Who wants to be stuck making $172,000 a year?

How ironic is that caption under his photo now in light of his statement about being “stuck” making $172,000?

In a closed-door meeting, Georgia House Representative Phil Gingrey (R) has been quoted as saying the following per an article from the National Review:

Capitol Hill aides, he said “may be 33 years old now and not making a lot of money. But in a few years they can just go to K Street,” the Washington, D.C., vernacular for becoming a lobbyist, “and make 500,000 a year. Meanwhile I’m stuck here making $172,000 a year.”

I’m not going to jump to conclusions and say he was complaining about his salary because I don’t know the context of his speech.  He’s on record as being a supporter of cutting ACA subsidies for congressional staffers who would get their insurance by way of the healthcare exchanges under the ACA.  There was, however, acknowledged whining by some in the GOP in regards to cutting this subsidy.

From the same article:

“Before you support this, go home and talk to your wife,” said Representative Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, who warned colleagues the change would amount to a 7 percent cut to their paychecks.

Representative Joe Barton of Texas said that he had never been a wealthy man. The change, he estimated, would cost him $12,000. “That’s a burden. And it’s a burden on our staff, too.”

It does seem that some of the reps are more concerned about their pockets than our economy though.  The thing is, however, Rep. Gingrey is wrong as hell about him being “stuck” anywhere.  If anything, the congressional staffers are the ones getting screwed over.  According to Open Secrets, there are 420 former Congresspersons who are now either lobbyists or senior advisors for special interest groups who try to influence Congress.  Rep. Gingrey likely has a job lined up for him as a lobbyist whether he’s aware of it or not.  The odds are in his favor to end up as a lobbyist as opposed to not being one.

As a resident of Georgia, I say you should be happy that you’re getting paid $174,000 a year to do nothing.  If we had pay-for-performance standards like conservatives want to install elsewhere in government, Rep. Gingrey wouldn’t make minimum wage this year.  If you don’t like the salary, then Q-U-I-T already, but it’s obvious that you love the power because you’re running for the Senate in 2014.  I guess you’re stuck because you enjoy earning almost $200k without having to do any work for that.

Doing additional research, it seems as though Rep. Gingrey is a bit confused in regards to staffers.  Staffers don’t leave the halls of Congress to become lobbyist.  They leave K Street to work in the halls of Congress before returning to K Street.  It’s all just one big circle jerk in DC.  Also, for the record Rep. Gingrey, your salary is actually  $174,000 a year.  If you don’t even know your salary, do you have any business in Congress making decisions that affect us all?


3 thoughts on “Who wants to be stuck making $172,000 a year?

  1. I wonder how many folks know that during the Constitutional Convention, Ben Franklin was opposed to any pay for Congressmen. They were also supposed to be part-time, citizen legislators. I think what this country needs is to have more ordinary people in office. We need to see some secretaries, factory workers (If there are any left), welders, etc. represented.

    I’m also struck by how many Congressfolk express such great love for their home states and yet once they get to Washington, that’s where most of them live the rest of their lives. After they leave office, they become lobbyists and never return to their home state. Maybe what they really love is legal (or even not so legal) tender.

    Of course, as the old saying goes up here in the Hills, “if they ain’t a crook when they go into office, they will be by the time they come out”.


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