During this unprecedented time, many hard working Americans are going without paychecks. The members of Congress, however, are still getting paid regularly. With 33% of the population being self employed and over 30 million Americans trying to receive unemployment, is this situation the best for America?
According to the 2018 report on Congressional salaries, six figure salaries are the norm. The highest paid position is the Speaker of the House with an annual salary of $223,500. Within the House, both the Majority and Minority leaders earn $193,400 per year. Representatives make $174,000. Everyone else, from the Chief Administrative Office to the General Council to the House makes $172,500 annually. The Senate is not much different with the highest paid position getting $193,400 annually. To go along with this, unelected government bureaucrats still have their jobs. There also haven’t been any announcements of government furloughs either. The government is currently dealing with a lot, but so are hard working Americans.
Why not lay off the politicians? https://t.co/9G57j6zVoO
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 18, 2020
There is no doubt that the longer this shutdown goes, the more businesses will be negatively impacted. As of April 30th, 30 million people have applied for some form of unemployment. Also, “…economists have forecast that the unemployment rate for April could go as high as 20%. That would be the highest rate since it reached 25% during the Great Depression” (Marketplace). This high of a level of unemployment is obviously not good and it will hurt many Americans. Without people getting paid and with businesses being forced to cut down their workforce, some industries will be crippled. The tourist industries around the country, places like Kennebunkport, Maine, will take a massive hit this summer. Movie theaters could be a thing of the past. Small businesses throughout the country could be gone by this time next year. American businesses will be lost while Congress is able to continue to get paid. While there are things that can help deal with the economic losses, it’s not enough in some cases.
While Congress gets to work every day, a good portion of the country does not. The salaries of the members of Congress are pretty high and offer economic security. They can continue to live without personal financial worry while millions of Americans are unsure of what’s next. Many self made Americans could be financially devastated because of COVID-19. The question has to be asked, should Congress continue to get paid during this time?
“30 Million Have Sought U.S. Unemployment Aid since COVID-19 Hit.” Marketplace, 30 Apr. 2020, www.marketplace.org/2020/04/30/covid-19-us-unemployment-state-benefits/.
Everlance, Team, and Google. “2018 Self-Employment Statistics In The US: How Many Self-Employed?” Everlance Blog, 10 Sept. 2018, www.everlance.com/blog/self-employment-statistics/.
Brudnick, Ida A. “Congressional Salaries and Allowances: In Brief.” Senate, 18 Apr. 2018, www.senate.gov/CRSpubs/9c14ec69-c4e4-4bd8-8953-f73daa1640e4.pdf.