Moderator: Nicole Marie
Please leave a comment indicating whether you believe you did or did not get your money’s worth from Congress this week.
What you paid
This week, taxpayers spent roughly $107 million on Congress.
Salaries of Members of Congress and their allowances/week:
Speaker of the House: $223,500/52 = $4,299
House and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders: ($193,400/52) x 4 = $14,877
Other Representatives and Senators: ($174,000/52) x 530 = $1,773,462
Allowance for staff salaries and misc: ($1,500,000/52) x 535 = $15,432,692
Non-salary money allocated for Congress: $4.656 billion/52 = $89,538,462
What you got
Staffers wearing jeans to work and taking long lunches!
It was spring break in Congress this week so neither the House of Representatives nor the Senate met. Members often take official trips out of the country (“CODELS” — or Congressional Delegations — is what they’re called) or go home to meet with constituents. (If you want to search the CODELS your member has taken, you can do so here.)
Do you know what your member did over the break? Did he or she hold a town hall? Meet with your local newspaper? Anything?
“We elected our officials to solve our nation’s problems, the foremost of which is the weak economy. They asked us to give them these responsibilities so that they could exercise their leadership and judgment. In the course of their workday, they meet with government officials, captains of industry, and foreign leaders. When these same elected officials phone their Wall Street brokers and take a financial position against the very entity which they are charged with preserving and protecting — the United States — how could it be anything other than a breach of the public trust?”
Haggis@wk wrote:The Washington Post reports that many members of Congress have substantial investments in the industries they oversee. Specifically, many members’ investments overlap with their respective committee jurisdictions. Also interestingly, their stock portfolios seem to perform better than you’d expect.
“A federal judge in Washington has dismissed the wrongful-termination lawsuit filed by Gerald Walpin, the AmeriCorps inspector general who was fired last year by President Obama. And not just dismissed; if the decision by U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts stands, in the future the White House will be able fire other inspectors general as it fired Walpin without fear of legal consequences.”
Shapley wrote:Rep. Rangel again proposes re-instating the draft. This time it is called the Universal National Services Act.
I find it curious that a black man would suggest mandatory servitude in this country. Am I missing something, or something terribly, terribly wrong with this concept?
dai bread wrote:Servitude?
dai bread wrote:Well, o.k. I'd always thought the draft referred to the military and work in the military was regarded as service, not servitude.
The Coburn-McCain report takes issue with stimulus spending on projects like one that entailed research on how cocaine affects monkeys. The Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center was awarded $71,623 to study what the report calls, “Monkeys Getting High for Science.”
Bonnie Davis, a spokeswoman for The Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, said the “small grant has helped protect very important research that will have significant impact on public health in regards to cocaine addiction and the issue of relapse.”
Go a little further down the list and you’ll find even bigger spending. The California Academy of Sciences is receiving nearly $1 million in stimulus funds to send researchers to the Southwest Indian Ocean Islands and East Africa to capture, photograph and analyze thousands of exotic ants.
There’s also funding for yoga and hot flashes. Researchers at Wake Forest University have received nearly $300,000 to study whether integral yoga “can be an effective method to reduce the frequency and/or severity of hot flashes” in breast cancer survivors.
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