Another dig at the WSJ I am afraid. This time, it took TWO writers to muck up a simple story, and they work for the paper. You see, Congresspeople are giving people bonuses. Bonuses! How could anyone get a bonus in this economy? Clearly, everyone has done a terrible job. You there - in the Congressman's back office in charge of healthcare issues (that have nothing to do with the economic downturn), who worked 9am-9pm, 6.4 days a week, for the past year with 2 recesses that you spent with me in the district - you can't have a $3,000 bonus, bringing your salary to $33,000. That's $33K in a major metropolitan area, where you have to eat out more than most because you barely see your apartment.
The article never mentions how little congressional staffers actually make. There is a pithy quote from Pelosi's aide placed, it seemed to me, in ironic counterpoint, noting that these bonuses help hard-working aides who are underpaid. No numbers. Instead, there is a note that out of 2,000 staffers, 3 got $14,000. So, less than one percent got a "big" bonus? Hm. I just can't get angry about that. Sounds quite responsible really. Oh, and could you mention for the folks out there that most of these people have college debt, many including graduate degree debt?
I sound ticked don't I? I know a lot of staffers on both sides of Congress. Whatever you may think of their members, these aides think less. They are nose to the grindstone policy wonks who deal directly with constituents daily to bring the local concerns to Washington. They aren't doing it for the money, that's for sure. Even the power isn't enough to keep you going. It has to a sense of service. Crapping on these people because their bosses can provide a little extra to show their gratitude - and I do mean a little - that's low.