The Congresscritter who can’t make it on a lousy $174,000

"I'd like to see YOU try to make it on a lousy $174,000!"

As if it was needed, here is yet another reminder how out of touch some Congresscritters are with their constituents.

Newly elected representative Sean Duffy (R-Wisconsin) says he’s “struggling” to pay his bills. His salary is $174,000 a year, but he says he was better off when he was working for the state of Wisconsin as a district attorney.

I can guarantee you, or most of you, I guarantee that I have more debt than all of you. With 6 kids, I still pay off my student loans. I still pay my mortgage. I drive a used minivan. If you think I’m living high on the hog, I’ve got one paycheck. So I struggle to meet my bills right now. Would it be easier for me if I get more paychecks? Maybe, but at this point I’m not living high on the hog.

Most of us would happily enjoy a salary in the six figures to help us deal with our cash flow problems.   Apparently, Rep. Duffy doesn’t see it that way.

Here is a link to Duffy’s town hall meeting where he spoke about his money matters.

Talking Points, whom Duffy accuses of selectively editing the video of his remarks, reports Duffy is one of the “poorest” members of Congress.

Duffy is one of the poorest members of Congress., which tracks the money in Congress, ranks Duffy as near the bottom among House members when it comes to his personal net worth.

Here’s a rundown of Duffy’s finances, from the 2009 disclosure form he had to file with the government: his family of 7 (wife plus six kids) is carrying between $250,000 and $500,000 in mortgage debt; between $50,000-$100,000 in student loans; between $15,000-$50,000 in credit card debt; and between $100,000-$250,000 in debt related to the family vacation home, a cabin not too far from his primary residence in Wisconsin.

The Duffy family lives in a 5-bedroom house sitting on 5 acres in Ashland, Wisconsin. The home has a market value of $247,000. They also own a 2-bedroom cabin in Iron River. That house is valued at $229,000.

Duffy’s household reported a total of $154,500 in income in 2009. That included $94,000 in salary from his job back then as county district attorney and $4,500 in income from his side gig as a competitive lumberjack. Duffy’s wife, Rachel Campos-Duffy — who like her husband starred in MTV’s The Real World — brought in $56,000 in salary.

Despite his debt and cash flow problems, Duffy’s pay jumped from $94,000 as a district attorney to $174,000 as a Congressman. I’m finding it a little hard to feel like this guy has any reason to cry poor mouth.

"I got mouths to feed!"

Most folks are trying to make ends meet and if you told me my pay was going up by 85 percent but I had to go to Washington D.C.. to pick up the check, I could find a way to work it out.

It’s still a pay raise even if his cost of living has gone up in the D.C. area. Do what everyone else does. Move to Virginia and commute. Find a cheap apartment with a living room, bedroom and bath. It’s not as if he has to take the wife and six kids along with him.

Or better yet–QUIT and Duffy can take his sorry ass back to Wisconsin.   Lots of weirdness coming out of that state lately.  What are they putting in the cheese?

Just don’t whine like a crybaby. Nobody wants to hear anyone pulling down six figures wailing how tough they have it.

So you can pretty much cry me a river, Duffy. 😥

4 thoughts on “The Congresscritter who can’t make it on a lousy $174,000

  1. I would probably agree with you if it’s an NFL, NBA or other professional athlete crying on not making it on a million dollar a year salary. But it doesn’t surprise me that Duffy is finding it tough to live on $175k – maintaining multiple households and having to incur all of the costs related to traveling between Washington D.C. area and Wisconsin are probably on him. I went to a “Cost of Living” calculator and put in his $98,500 salary he earned in 2009 and it indicated he would have to get paid $148,000 just to maintain the same standard of living in the Washington area. Assuming that he keeps his home in Wisconsin (where his income is more than twice the average of people living in that city). He owes more on his homes (based upon the mortgage debt) than they’re worth and I doubt that it would be that easy to sale his property considering he lives in an city with less than 9,000 people. His house is also among the most expensive in the area and he lives in an area that is among the least expensive in the state.

    Also, let’s say he can find an apartment in Arlington or Alexandria – housing is 177% HIGHER than what he was paying – so an apartment going for $700 per month in Wisconsin would run him $1200 the Washington D.C. area. And that would be in addition to mortgage payments in Wisconsin (along with his other debts).

    Just saying – there’s more to this than you’re making out…


    • Nope. Not seeing it that way at all. If Duffy wants to serve his country and state by being a Congressional Representative, he can suck up the economic drawbacks of the job or he can quit the job. Just don’t bitch about the job because with unemployment still at depressing highs, nobody feels sorry for him. I sure as hell don’t.

      The ends don’t meet? Sell the fucking cabin! Can’t afford to feed your six kids? Maybe if you can’t feed ’em, you shouldn’t have had ’em.

      Anyone who is supposed to be helping to shape this nation’s economic future who can’t put his own house in order has no business being in a position where he can make decisions that can effect every American man, woman or child. I don’t have 50K in credit card debt. I don’t have a vacation home. I don’t have six kids. I don’t live beyond my means.

      Duffy can find “sympathy” filed in the dictionary between “shit” and “syphilis.”


  2. By the way, I did the same calculation regarding YOU moving from Columbus to the Washington DC area – if your family income was $80k here, you’d have to earn $122k to maintain the same standard of living (and that also assumes you would be able to find comparable housing) – from what I’ve seen regarding housing on the East Coast it’s often much more expensive to find a equivalent house.


  3. I just went to the link and viewed the ENTIRE clip from Duffy. I didn’t think he was crying about how much better off he was before he was a Congressman – he was pointing out how much better his benefits were working as a state employee versus a federal employee. He also indicated that he would be willing to take a cut in his federal pay. But what he was asking for was state employees to consider taking a hit. It’s not a popular sugggestion, but most of us are privately employed – we pay far more for our benefits and have less security than state employees. If we’re paying for state services with our taxes is it out of the question for us to question why state employees aren’t exposed to the same impact as the rest of us?

    Just a question…


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