I believe all politicians should have a maximum salary amount of 60 thousand a year. Someone should want to be a politician for country, not for money. This set limit would disrupt greedy lying politicians from entering office. The politician will not work for "60,000" a year. The true countryman politician would work for $30,000 if not for free.
You have it backward. In order to attract the best talent, we should be willing to pay for it. A politician who runs for office these days is guaranteed a rectal exam every news cycle. The cable 'news' shows, both left and right, are starved for content. No qualified leader will endure the abuse for only 60K.
Consider the budget for which a politician is responsible. We don't want 60K talent shepherding a trillion dollars of expenditures.
If we don't pay them enough, they'll get enough from somewhere else. The labor unions, attorney's lobbies, and other special interest groups will put their hooks even deeper into every candidate at every level.
Give 'em all a starting salary of 1 million. Take away the incentive to sell their influence. Give them financial security so they can focus on their jobs.
This assumes that everyone is motivated solely by wealth. I would like to see people go into politics because it's the right thing to do, not because they want to get rich.
Excellent Response Maddie. Thumbs up. Most politicians are already rich from all the side funds they receive, yet they still get triple digit salaries while most others live paycheck to paycheck.
No, I'm not assuming they are motivated solely by wealth. They can get more in the private sector for less hassle, they'll do it. Look at what we have now because they have to constantly grub for money. I am assuming they are worth what we will pay them. That's only fair.
I've always thought that US Congressmen/women, Judges, all Execution officials should only be paid what their states salary average is. And if they were to get pay raises, it would be the same crappy percentage they give to all state employees each year.
We're in a horrid debt right now.
Cut their pay in half and funnel that money into our vast debts, I say!
If $60,000 is the cut off, all you will get is the rich guy who can afford two residences, one back home, and one in Washington, take on the side bribes, and not really care what is going on with constituates. Oh, we have that already...
Honestly, pay according to the amount of work, but mandate evaluation yearly and weed out the bad guys.
Are politicians paid by anyone? They earn money according to their ability. There should be no limitation for any one's income. Let the more intelligent people earn more. Dont lead the society to communism.
When a good carpenter can make $60,000 or more a year, why would one want to be a politician -- in the lime light and subject to constant scrutiny? The headache of the job has to count for something.
It doesn't matter if you limit their pay. Who do you think they go to work after they lose their seat. Who wouldn't go work in politics even if they only made $60,000 a year and then when they leave they get some sinecure at a corporate board or the lecture circuit making four or five times that amount, in return for passing laws that benefit those same corporate boards.
Sure, if we cut their paychecks in half, it'd only come out to about $61,215,200. But that's enough money to buy 62 million cans of chef boyardee to feed hungry people all over the country, or 48 million sandwiches, or give $1.2 million to each state for states to improve conditions within their borders in a humanitarian way.
What makes you think that the states know how to be humanitarian? How you you know they won't be as corrupt as the central government in Washington? What happens after all that money is spent and those people go back to being hungry?
I'm not here to argue. I simply presented a hypothetical solution to a question that would be laughed at if meant seriously and presented as a finance option in the central government.
You'll excuse me if I answer a "what if" question with a "what if" answer.
Gamergirl: I thought it was a great answer on how much cutting their salary could help certain communities, but I believe we should be looking at the billionaires out there who are paying nil in taxes? Anyone find out what went on in NYC at that closed meeting of billionaires. Think they knew prior of GM going down?
If you cut government employee pay, they always compensate for this. Ever heard of corruption?
Whilst I would also like to see politicians earn less we have to be careful. In the past there was very little pay for UK MPs, and this meant that a large proportion of the population was unable to be an MP because if they became one their family would starve (I am referring to a period before the welfare state). This led to the only people trying to be MPs being the large scale landowners/gentry and wealthy businessmen who did not require any sort of pay to do the job, and as such it could be argued that the electorate were unable to get proper representation. Whilst I agree that such a situation would not happen now, I should imagine the vast majority of the peopel reading this forum live in a capitalist nation, where it is expected that the brightest earn the highest wages. As such, it is expected that the brightest are paid at least what would be considered a good wage to attract them to be legislators. Even if they feel they have a moral duty, many intelligent people will rightly or wrongly get a different job instead of running for office if it means they can make their family live confortably/make sure their family can have healthcare/afford to go to the best universities (obviously this is mainly for US based systems where healthcare isn't free and there is no system of 'free' government loans).
It's incorrect to argue that government produces things of value like a private business does. What does a government produce that people find value in? How does a government raise money? What effect does that have on the economic life of the people? Those are better questions to ask.
