Also on the list of people who aren't too keen on Congress these days: members of Congress. Consider the woes they now face: fewer freebies (darn ethics rules), pay frozen at a meager $174,000, increasingly expensive campaigns, no earmarks for those back home, and a seeming lack of ability to actually legislate. So some congressmembers have decided to take the once-prestigious job and shove it. Politico looks at Rep. Dan Boren, a fourth-term Oklahoma Blue Dog who, in the old days, would have coasted by for a few more decades, ultimately crowning his career with a job as, say, the head of the Armed Services Committee.
Instead, he's retiring at 39, and thinking of getting a job in real estate or energy development back home."You want to get things done for your constituents. If you can’t ever become speaker or a committee chairman, why are you doing it?" he said, explaining that moderates have a tough time moving up in the ranks these days. "To my disappointment, the leverage you have within the government has substantially diminished,” added outgoing Rep. Barney Frank. Opined the retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe, "Simply put, the Senate is not living up to what the Founding Fathers envisioned." (Read more Congress stories.)