View Poll Results: Do you support Luna's Congressional pay raise jury system?

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  • Yes

    11 68.75%
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Thread: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see post

  1. #21
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    To be honest, I find all the stuff about Congress's salaries to be missing the mark. They don't really care how much they get paid. Virtually all of them were making more money before they came to Congress and every single one of them could get 10 or even 1,000 times as much working somewhere else now that they have been a congress person. They get paid radically less than other people with comparable levels of responsibility. I mean, a senator has more responsibility than anybody outside of government except maybe a couple dozen CEOs and whatnot, but they make like 0.01% as much as those other folks. I think fixating on whether it should be 0.01% as much as their peers in the private sector or 0.0098% as much is just a distraction. And worst case, it could make the situation where the vast majority of politicians have to be rich before they can run for office even worse. IMO our goal should be to pay them enough that they don't really have to worry about their personal finances, but not so much that they would go into it for the money. We don't want the people running our country desperate for money. That just makes them ultra susceptible to corruption and distracts them from what they are supposed to be doing. Seems to be it pretty much hits that mark currently. Also, keep in mind that most of them need to maintain two homes- one in DC and one in their home state- while they're in office. If you take that out, they aren't really making much.
    The pay doesn't come from their tenure in Congress. It comes from passing a few "favorable" laws and when they retire Congress they somehow get a nice, fat paying, do nothing VP position in some company that benefited from the legislation passed.
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  2. #22
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    The pay doesn't come from their tenure in Congress. It comes from passing a few "favorable" laws and when they retire Congress they somehow get a nice, fat paying, do nothing VP position in some company that benefited from the legislation passed.
    Not paying them, or allowing citizens to vote (which would almost always mean not paying them), sounds good, but would only make matters worse.

    No, the better and more thoroughly thought out answer is to pay them a decent salary and eliminate the stuff like this on the other end. Take away the OUTSIDE influence of money completely.

  3. #23
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Quote Originally Posted by earthworm View Post
    Have you ever worked in the public sector as a representative ? ....or a congressman ???
    IMO, this is a full time task; the compensation must be appropriate.
    As to the wealth of our congressmen, this bears investigation.
    I trust neither the man on the street nor the people in Washington or Harrisburg to set salaries.
    Then who ??
    It wasn't meant to be full time job with a full schedule of things to do. Its part of that whole bothersome limited government business.

  4. #24
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Quote Originally Posted by jambalaya View Post
    I like the fact that these people could be making much more money doing something else.
    I like that too, but what I would not like is lowering the compensation to the point where basically non-rich people couldn't afford to do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by jambalaya View Post
    I wish that would force more of them to leave office sooner.
    That is a very bad idea. Politicians of all political leanings are much more effective the longer they are in office. Policy making is extremely complicated stuff. To be able to legislate responsibly you need to assemble a team of really smart people covering an enormous range of areas of expertise in everything from pesticides to the foreign policy of Azerbaijan to specific weapons technology to various educational techniques. You need to sufficiently master those areas to the point where you have a well thought out position on each issue. That alone takes many years. On top of that, you need to get a sense of how the system works and how to strategically pursue your objectives. You need to develop connections with other legislators on all sides of various issues, you need to develop enough respect from your colleagues that they pay attention when you take a position, you need to develop connections with your constituents, etc. If we were just to end up with a bunch of first timers it would be a total disaster. Destabilizing, less intelligent policy, etc. What do you think would be gained by that?

    Quote Originally Posted by jambalaya View Post
    Do you really think all of these career politicians aren't getting greatly enriched by staying in office? I care how much they get paid because it is not only the salaries but they get reimbursed for a lot of expenses. I would love to see a balance sheet of how much it takes to support an average Senator. These guys have lots of privileges.
    If they're getting rich by being in office it has nothing to do with their actual compensation or expense reports or whatever. Again, that's a tiny fraction of what they could make in the private sector and really it isn't much more than it takes to maintain a second home in another city and all that.

    Money just isn't their motivation. If that was their goal, there are much easier ways to make much more money. They're motivated by other things. Some by the power, some by a sense of moral duty, some by the fame and ego, but money just isn't really on the list except in some very rare cases I think.

  5. #25
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    The pay doesn't come from their tenure in Congress. It comes from passing a few "favorable" laws and when they retire Congress they somehow get a nice, fat paying, do nothing VP position in some company that benefited from the legislation passed.
    Maybe. I actually think that happens more often at the staffer level. A key congressional staffer writes a bill or puts a change in somewhere and then gets basically paid out after in the form of a job. That does happen. For actual congresspeople, I think that is very rare. They are watched much more closely and it becomes a big media event when stuff like that happens. Not to say it never happens, but I think that is very rare.

    What is more common is that they get hired by some kind of firm that wants two things- their connections and to be able to say that they have former congresspeople on staff. For example, a law firm that does a lot of government relations work will pay a ton for somebody that can call up other representatives personally and actually get through right to them, and they can attract clients way more easily if they can say they have somebody like that.

  6. #26
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    I like that too, but what I would not like is lowering the compensation to the point where basically non-rich people couldn't afford to do it.



