Here's Why We Should Pay Congress $1M Per Year
Alex Pareene explains why we actually should make lawmakers rich
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 7, 2014 9:51 AM CDT
John Boehner enters the House of Representatives chamber in Washington, Jan. 3, 2013. He is escorted by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Va., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of Calif.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(Newser) – You were probably outraged when Rep. Jim Moran said members of Congress can't live on $174,000 per year, right? But over at Salon, Alex Pareene makes the case for why we actually should pay lawmakers more—say, a million bucks a year. Yes, we all hate Congress, but here's the truth: "A Congress that is made up of rich-but-not-super-rich people is going to be more corruptible than a Congress of really rich people," Pareene writes. That's because many lawmakers want to be ultra-rich, which is how we end up with scandals like Bob McDonnell accepting illegal gifts while he was governor of Virginia.

That craving to be mega-rich is also why members of Congress "advance the interests of their funders far more often than they advance the interests of regular folk," Pareene writes. To remove the influence of the rich on government, "we ought to try to free our lawmakers from reliance on wealthier benefactors." And higher salaries would be a sort of campaign finance reform: "Everyone loves it when a billionaire candidate like Michael Bloomberg promises to be 'above politics' because he can fund his own election, so why not let members of Congress do the same?" Click for Pareene's full column.

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Showing 3 of 104 comments
farleyj1
Apr 15, 2014 7:25 PM CDT
Their not worth a plug nickle as far as i am concerned. They should be paid only when their in washington dc working if their in their state then the state picks up the tab.
Tat2d2bamuse
Apr 8, 2014 11:12 PM CDT
I thought the 174K pay was to keep them honest. The pay once out of office was to make them fat and happy. Here is an idea, they get paid when we see positive results to laws they impose on us. I mean if I stand a chance not getting paid for my work, when not done correct, then they should live the same fear. They sure as shit would not have the stale mates we still see in this lame ass congress. Give the million a year to the average joe out working and fighting to keep his family afloat honestly. Those are the same people whom have lost their homes and their lives due to the naughty things our Gov't decided to get involved in doing.
justreading1
Apr 8, 2014 10:25 AM CDT
If they want a million - then pay every John & Julie Q Public one million each! At least with the public, we will work!