How Much do 535 Members of Congress Cost American Taxpayers?

December/11/2017 7:27AM
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A quick look suggests that total legislative branch appropriations for FY14 is about $4.1 billion. This includes House and Senate member and staff salaries and benefits, Capitol Complex maintenance, staff and security (including the U.S. Capitol Police), the Library of Congress, the GAO, the CBO, the Government Printing Office. This comes to $7,476,635 each we taxpayers lay out for every member of Congress. Are they worth that kind of money?

First, let’s look at the work schedule once again.

2017-house-calendar It’s roughly a 33 week work year. Or, they work 8 months a year. But, the overhead is there for 52 weeks while they are not. If this were a business that would be unacceptable. Paying that much for such little productivity would change.

Six of the counties around Washington DC are in the top ten wealthiest in the country. What gets produced there that creates such wealth? Government, that’s all, government.

This from the Boston Globe:

By

WASHINGTON — The amount of lobbying activity being reported has declined in President Trump’s Washington, but observers say it’s not because he is making good on his promise to “drain the swamp” of special interests.The slow pace of legislation, stiffer rules, and a gradual decline in the number of lobbyists have contributed to the decrease in the first half of 2017.The number of registered lobbyists has dipped to a low point, and special interests, after an initial burst in activity earlier this year, have in the past few months reported less spending than in almost any similar period in the past 10 years.

 
Overall spending by special-interest groups has not increased over previous years, despite early predictions that there would be a ramp up in activity to mark a new administration.

“It’s surprising,” said Dan Auble, a senior researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics. “Everyone expects when there’s a change in party and agenda — and claims of changing a lot of policies — that it’s a huge opportunity for companies and industries.”

Isn’t it cute how hard all so-called journalists work to avoid giving any credit for anything to Trump.

So, if the number of lobbyists is dropping to just over 18 per legislator. Let’s check the money spent.

Those 9,791 lobbyists spent $2,864,000,000. That comes to $5,535,271 per Congressperson, or almost as much as we taxpayers spend to keep them in office.

Here are the top 50 lobbyists by expenditure: They represent 25% of the total spent in 2016, or $716,000,000.

Top 50 Lobbying Spenders of 2016 

Client 2016 Spending 2015 Spending 2015 Rank
U.S. Chamber of Commerce $103,950,000 $84,730,000 1
National Association of Realtors $64,821,111 $37,788,407 2
Blue Cross Blue Shield $25,006,109 $23,702,049 3
American Hospital Association $20,970,809 $20,687,935 7
Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America $19,730,000 $18,920,000 9
American Medical Association $19,410,000 $21,930,000 4
Boeing $17,020,000 $21,921,000 5
National Association of Broadcasters $16,438,000 $17,400,000 10
AT&T $16,370,000 $16,370,000 13
Business Roundtable $15,700,000 $19,250,000 8
Alphabet $15,430,000 $16,660,000 12
Comcast $14,330,000 $15,680,000 14
Southern Co. $13,900,000 $12,860,000 18
Dow Chemical $13,635,982 $10,820,000 26
Lockheed Martin $13,615,811 $13,954,053 17
NCTA – The Internet and Telephone Assoc. $13,420,000 $14,120,000 16
FedEx $12,541,000 $12,405,835 20
Northrop Grumman $12,050,000 $11,020,000 24
Exxon Mobil $11,840,000 $11,980,000 21
Amazon $11,354,000 $9,435,000 34
CTIA $10,970,000 $10,150,000 29
General Dynamics $10,739,944 $10,259,890 28
Verizon Communications $10,080,000 $11,430,000 23
Altria Group $10,060,000 $9,630,000 32
Amgen $9,860,000 $10,525,000 27
Koch Industries $9,840,000 $10,830,000 25
American Bankers Association $9,831,000 $12,690,000 19
Pfizer $9,750,000 $9,417,650 35
Prudential Financial $9,400,000 $7,962,500 47
Biotechnology Innovation Organization $9,230,000 $8,350,000 42
United Technologies $9,165,000 $11,470,000 22
American Chemistry Council $9,020,000 $10,050,000 30
Royal Dutch Shell $8,990,000 $8,700,000 37
AARP $8,710,000 $7,559,000 54
Microsoft $8,710,000 $8,490,000 39
Facebook $8,692,000 $9,850,000 31
Edison Electric Institute $8,620,000 $8,350,000 42
Oracle $8,620,000 $8,470,000 40
General Motors $8,500,000 $9,120,000 36
National Association of Manufacturers $8,490,014 $16,950,000 11
National Amusements (CBS & Viacom) $8,441,000 $7,980,000 46
T-Mobile $8,089,900 $6,127,000 66
Bayer $7,990,000 $7,730,000 51
Coca-Cola $7,930,000 $8,670,000 38
American Airlines $7,870,000 $6,600,000 61
United Parcel Service $7,767,848 $8,155,856 45
Chevron $7,470,000 $7,200,000 56
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers $7,452,500 $7,640,000 53
Securities Industry & Financial Market Assoc. $7,400,000 $7,770,000 50
AbbVie $7,260,000 $5,220,000 88

Data provided to The Hill by the Center for Responsive Politics, opensecrets.org

So, between the special interests and the taxpayers, $13,011,906 is spent for each of 535 Representatives and Senators to work 33 weeks a year.

Answers the question about why the 6 wealthiest counties of 10 are around D.C. but does it answer the question, are they worth it? You tell me.

But, perhaps it explains why Republicans, as well as Democrats, fear Trump and his swamp draining pledge. Plus, it may help understand why everyone who serves in the House and Senate leaves very wealthy.

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