As hard as the establishment press has worked over the years to make certain politicians appear to be somehow out of touch with the situation of average Americans, you might think that two legislative leaders complaining about cuts in their Congressional offices' allowance might be news. One whined that her aides, some of whom "earn" in excess of $100,000 per year, are being "priced out" of a good lunch on Capitol Hill.
Don't be silly. The press only cares about making Republicans and conservatives appear out of touch. The complainers in question are Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who also heads the Democratic National Committee, and longtime Democratic Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia. The Washington Examiner's Paul Bedard noted Schultz's and Moran's whining on Wednesday:
Two senior Democrats complained at a House Appropriations Committee hearing Tuesday that the combination of cuts over the past two years has robbed them of nearly 11 percent of their personal budgets, which average $1.3 million.
Now House officials are looking at an additional 8.2 percent cut, or about $100,000. Total cut over three years: nearly 20 percent.
"If it's a $100,000 reduction in your [allowance] you really need to start preparing for a staff change," said Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va. "That's a whole person!"
Mike Fynn at Breitbart.com and Cheryl K. Chumley at the Washington Times pointed out that affordable lunches are readily available at nearby Capitol Hill eateries. Each also noted that Wasserman Schultz's staffers are paid well (amounts listed at the link represent salaries paid during the fourth quarter of 2012), with four aides pulling in over $100,000 per year and a part-timer getting in over $65,000. As of late last year, Wasserman Schultz had 20 full- and part-time employees on her payroll; another was "shared."
Only a few conservative and indpendent outlets have considered what Wasserman Schultz said to be newsworthy.
As to Moran, it's useful to recall that the Northern Virginia congressman so salivated at the prospect of Democrats regaining control of Congress in 2006 that he told an audience he would use his anticipated committee chairmanship to "earmark the sh__ out of it," i.e., to funnel as much money as he could to pet projects in his district. Of course that also wasn't news, even when Moran delivered on his promise at the unfortunate expense of taxpayers.
Too bad Moran can't issue a recall on some of that pork he has distributed over the years. But, given his sense of priorities, he probably wouldn't do so even if he could.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.