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

His second wife accused him of “wasting family assets on his stock market gambling.”

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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.