their bread is buttered on, it may be forthcoming more quickly. This will definitely cost us though...


It's not that expensive. It's well within the returns we would get from improved legislation. The median income in the US is about $50,000, the proposal essentially works out to $10/person (in reality it would hit some more and some less based on the progressive tax structure we have). If my initial numbers were too low, and everything needed to be multiplied by a factor of 10, we would still only need to see government run 0.2% more efficiently (less frivolous spending, more job creation, yadda yadda yadda) in order to break even on the investment through reduced taxation. On an individual level it is very inexpensive.


4. I am on board with the basic premise. I am just concerned about the policing element. I am hesitant about the tax raised funds going where they are supposed to. I do not trust the creative financing these politicians will use to quantify their wealth. Sadly, I do not trust the American electorate at-large to keep their thumb on the situation. But honestly, your idea has many sound facets and makes sense.


My initial reaction would be each member of congress, as part of financial transparency (which would be necessary to enforce a wealth cap) would have to submit to an IRS audit. One could even make a special IRS branch that investigates congressmen continually. I don't know what it would cost, but I know it's not much compared to the potential return (though there would be some cost there obviously). I think that combined with some very draconian punishments for violating that cap (and I'm normally one of those that says punishments need to be reduced across the board... in this case though, the system literally only works with that cap so it must be strictly enforced) audits every year would be enough. Breaking the rules all comes down to a risk assessment, if we make the risk extremely high it won't happen very often when the payoff for simply working within the rules is to be obscenely wealthy.



posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 01:06 PM
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From a Canadian perspective 172'000 US a year would allow one to live a VERY comfortable lifestyle. Check out PRB's report

See their wealth disparity chart below:


There's a lot of wealthy folks in North America but there's room for improvement in the sense of spreading that wealth around. If more people made 172'000 a year then perhaps he could complain but right now approaching Thanksgiving he's got a lot to be thankful for.



posted on Sep, 22 2013 @ 01:54 PM
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Elect me to the Congress and I WILL PAY the govt $172,000


This office is a wealth making factory. How many pies to dig those fat fingers into..yum yum.



posted on Sep, 24 2013 @ 01:43 AM
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mypan
Elect me to the Congress and I WILL PAY the govt $172,000


This office is a wealth making factory. How many pies to dig those fat fingers into..yum yum.


I realize you're joking here, but many local politicians and some state level ones often times say they'll only take $1 in salary as a gimmick and to show how committed they are to reducing spending. It's a good motivation, but once the standard is set that the office doesn't pay anything it limits future office holders to either being independently wealthy or to accept many kickbacks from corporations in order to support themselves. Neither of those situations are good for every day citizens long term.



posted on Sep, 24 2013 @ 07:08 PM
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reply to post by Aazadan
 


I know this thread is long dead but this just hit me:

Congress (under the new pay plan) is essentially doing the bidding of the highest...bidder. While our discussion made sense in the trenches of the details, the 10,000' view provides little else but borderline extortion. Do we want the mailman knocking on our door asking for a 'delivery security' fee or we do not get our mail? How about the next time we get pulled over and the LEO hands us a price list?

Just because someone is not making a gazillion dollars are we to assume they would do more if they were paid more?

While the idea makes sense in a certain flavor, I suppose still want a representative representing me the best they can because he/she feels the moral obligation not a fat wallet.



posted on Sep, 28 2013 @ 06:02 AM
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Yngvarr

Saoquim
It's true, Rep. Gingrey is just a stuffed shirt. However, the left will mindlessly use this quote out of its context to perpetuate their insanity.


Agreed. Everyone needs to understand that a over paid, over fed and over privileged f*ck
is just a over paid, over fed and over privileged f*ck despite their left or right status.

Greed is greed, they vote with their wallets not their hearts.


This is why I call them "The Pirates on the Potomac"



posted on Sep, 28 2013 @ 06:05 AM
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reply to post by ABNARTY
 


The idea of limited government was to make government as small as possible because human
nature leads to all the things we have read in history books, and most of it is bad.

Any central power tries to grow itself for more power and control, and corrupting influences
always try to hijack it all through history.

As Lord Acton said, Power corrupts, and absolute power absolutely.



posted on Sep, 28 2013 @ 11:10 AM
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reply to post by westo
 


No person on Earth deserves earning 500k a year... His current salary is already very high allowing to afford lots of luxuries, just another example of greed - the appetite never goes away.





 
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