How’s That For A Severance Package?
Ya know, I’m in the wrong line of work… I need to find a CongressCritter to work for… the severance packages can be wonderful:
Departing members of the House of Representatives awarded millions of dollars in extra pay to aides as they closed down their offices, according to lawmakers’ spending records.
The 96 lawmakers paid their employees $6.7 million, or 31%, more in the fourth quarter of 2010 than they did, on average, in the first three quarters of the year.
That’s about twice as much as the 16% increase awarded by lawmakers who returned to the 112th Congress, according to LegiStorm, an organization that tracks congressional salaries.
The disparity suggests retiring or defeated members used remaining funds in their official expenses budgets to boost salaries for staffers before they left Washington, cash that might otherwise have been returned to the U.S. Treasury.
Because most of the departing members were Democrats, fourth-quarter salary increases in 2010 for Democratic staffers were the largest in the decade LegiStorm has been gathering such data.
Republican staffers enjoyed a similar boost when many of their employers left office at the end of 2006.
Now, during times of fiscal stability, I see nothing wrong with giving bonuses and/or severance packages to employees who have earned them… but during a crisis like the one we’re in now, this is not only bad policy, it also just plain looks bad, for both parties.