In just a few not-short-enough days, we will never hear from Rep. Jason Chaffetz ever again (maybe). But until then, we must endure his ludicrous propositions about how the government spends taxpayer funds.
Chaffetz, who will officially resign from the House on Friday, told The Hill that lawmakers should receive a stipend to cover their Washington, DC, housing costs and it would apparently save taxpayers money? He said with full sincerity in the interview published Tuesday:
I think a $2,500 housing allowance would be appropriate and a real help to have at least a decent quality of life in Washington if you’re going to expect people to spend hundreds of nights a year here.
According to Chaffetz, subsidizing lawmakers’ housing would end up costing taxpayers less because they would be purchasing fewer airline tickets home. Providing lawmakers a stipend of $2,500 a month would cost roughly $30 million a year. A round-trip ticket from Salt Lake City, UT (the nearest airport to Chaffetz’s district), to Washington, DC, costs around $350. How many times a month has Chaffetz been flying home?
While Chaffetz graciously conceded that “nobody’s going to suggest or vote for a pay raise” his proposal seems a bit ridiculous for someone who makes $174,000 a year.
Chaffetz had another valid and fair point, but it doesn’t exactly hit home because technically speaking those who earn a lawmaker’s salary are already some of the highest-paid Americans. “You shouldn’t have to be among the wealthiest of Americans to serve properly in Congress,” he said.
Perhaps Chaffetz, as well as other like-minded lawmakers, should consider not buying a new iPhone when they mull over whether they can afford to live in DC and remain elected members of Congress.