    That is a very bad idea. Politicians of all political leanings are much more effective the longer they are in office. Policy making is extremely complicated stuff. To be able to legislate responsibly you need to assemble a team of really smart people covering an enormous range of areas of expertise in everything from pesticides to the foreign policy of Azerbaijan to specific weapons technology to various educational techniques. You need to sufficiently master those areas to the point where you have a well thought out position on each issue. That alone takes many years. On top of that, you need to get a sense of how the system works and how to strategically pursue your objectives. You need to develop connections with other legislators on all sides of various issues, you need to develop enough respect from your colleagues that they pay attention when you take a position, you need to develop connections with your constituents, etc. If we were just to end up with a bunch of first timers it would be a total disaster. Destabilizing, less intelligent policy, etc. What do you think would be gained by that?



    If they're getting rich by being in office it has nothing to do with their actual compensation or expense reports or whatever. Again, that's a tiny fraction of what they could make in the private sector and really it isn't much more than it takes to maintain a second home in another city and all that.

    Money just isn't their motivation. If that was their goal, there are much easier ways to make much more money. They're motivated by other things. Some by the power, some by a sense of moral duty, some by the fame and ego, but money just isn't really on the list except in some very rare cases I think.
    Politicians don't pay for their campaigns otherwise ONLY rich people would run.

    I think it has been proven that the longer the politician stays in office the more corrupt they become and the more they lose sight of the people's business and it becomes doing everything they can to stay in power.

    I really think you overestimate the experience factor by a great degree. By the time a politician gets to U.S. Congress level they can rely on a lot of experienced advisors. The don't all need to be new but we need fresh perspectives and new ideas all of the time.

    Oh yeah, we are getting a lot of intelligent policy just not much practical and progressive policy.

    I don't agree that there are easier ways to make money especially once you get established. If they weren't politicians at all they would have to work there way up in the real world and would probably never have the influence they have as a politician. A politican may not have riches but they have a lot of security as long as they remain politicians. I really don't believe that they are only making a fraction of what they would make in the real world. Maybe they are afraid of going out in the real world. What you are saying doesn't add up for me.

  7. #27
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    To be honest, I find all the stuff about Congress's salaries to be missing the mark. They don't really care how much they get paid. Virtually all of them were making more money before they came to Congress and every single one of them could get 10 or even 1,000 times as much working somewhere else now that they have been a congress person. They get paid radically less than other people with comparable levels of responsibility. I mean, a senator has more responsibility than anybody outside of government except maybe a couple dozen CEOs and whatnot, but they make like 0.01% as much as those other folks. I think fixating on whether it should be 0.01% as much as their peers in the private sector or 0.0098% as much is just a distraction. And worst case, it could make the situation where the vast majority of politicians have to be rich before they can run for office even worse. IMO our goal should be to pay them enough that they don't really have to worry about their personal finances, but not so much that they would go into it for the money. We don't want the people running our country desperate for money. That just makes them ultra susceptible to corruption and distracts them from what they are supposed to be doing. Seems to be it pretty much hits that mark currently. Also, keep in mind that most of them need to maintain two homes- one in DC and one in their home state- while they're in office. If you take that out, they aren't really making much.
    Pretty much. It's just another example of the popular attraction to symbolic gestures over substantial reform, the kind of sensibilities political parties have been exploiting for years to manage the general population while their collective incompetence and greed drives the country into ruin.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 11-15-11 at 03:39 PM.
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  8. #28
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Quote Originally Posted by jambalaya View Post
    Politicians don't pay for their campaigns otherwise ONLY rich people would run.

    I think it has been proven that the longer the politician stays in office the more corrupt they become and the more they lose sight of the people's business and it becomes doing everything they can to stay in power.

    I really think you overestimate the experience factor by a great degree. By the time a politician gets to U.S. Congress level they can rely on a lot of experienced advisors. The don't all need to be new but we need fresh perspectives and new ideas all of the time.

    Oh yeah, we are getting a lot of intelligent policy just not much practical and progressive policy.

    I don't agree that there are easier ways to make money especially once you get established. If they weren't politicians at all they would have to work there way up in the real world and would probably never have the influence they have as a politician. A politican may not have riches but they have a lot of security as long as they remain politicians. I really don't believe that they are only making a fraction of what they would make in the real world. Maybe they are afraid of going out in the real world. What you are saying doesn't add up for me.
    We NEED campaign finance reform. The question is how to go at it.
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  9. #29
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    That is a very bad idea. Politicians of all political leanings are much more effective the longer they are in office. Policy making is extremely complicated stuff. To be able to legislate responsibly you need to assemble a team of really smart people covering an enormous range of areas of expertise in everything from pesticides to the foreign policy of Azerbaijan to specific weapons technology to various educational techniques. You need to sufficiently master those areas to the point where you have a well thought out position on each issue. That alone takes many years. On top of that, you need to get a sense of how the system works and how to strategically pursue your objectives. You need to develop connections with other legislators on all sides of various issues, you need to develop enough respect from your colleagues that they pay attention when you take a position, you need to develop connections with your constituents, etc. If we were just to end up with a bunch of first timers it would be a total disaster. Destabilizing, less intelligent policy, etc. What do you think would be gained by that?
    The "public service" over "career" approach could work as long as we selected all of our potential candidates from a pool of citizens who've proven to be wise and discriminating in the areas mentioned, as well as committed to the well being of the community.
    Last edited by Morality Games; 11-15-11 at 08:13 PM.
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