Democrat w/$174,000 Salary and 20+ Years in Congress Says He’s Underpaid

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.


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If we paid Jim Moran what he was worth, we would have to go back to the halfpenny. Moran has spent his entire career working in government. He started out in the Department of Health, moved up to a Senate staffer and since 1979 has been running for office.

He’s been in Congress for over 20 years. And he thinks that $174K just isn’t enough.

Virginia Democrat James P. Moran is claiming that members of Congress, who collect an annual salary of $174,000, are underpaid. Moran stated to CQ Roll Call, “I think the American people should know that the members of Congress are underpaid. I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform, but the fact is that this is the board of directors for the largest economic entity in the world.”

Unfortunately this board of directors has run up trillions in debt. If the US were a private corporation, it would have gone out of business long ago.

What Moran really seems to want is a golden parachute for his retirement. More of one than he’s getting already.

And Moran shows what kind of responsible folks we have in Congress.

Moran has also had personal financial troubles. A former stockbroker, Moran lost roughly $120,000 from trades and bad investments in the mid-1990s and went into significant debt. During their divorce, his second wife accused him in court papers of “wasting the family assets on his stock market gambling.”

Moran was an active trader again in the mid-2000s, with assets owned by his wealthy third wife. After their 2010 separation and eventual divorce, his financial situation changed significantly. His most recent financial disclosure report, covering 2012, shows him to be one of the least wealthy members of Congress, with no assets other than a money-market account worth $15,000 or less.

As recently as 2007, Moran’s wealth was estimated at $12.7 million.

Not everyone can be John Kerry, but should we really be paying Moran the money that his ex-wife won’t? Can’t he just steal and engage in conflicts of interest like everyone else?

It’s not like he doesn’t know how.

Moran’s saga began in 1984, five years after he was first elected to the Alexandria (Va.) City Council. While in office, he was charged with casting a vote that helped a developer friend win a bid for a lucrative plot of public land. A special prosecutor concluded that Moran had violated the state’s conflict-of-interest law. He sobbed as he pleaded no contest to a felony charge of vote-peddling, received a year’s probation for a reduced conflict-of-interest misdemeanor charge, and was forced to resign.

In January 1998, one month before he introduced the legislation, credit card bank MBNA advocated that it would restrict the ability of consumer debtors to declare bankruptcy. Moran received a favorable debt consolidation loan from the bank that allowed him to avoid personal bankruptcy arising from credit card and stock market losses. The $447,000 loan at a favorable interest rate was the largest loan to an individual MBNA issued in 1998.

“In November 2011, author Peter Schweizer published a book, Throw Them All Out, which included an allegation that Moran used information he got from a September 16, 2008 briefing, in which Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke warned of an impending financial crisis, for his stock market activity: September 17, 2008, was by far Moran’s most active trading day of the year. He dumped shares in Goldman Sachs, General Dynamics, Franklin Resources, Flowserve Corporation, Ecolabs, Edison International, Electronic Arts, DirecTV, Conoco, Procter & Gamble, AT&T, Apple, CVS, Cisco, Chubb, and a dozen more companies. Schweizer alleged that Moran made more than 90 trades that day.

If Moran were on an actual board of directors, he would already be in jail.

  • Gee

    If somebody doesn’t like their pay – they are welcome to quit and get a real job at any time

  • DogmaelJones1

    Underpaid?? At a net worth of $12.7 million??? “I understand that it’s widely felt that they underperform,” said Moron, excuse me, “Moran.” No, Mr. Millions, they don’t complain that you wastrels “underperform,” but “OVER perform,” passing costly legislation you can hire costly lawyers and accountants to help you dodge, but which most Americans can’t. If you “under-performed” for free, we’d be grateful.

  • wileyvet

    Jim “Bugs” Moran and his fellow Democratic Party Gangsters extorting more from the American people everyday, always making America an offer they can’t refuse.

  • tagfu222

    The trouble with our government is that we elect people who spend millions to get jobs that pay thousands, well, $174, 000.

  • A Z

    Moran was as thick as thieves with Murtha. Both of them are/were corrupt. Murtha was just a little too cagey to get caught by the Abscam sting.

    The Wall street Journal documented, where Murtha & Moran voted for an airport that had federal funding but very little traffic.

    Why is the Defense budget bloated? Because of people like Murtha and his sidekick Moran. It was hard to lay a glove on Murtha. He was a veteran of Vietnam. Yes, in Vietnam like in current wars there was no front line. Yet Murtha spent his time in Saigon as a REMF.

    Check out the Moran & Murtha connected companies that got Defense contracts.

    House Ethics Committee Takes Up PMA Probe
    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2009/06/11/house-ethics-committee-takes-up-pma-probe/

    Defense Bill Earmarks Total $4 Billion
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB126144587379801037

    Politics and Policy
    Earmark Requests Continue Despite Promises to Curb Process
    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB124775027647651381?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB124775027647651381.html

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abscam

  • A Z

    More dirt on Moran

    Lawmaker Subpoenaed in Lobby Probe

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB124362015474866997#printMode

  • Hilda

    Poor baby Moran… If he is so underpaid why doesn’t he just quit and get a real job in the real world. I guess no one has told him that being a professional parasite on the taxpayer’s back is not a career or job. In the real world jobs tend to produce something.

  • glpage

    Another self important politician. Perhaps members of Congress should be paid whatever the national average income is with a reasonable allowance for an apartment in the DC area.

    • ndacboss

      Members of Congress should be volunteers.

  • ndacboss

    Has he read any of the legislation he voted on? What’s he think he’s getting paid for. He is our employee, he works for us, we pay his salary. We say he is being paid more than he deserves.

  • USARetired

    All Washington politician are grossly overpaid for what they accomplish!

  • Seamus

    He’s been in Congress for 20 years, and was in prior gov’t service for which he may be getting a pension/stipend. The $174K figure, I believe, is the starting salary for a all congressman. He lives in the state he serves. Why does he need two residences? September 17, 2008 was a Wednesday. Was he doing his wild trading when he was supposed to be working for VA taxpayers? Of course he probably could have staged his trades in advance. This should be disclosed. If not, Is this a common practice by our congressional leaders?