Legislators vs. Middle America - Comparing Salaries Essay

Most of us in Middle America have to get up everyday and report to a job. We go to work to earn a decent salary to provide our families with the necessities of life such as housing, food, autos, clothing. We sometimes have extra money to go out to dinner or take a vacation with our families, but lately some of us have been struggling to keep up with the rising costs of food, gas, utilities and just about everything else in our budget.

Our goal is to earn enough money to be comfortable, and not have to live paycheck to paycheck. The salary we make will determine how comfortable we will be able to live. Some of us have spent many years in college with the hopes of earning that comfortable living. Most of us work very hard at our jobs. We perform jobs that risk our lives for the safety of others such as police officers. Then, there are nurses who take care of the sick, and work long, tedious hours to make sure their patients are well cared for.

Our legislators are voted into office to be public servants. They are elected to serve the people of the United States of America. We elect our legislators with the notion that they will work as diligently at their jobs as we in Middle America work at our jobs. We know that if we go to work and aren’t productive for months at a time, we will be fired. The same is not the case for our legislators, and they are paid hefty salaries with many perks and benefits. Some of our legislators make twice or three times the salary a person in Middle America will make in a year, and most of us in Middle America are working twice as hard and longer hours than our public servants. The following is a comparison of the salaries of our Legislators vs. Middle America:

Congressman and Senators – $174,000.00 per year

Speaker of the House – $223,500.00 per year

Majority and Minority Leaders – $193.400.00 per year

Teachers (Median annual wage) – $47,100 to $51,180

Police Officers (Median annual wage) – $51,410

Registered Nurse (Median annual wage) – $62,450

Firefighter (Median annual wage) – $44,260

EMT & Paramedic – $14.10 per hour

There is something very wrong with the fact that our legislators, who as of late have accomplished absolutely nothing, are making these comfortable salaries when our hard working Middle Americans are making drastically less. I think if legislators are not performing their jobs and being productive, they should be fired just like we would be if we didn’t perform our jobs.

It is time for people to stop accepting the poor job our Congressmen and Senators have been doing, and make them earn their salary by doing the job they were elected to do. We want to see Americans going back to work, we want to see the economy improve so that we can improve the quality of our lives. The only way these things are going to happen is if our Congress and Senate sit down and get to work on ways to improve the lives of the American people. Maybe if the salaries of our legislators were based on job performance we would see better results. They should be periodically evaluated to determine if they are deserving of their salaries.

There is nothing wrong with our legislators making these salaries if they are seriously working to improve the state of our nation. We have so many issues in this country that need to be addressed, and we depend on our legislators to aggressively work towards solutions to these problems. You should not be compensated for a job when you are not showing positive results of your performance.


Congressional Research Service


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics