Friday, August 9, 2013

the joy of leaving

National Journal has another collection of quotes making the point that Congress isn't fun anymore. Sad but true.  To get elected, they have to give up their privacy, raise money from thousands of strangers, make promises they can keep without blushing, and then win more votes than anybody else.

Once elected, they get little respect and lots of abuse. They have to maintain two residences and somehow balance family and work life in two places. For this they are paid $174,000 per year. There's little likelihood of a pay increase --there hasn't been one since 2009. Today's pay is 18% below the 1992 level in purchasing power. No wonder half the members of Congress are millionaires.

In the old days -- they weren't necessary good, but they were better -- members had time to know each other and even formed friendships across the aisle. Now they are told to spend 4 hours a day raising money for their campaigns and bipartisanship is a punishable offense. There was occasional gridlock in the past over big political questions. Now it's there on the most trivial issues.

No wonder so many want to leave.

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