Home / Politicians causing problems in politics? Put them on pay-for-performance  
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In the business world, most workers receive a base salary and then salary increases or bonuses based on performance. Performance can be measured by various factors, including company performance, individual performance, division performance, and the like. For the most part, and unless you have a union contract, there really aren't any guarantees for your salary, or even that you'll have a job.

Needless to say, politics don't work like business.

We have spent millions of dollars, some of it out of our own pockets, to get to Washington... We did not come here to be treated like teachers. - House Speaker John Boehner

For example, in the US, the average salary for someone in Congress is $174,000/year, with the average Senator making $193,400/year. For the most part, they don't need to do anything to get that salary. Whether they show up for work or not, whether they accomplish what they said they would or not, whether they vote or not... none of it matters. In other words, politicians don't get paid for performance. To add insult to injury, they get to set their own pay (per the Constitution) and get an automatic cost of living increase each year. Not a bad gig if you can get it.

Here's an idea: make politicians' pay based on their performance. For example, what they promise on the campaign trail would be their commitments. Tie pay to accomplishing each one. The Constitution has a list of powers politicians are responsible for performing - if they don't perform one of them, they lose salary. If the laws they pass do the opposite of what they were intended to do, they pay the price too. If the government runs a deficit, they don't get paid. If crime rates go up, salaries go down. If unemployment goes up, their pay is docked. Economy experiences a recession? Politicians feel the pain in their pockets too. And so on.

In fact, considering how many czars the government has, they could hire one more: a pay tsar.

What do you think would happen if politicians' salaries were tied to performance? What are the problems with this idea? Which politicians would support this? As politicians would have to be the ones to vote on it, is this a non-starter in the first place? Do you think lobbyists would gain power with such an idea? Isn't it time to start considering ideas that really punish politicians for underperformance more so than just not re-electing them? Should we seriously consider this proposal, which is supposed to be satire from funnyman Andy Borowitz, as a real alternative?

A government think-tank today proposed a controversial new law, "No Politician Left Behind," which would pay congressmen solely on the basis of performance.

put politicians on minimum wage and watch how fast things change

The law, which was proposed by the University of Minnesota's Institute of Government, "would make a serious dent in the Federal deficit because few if any congressmen would ever have to be paid," said the Institute's director, Davis Logsdon.

"Right now, congressmen get paid even when they storm out of budget negotiations in a hissy fit," Mr. Logsdon said. "Under this new law, the rule would be, no budget, no paycheck."

The idea of being paid per accomplishment drew howls of protest from lawmakers, many claiming that if the law were enacted it would result in their financial ruin.

New Law, 'No Politician Left Behind,' Would Pay Congressmen Based on Performance. Controversial Law Draws Howls of Protest from Lawmakers


Original posting by Braincrave Second Life staff on Aug 26, 2011 at http://www.braincrave.com/viewblog.php?id=631

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