How Much are Politicians Paid?
Politicians are not compensated as if they were the elite of the elite.
Did you know that the starting salary for a congressman is only $174,000 a year? The most powerful man in the world, the president of the United States of America, only makes $400,000 and hasn’t received a raise since 2001!
They are paid well, there is no question, but relative to athletes, actors, crony-capitalists and bankers, there is quite a gap. And considering how much they do for their constituents, it is quite indicative how truly generous they are.
But before you start a petition to (deservedly) raise their salaries, take heart in the fact that they still get a little bit of action on the side so to speak.
In fact, a recent study in WaPo shows that “in 2010 at least 150 lawmakers reported receiving more money from outside jobs and investments than from their congressional salaries.”
What kind of “outside jobs and investments” are we talking about? Well according to WaPo:
73 lawmakers sponsored or co-sponsored legislation that could have benefitted businesses or industries in which either they or their families were involved or invested.
You might assume that it is just the rich Republicans benefitting, but that is not the case at all. In fact, Democrats have derived more benefits recently to the point that the D and R wealth has converged:
So what does all this mean beyond whether they are paid well or not?
That politicians are less likely to be corrupted because they are already wealthy, and that is a very good thing