Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Friends With No Benefits?

Another post on the Statement of Disbursements of the House (July through September). To recap, this is a 3 volume report issued quarterly on what the offices of congressional representatives spend. One thing I noticed about the Pennsylvania delegation is the great disparity in what is paid for personnel compensation and personnel benefits. In addition to the detailed quarterly spending, the report also gives year to date spending on major categories. Two of these are personnel compensation and personnel benefits.

For example,

Rep. Bob Brady (D-01), between January and September 2009, paid 867,753 for personnel compensation but only 489.00 for benefits. How does that work?

Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-06) paid 621,578 in compensation and 2,154 in benefits.

Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-02) paid 719,530 in compensation and 601.00 in benefits.

Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-13) paid 630,290 in compensation and 2,134 in benefits.

Rep. Joe Pitts (R-16) paid 703,275 in compensation and 1,511 in benefits.

There is a piece of the puzzle that I'm missing (maybe a lot of part-time employees?, central fed pays most benefits and so they aren't charged to the individual office?). Maybe it is all charged in the last quarter of the year?

Even so, the difference in what each congressional office pays as far as the benefits as a percentage of compensation. No wonder people get confused by government spending. Even if you have the numbers it doesn't make sense.

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