"Should All Politicians Be Limited To $60,000 A Year?"
Yes, and they should have their luxury cars that they are "offered" taken away as well, before they're stolen and our money is wasted (it happens).
How is it politicians "supposedly" work for "us" yet they get paid at least 5 times more than most citizens. How many jobs have you been where "your" "employee" makes 5 times more than you make? Is this rational or logical? We are simply victims of political greed.
They don't work for us, they work for whoever bribes them the most.
I think this is so true. however not all of them, some actually do care about the country most of the time these people are set aside as outcast within the governments for caring to much about the people.
That definitely does happen, getpaidtopost. Same with legislators that don't wish to vote within party lines because they're looking out for their own constituency back home. At times, they can be viewed as outcasts, too.
I have many friends (and enemies lol) in the lobbying industry. I won't say the companies or industries that they lobby for, but they're very very very powerful. Too powerful, IMO.
There is some crazy stuff that goes on. Some of my friends may disagree lol, but I know that lobbying stills requires MUCH stricter regulations. There are still too many loopholes. Too many temptations.
Some special interests groups simply have too much power. There are some groups that I am biased towards of course, but I'm still able to see what they're able to get done and don't always agree with it. THe world of lobbying fascinates me, but I'm not sure if it would suit me as a career, however. Maybe I'd be better suited for the AG's office.
Again, we need much stricter lobbying regulations.
On a side note about special interests/lobbyists and the powers that reside on K Street,
I sometimes enjoy pouring over financial lobbying disclosures and educating myself on all of the seemingly 'innocent' things that some of these groups lobby for. It'd surprise you how minuscule and hidden their motives can be on certain pieces of legislation. Definitely interesting reads.
I will leave the corporation's name out, but I was looking on an ethics website and saw that a particular, well-known corp was lobbying against a bill to regulate the amount of a certain chemical in a certain product. (Sorry for being so vague, I'm paranoid that this forum ranks high in google and could come up in a search lol) They assume that once legislation and public awareness surrounds this particular substance, it will affect the commodity that they produce. Therefore, they are trying to avoid the approval of legislation disapproving this chemical's use.
Anyways, I must get some sleep! Goodnight all.
Interesting, that my dear is evil. That's what I catch flack for being a partisan of capitalism and free markets. In reality it's groups like that that are behind drugs being approved that kill people. It isn't some sort of intellectual game, these actions have consequences that cost people their lives. All over appearances. They'd better pray to a God most of them probably don't believe in that most people don't find out about what they do. If people were to ever wise up, the streets would run red with blood. The though of what would happen is enough to break me out in a cold sweat. Do those lobbyists think they can keep such secrets forever?
How about we pay politicians what teachers get paid and then maybe they'll give all teachers a hefty raise to match their own. After all, it is the teachers who are supposed to be creating the politicians of the future.
I don't know Joelle, teachers aren't doing a hot job right about now. Illiteracy is on the rise, academic progress is slowing and we can't seem to get kids educated these days. Teachers need to get on the ball.
Maybe if teachers weren't in a union and schools could fire poor teachers we'd have teachers who could actually teach.
We must have teacher who can teach, but ask yourself what other 4 year degree gets paid as little as our teachers offer commensurate salaries and more qualified teachers MAY emerge
I don't know about where you live, but teachers around here start at about $34,000, progress to over $60,000 when they have a few years under their belts and the administrators (principals) get over $90,000. The mean salary in my county is in the mid 20K range. That's in the public schools. When my children attended Catholic school, their salary was a pitiful $12,000 per year (these were lay teachers, not sisters) but they believed in what they were doing and weren't in it for the money. They were excellent teachers. The Principal of the school was a nun and she made virtually no salary, but worked 7 days a week, knew every child's name and knew all the parents. She made sure that everybody respected everyone else and met with each child about their report card. Plus, she had to worry about the budget of the school. Its a shame that all educators don't have that kind of dedication.
it does seem as though the rise in public teacher's salary correlates almost directly with the increase in illiteracy. possibly we're paying them too much for too little at this point.
that said, teachers should only have to teach their subjects, not raise the children of negligent or absent two career parents.
Teachers make too much money. You'd never guess it from the way that they cry and moan on TV, but teachers on average make about 40k a year and most have their Masters subsidized by their school district and that'll bump them up to over 50k-60k. On average they aren't hurting. Money however, doesn't seem to have an impact on teacher quality. Teachers are paid more today than they ever have, yet they can't seem to educate kids as well. Some of it is due to parenting, or what passes for it, but most teachers, in my experience, are just ticking the time away until they can retire. The older they get, the more they tick time off rather than teach.
