Dingy Harry Reid doesn’t like the fact that Mitt Romney has made lots of money as a businessman, but lets look at how much Dingy Harry gets paid by you, the American people.
Dingy Harry was elected to serve our country to represent our interests, but you may wonder: how much does Dingy Harry make? With all this debate going on about debt ceilings, let’s take a moment to understand just how much we pay public servants such as Dingy Harry.
A senator’s salary is more than just a yearly wage. There is a base pay rate for senators, but there are also other allowances and benefits, such as retirement and insurance, that should be considered when calculating the overall compensation a senator receives.
Senators who do not hold a leadership position within the Senate are sometimes referred to as “rank and file” senators. These senators all have the same base pay, and it’s a much more than the six dollars a session the first Senators earned back in 1989.
How much does a senator make these days? As of 2010, yearly salaries for United States Senators were as follows:
• Basic Senators (no leadership position) – $174,000
• Majority and Minority Leaders – $193,400
Dingy Harry receives the same health insurance benefits as all federal employees under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB). Dingy Harry has a variety of health plans and providers available to him. Dingy Harry pays a bi-weekly premium, and enjoy some of the lowest rates of any other health care program in the nation.
When determining how much Dingy Harry earns, it is important to consider allowances provided for various expenses. The amount Dingy Harry receives for any given type of allowance may vary and can depend on factors such as the size of the state that the Senator represents. Some of the most common allowances allowed to Dingy Harry are:
• Personal Staff Allowance – This allowance allows Dingy Harry to hire staff to assist with clerical or other needs, both in Washington and in his three Nevada offices. The number of employees Dingy Harry has hired can range anywhere from 26 to 60, with maximum pay per employee topping out at $156,848 as of 2005. Up to $75,000 of this allowance can be transferred to supplement Dingy Harry’s expense allowance.
• Expense Allowance – The expense allowance covers Dingy Harry’s job related expenses such as stationary, business cards, newsletters, domestic travel and lodging, and communication expenses. This allowance varies and is based on population and distance of the state represented.
• Franking Privilege – This privilege allows Dingy Harry to send mail free from postage so long as it is interacting with the recipient in the context of being a citizen of the United States.
• Foreign Travel – Dingy Harry’s Foreign travel expenses are covered in this allowance, which also includes free use of any military air craft.