Bad teachers make too much money. Good teachers don't make nearly enough.
Very true. Definitely needs to be an overhaul of the system.
Legislator pay is totally different, though. If they don't go a satisfactory job, they're not re-elected. I like it.
But, back to teachers, unless they teach at a private school, bad teachers are kept around forever.
The good teachers (and I know a few who have shared horror stories with me) get so frustrated and I don't blame them. They do need to be paid more for dealing with all their co-workers that do a terrible job.
I had to look up some info I didn't want to be making numbers up
the national average income of a school teacher just stating is just over $34,000 and for one that has been teaching for 20 years is around $56,000 the same income for other four year degrees is $60,00 to $100,000 Like I said earlier if we offered commensurate salaries then we might get better applicants.
Sadly I cant for the life of me think of where the government would get the money to make this happen.
Yet none of this has anything to do with the money a politician,(an elected official), should make.
I really think that a politician, (someone in an elected office), should have an income no larger than the mean average of the constituants he represents if this is $60,000 then so be it if it is more then great if it is less tough noogies
+1...I agree absolutely. If their constituents can live on minimum wage, why can't they? I don't care what kind of so called "talent" they bring. Actually I think $60,000 is way too much for the work that they do.
Not too long ago, a local politician was in the hospital for six months and nobody even missed him (he had chronic hiccups by the way).
in on the cheap cap for politicians wages. however if we really wished to save money what we'd do is cut off that lifetime medical. that's what really racks it up.
How do you set a price on a sense of duty? Did Washington or Adams or Jefferson or Franklin stop to worry about what their pay was? Do you serve your country and your friends and neighbors only because you are paid to? In that case, our military personnel should be getting paid incredibly more than they are.
If you run for office and your pay is your main concern, then I hope you are not elected. I want someone elected who does it out of a sense of duty to all of us. Elected officials need to be compensated, but only to the extent of reasonable expenses. Paying for the "best" is a fallacy. You mostly get the greedy and the lazy. If you are in private industry and you seek elected office based on pay, you are not very successful, as the pay for competent leaders is far higher in private industry than public office could ever be.
It's probably not a good idea to compare our current group of politicians to guys like Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, etc. Besides they did what they did for liberty not to run the country. Hamilton now, yeah he would have tried to establish a monarch if everyone else would have let him. When you look at Conway and Gates and others of that ilk, you realize politicians do things for their own purposes and that's not necessarily the same thing as doing your duty to your country.
Every state pays different salaries to their legislators. Lots of State House Reps get around $10k-$25k. State Senators around $15k-$35k. All depends on the state.
If you knew how much time, energy, not to mention personal funds go into being elected and serving your constituents, $60k is not at all a lot of money for working 100+ hour weeks. I realize that there are lots of Americans who might work 100+ hour weeks and not earn 60k, but not everyone can earn the same amount. We don't have a government that delegates to us how much each individual person earns. If this ever happens, we're in huge trouble.
I'm not concerned about the amount of money that legislators earn because you know what? If they do a terrible job, then their constituents can simply give them a message and not re-elect them and 'hire' someone else.
U.S. Senators make around $175,000 a year. It is a 24/7 job and is incredibly demanding. They are constantly in meetings, traveling, listening to 1,000s of people complain and sifting through awesome and terrible advice from all different sides and angles. They earn every single penny. I also don't care if 40% of U.S. Senators are already millionaires. Who are we to judge how they spend their money? They've earned it! Being an elected official is one of the most stressful jobs out there. There is only so much you can do and everyone expects you to move mountains when unfortunately it isn't always possible. Again, if they don't do a satisfactory job, their constituents can elect someone else.
Many legislators donate to charity and don't forget it also takes a lot of their own funds to run for office. A lot of the money goes right back into being re-elected as well as supporting various important causes. Most U.S. Senators also have to purchase 2nd homes in or around D.C. to stay in when they're in session to increase productivity and alleviate the burden of taxpayers' travel costs. Flying back and forth from X state to D.C. is expensive, not to mention exhausting.
It concerns me that people criticize what other individuals make. If they work hard, are chosen by their constituents, then I honestly could care less.
This is the U.S.A.
I'd rather that there be opportunities in this country to make as much money as I want then every single citizen make $25,000 a year. Some may call everyone making the same amount fair, but I say it is very unfair.
Re-distributing wealth scares the heck out of me!!!! Not in my country, please.
You have it in your country at least since the New Deal
lol I know, but it could be much worse. I'm afraid that someday we'll all be making the same amount. Good grief!!!
it's in the Constitution. Congress has the right to tax and then redistribute the money for the public welfare, ie: government sponsored defense, education, roads and so forth.
redistribution of money is, in fact, listed as one of the primary reasons for the purpose of having a government in the first place.
the question of course is from whom and to what. drawing those lines is the arbitrary part.
No it isn't. You're quoting the Preamble, not the part of the document where they enumerate the powers of the government.
the preamble is part of the constitution, but credit for at least recognizing it. most people don't. lol
Yeah, I tend to argue this one a lot. The preamble doesn't tell us what powers the government has, it just states the reasons the Constitution is being written. Besides the 9th amendment reserves all rights not given to the Federal government by the Constitution to the states or the people. You'll not see Supreme Court decisions that hinge on the preamble, they'll always quote the clauses of the actual document. It's specious to believe that the preamble gives the government any power at all.
If you need confirmation of that fact, the Federalist papers make it clear that the Federal government only has the explicit powers given to it by the articles in the Constitution, not the Preamble. The Preamble argument became popular among Progressives, who were bound and determined to destroy the checks and balances of the Federal system. They have by and large succeed in that today.
with the Progressives in that if it states in the preamble that the purpose of forming the government is to ensure life liberty and the pursuit of happiness via the following document, then looking out for society is the primary goal.
I mean, what other reason would we establish a government for? that IS the reason.
You're actually quoting the Declaration of Independence on that one, dear.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
I'd say that our current government has shown that we are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right ourselves by abolishing the forms to which we are accustomed. Unfortunately, the form of government we were bequeathed no longer exists and has not existed for quite some time. I really have to wonder how long we will suffer before we reclaim our right and exercise our duty to throw off such a government.
hehe, got me on that.
I think people are more disposed to keep the devil they know against the devil they don't know, generally, both personally and on a larger scale. people hate change.
it's the same kind of reasoning that keeps an abused wife in a relationship.
I too like to dream of revolution in some future, where people do reclaim our government, but I think americans are placated by internet games, soap operas and so forth and are far too apathetic for that to come anytime soon.
Heh, it's hard arguing with an historian. We'll have a revolution sooner than you think. I've been watching food prices lately. When bread gets too expensive the torches and pitchforks will come out. Why do you think I want a homestead so badly? Read this: http://hubpages.com/hub/Are-We-on-the-C … d-Shortage and see if it doesn't frighten you a bit.
It's more about the bread than it is the circus. When the bread fails, then you'll start to see the ugly part of humanity come to the fore.
we've seen that in a lot of other countries, last year. there were food riots in bangladesh, brazil, burkina faso, cameroon, ivory coast, egypt, ethiopia, haiti, india, indonesia, latin america, mexico, mozambique, pakistan, myanmar, panama, phillipines, russia, senegal, somalia, tajikistan, and yemen over 2007-2008.
I got the compiled totaled list off wiki but I read it daily in the news during that time. it was when oil peaked and simultaneously they had the ethanol thing going that drove up core prices on food commodities.
could it happen here? maybe.
Remember my dear, I'm an historian. I was thinking more Louis XVI and the Little Ice Age.
I have quite fascinated by history, but I skip around a lot and it wasn't my main field of study in college. I keep up pretty well with current pol and I have some specialty areas of history I've done some study on.
I still think you are underestimating the total apathy of americans. We are a lazy lot. Most of us don't even vote. I suspect a good revolution would be far too much work for most, because they'd have to actually stand up or walk around to do it.
A Marquess or Comte might have thought the same in pre-Revolution France. In fact their most infamous Queen once said "Let them eat cake". Hey I don't vote, not because I'm lazy, but because all our leaders lie and cheat. OK to be fair, they promise one thing when campaigning and do another when in office.
well, one can always hope. I will say I look great in od green, so if it comes at least I'll be fashionable. lol
I'm outtie to cook dinner, possibly back in a bit. have fun.
Try not to get too excited. You'll end up one of those nuts holed up on a mountain somewhere jumping at your own shadow and spending your days scanning the horizon for black helicopters and cleaning your bazooka in preparation for attack by the communist trees outside that-just-seem-to-be-getting-closer-everyday...
I am talking about extreme cases where people favor everyone 'earning' the same amount. Obviously I realize that wealth is re-distributed to various services via taxation.
The mindset that some people have of everyone earning the same, or almost the same amount is not a favorable idea, in my opiinion. Very frightening.
Anyways, not here to argue. Don't have the time to clarify my statements that were taken out of context. I've g2g to bed.
Yeah but their payday comes after they stop serving. They go serve in some sinecure at a corporation or do the lecture circuit. Who wouldn't give up a few years so they could to go fundraisers and other speaking engagements where they could make five to ten times what their salaries were in government. Oh and don't forget the perks like bribes and stuff. You know we have to keep the wheels of government spinning and nothing does that better than bribes.
Not true for everyone. I think you're making a really broad stereotype there. I realize there are rotten apples in every bunch, but not all are. Not paying them as much or none at all certainly is appropriate for the Senators that choose to quietly retire and spend time with their families instead of writing books and going on lecture circuits.
Anyways, what they do after they are out of their office and how they earn additional money really has nothing to do with their compensation while in office because all aren't going to go down the same path after retiring. Just my opinion.
I guarantee that not every single governemtn official and Senator takes bribes.
Sure it does. Eisenhower saw it and called it the military/industrial complex, but in his first draft of his farewell address he called it the military/industrial/Congressional complex. You see it today. Congressmen and others in government work for the government then they go work for private companies. If you think that they don't use their influence as Washington insiders to cut sweetheart deals for their new bosses, you're more naive than I thought. It's all about power and influence and screw everyone else.
I absolutely agree with you here. The entire political culture is now corrupt.
I don't think it's fair to call someone naive when you don't even know the experience that I'm basing my statements off of. The fact of the matter is that I'm saying you're stereotyping EVERY SINGLE elected official, and I quote:
"Congressmen and others in government work for the government then they go work for private companies."
I absolutely realize that it happens. I don't live under a rock. I've also worked in politics the last four years and personally know several U.S. Senators and countless State Senators and State Reps in my home state. Not all of them have motives like what you think. I think it's very unfair to label every single government official and say that they use their political influence in the corporate world. Totally not true. Sure there are those that do.
You can call me as naive as you want, but I'm simply saying that not all of them have terrible, misguided motives for serving in office.
Not everyone is out to screw you over!
You are correct and I apologize. But when you look at the political class as a whole, you surely must agree that there are few redeeming characteristics among them. There's just too much power there and sooner or later everyone succumbs to the allure of that power.
Not a problem. Don't worry about it. I don't blame people for being so disenchanted. It just kills me to hear all the time, "all politicians are evil! they are all greedy! they are all out to screw us over." I know different because I know many and have helped many become elected to office. Not all are in it for themselves!
I really don't care for word politician. It's like a dirty word, these days.
For me, a politician is someone who is in it for the reasons that you talk about. Power, fortune, whatever.
For those with noble motives, I prefer the term 'legislator'. They care about their constituents and while being a legislator may benefit future careers and provide other perks, their motives for serving in office are for the right reasons.
Absolutely there are bad apples....BUT... there are some good guys, too.
Thank you. The only problem is that I'm first and foremost an historian. That means that I've studied how people have plotted and schemed in the past and how ineffective government is at, well at just about everything. They can't even run the courts right and that's one of the things they're supposed to be responsible for. I'm also not so sure good intentions count for very much. Before we became so enlightened people would tell stories about Satan. One of his characteristics was power. In fact he'd tempt people with power because he knew that it would corrupt them.
Now do I believe in Satan. No. But those myths and stories can tell us much about human nature and the effects of things like power, greed, pride, etc. Those myths can also tell us much about altruism, grace, humility, etc. and those effects on humanity. But we don't tell each other these stories anymore and have forgotten the corrosive effects of power. That is a major reason why we have so many problems today. No good comes from achieving power over the lives of others. Our Founders tried to ensure that no concentrations of power would ever arise to disturb the balance they'd tried to hard to gift to us. And we let it happen anyway.
I agree with most of what you said, but If someone works 100 hours a week and achieves very little is this really worth $60k?
Every month, each state government should bring up legislation for the people to vote on that will effect the salary and future of every senator and congressman. This way everything evens out. Every time they vote on legislation that raises our taxes or cuts our jobs, we should have the right to lower their pay or vote them out of office.
That would be a totally awesome thing, hglick (especially in my state! lol) but it would cost taxpayers an insane amount, paying for elections every month. I do think that is an awesome idea, though. Holding month-to-month elections would surely cause some of the entrenched legislators to remain on their toes!
Getting back to the original question on paying politicians. Yes they need to take a serious pay cut. After all they get plenty of perks and lime light. They need to be working Joes like the majority of us.
The way things are going that may be the best alternative.
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