11 votes

The Senate: How Much Does It Cost?

–Clint Richardson (realitybloger.wordpress.com)

In order for each state to have two representatives, a total for the country of 100 Federal Employees for which we call “Senators”, and with the understanding that this in no way represents all monies spent on the Senate or the money that each state pays separately for each Senator (employees, office leases, supplies, legal council, etc.), the taxpayers paid at least the following for 2010:

$8,162,563.35 per Senator

$815,257,003.33 spent/outlay

Details:
I had to laugh out loud…

As I was searching for a glimpse into the unbelievable amounts of taxpayer money that it takes to fund the Federal Government and it’s Executive Departments by viewing its Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, I came across an interesting report called the “2010 Detail of Appropriations, Outlays, and Balances” report.

This report can be downloaded here: http://www.fms.treas.gov/annualreport/index.html#part%20one

Other Financial Reports for the Departments of the Treasury, Defense, Commerce, The Post Office, The Social Security Fund, and many others can be found here: http://www.fms.treas.gov/finrep/fr_resources.html#agency

This “Appropriations, outlays, and Balances” report included the expense accounts and left over ongoing fund balances that are appropriated to the Senate, the House of Congress, the Library of Congress, the Architect of the Capital, the Botanical Garden, the Capital Police, an on and on…

And, while some of these “appropriations” were funny, some were not.

For instance, let’s look at the Senate…

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-= Senate Appropriations =-

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Did you know that each year the Treasury allots a certain amount of taxpayer money to go to the “Senate Hair Care Revolving Fund”?

Yep… The Federal Government has a fund that was created specifically for the hair care of its Senators! For fiscal year 2010, $33,387 was used to outlay this expense. The word outlay simply means “to spend, an amount expended, paid expenditures”.

There are only 100 Senators – 2 representing each of the 50 states.

This means that on each senator $333.87 in taxpayer money was spent to keep them looking sharp for the cameras, hairpieces and all!

But then, I guess that’s about what you’d expect from a fake Hollywood production like this.

But even more importantly, this “revolving fund” has a balance, which is appropriated solely for this Senatorial hair care. That fund balance, which is invested and gains each year, is $261,117.19. That represents a gain for this fund over fiscal year 2009 of about $36,000.

So we have a quarter of a million dollars designated for Senatorial hair care while many U.S. citizens live in destitute tent cities. It’s kinda funny… and kinda not.

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Farther down the list we have the “Senate Restaurant Fund”, listed as a “Public Enterprise Fund”.

The Senators tapped this fund for $72,370.12 for fiscal year 2010. This left a remaining balance in the “Senate Restaurant Fund” of $49,859.53.

That adds up to about $723.70 per Senator.

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The taxpayers also paid $123,856.74 towards the “Senate Health And Fitness Facility, Architect Of The Capitol”. This left an account balance of $256,380.37.

So taxpayer funded Senatorial gym memberships apparently cost $1,238.56 for each member of the Senate.

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The “Official Mail Costs, Senate” column states that the Federal Government appropriated $300,000 to this cost, adding to the existing balance already appropriated for Senate mailing services of $345,430.58. And after $115,546.71 of this money was actually used for mail, $161,082.59 was “withdrawn or used for other transactions”, the fund balance was left for fiscal year 2010 at $368,801.28 – a gain of a bit more than $22,000.

This represents $2,766.29 per senator for 2010.

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How about the “Senate Gift Shop Revolving Fund, Senate”?

Well, this fund has $2,939,413.53 within it. What this taxpayer money is used for is unclear, but these guys managed to spend $166,673.26 over fiscal year 2010.

This represents $1,666.73 per Senator.

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The “Senate Photographic Studio Revolving Fund, Senate” spent $65,915.24 for the year and shows an ending balance of $798,690.53

There’s $659.15 per Senator.

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The “Senate Recording Studio Revolving Fund, Senate” spent $22,722.52, leaving a fund balance of $1,945,771.10.

That’s $227.22 per Senator spent in 2010.

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The “Contingent Expenses, Stationery (paper), Revolving Fund, Senate” spent $298,821.41, leaving a fund balance of $1,078,465.74.

That’s $2988.21 per Senator.

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Ok, so if you are like me, you are probably wondering… WTF?

And about now you may be asking yourself… WTF?

Why is so much money being designated for such trivial things? In a normal business setting, an employee would keep a tally of his expenses and turn in a expense record in order to be refunded that money by the corporation or be given a credit card to be paid off by the company every month. But in governments case, the money is appropriated into accounts or into an individual fund in dollar amounts much larger than are actually being spent.

Dare I say that this money could be used for other things?

But this is just part of the usual shell game, where governmental investment funds and bank accounts are removed from the general use taxpayer fund, which would go to pay or offset other taxes and needed taxpayer budgetary requirements, and put into these accounts and funds which by law must stay in those accounts or be transferred to other such legally appropriated funds. These types of funds happen throughout the entire spectrum of government, from local to district to county to state to Federal government.

But hey, and I hate to tell you this… but we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. These, believe it or not, are the small funds and accounts.

Now let’s look at one of the most outrageous expenses in the Senate (and the Congress).

The average Senator moans and groans about the low salary that he or she is paid, considering the job they are elected to. And the people generally and ignorantly agree. A Senator might mention how noble and altruistic they are for taking on the representation (LOL!) of the people of their state, and that the money that is paid to them for that venture is perhaps inconsequential compared with the honor of the service they are providing to the public (LOL!!!).

But in truth, if one wishes to know how much taxpayer money is earned by each Senator, one would have to go to the main source of that wealth. That source is the individual, tax-exempt expense accounts that each Senator (and congressman) receive.

You see, it is in the best interest of these legislators to keep their base salaries as low as possible. Why? Because those salaries are taxed. Their expense accounts are not!

Listed on this “2010 Detail of Appropriations, Outlays, and Balances” report, under “Contingent Expenses, Senator’s Official Personnel And Office Expense Account, Senate”, we get a more accurate idea of what these crooks are being compensated with in order to be a part of this organized criminal activity working for United States Inc.

The report states that $422,000,000 was appropriated for use in the personal expense accounts of these 100 Senators.

Of that $422 million, $400,590,512.37 was used (outlay) for the personal and office expenses of these Senators.

That represents an average of about $4,005,900 per Senator for “personal” and “office” expenses. Tax free. Spent on anything they want.

The account that holds this appropriated money gained about $13,600,000 over 2009 – leaving the ending account balance at $81,448,251.53.

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Wow! I want to be a Senator! Hell… I’ll do it for no salary. Just lay that expense account on me!!!

Now you are probably really thinking… WTF?

You might be asking yourself, who in the name of all that is Holy would allow these 100 people to be appropriated with almost half a billion dollars for their personal expenses?

Ever heard of the Senate Appropriations Committee? That’s right. The Senate appropriates this money to their own expense accounts! Excuse me while I laugh out load again…

Now, you are probably thinking that this money is being used for “office” expenses much more than the actual “personal” expenses of these Senators, right?

Wrong…

We already know from looking at the above funds and accounts that these separate expense accounts weren’t used on haircuts, mail, working out, official pictures, restaurants, writing paper with the U.S. Seal embossed upon it, or spent in the gift shop! Actually, I’m sure much of it was spent on wining and dining corporate lobbyists, purchasing fancy suits, and personal grooming and care. But these expense accounts can be used for just about anything. Condos in Tahiti, vacations to Australia, second home purchases for “business purposes”, you name it. All tax exempt!

And as we can see from further examination of this appropriations report, all of the other Senatorial expenses are more than covered by the following other funds and accounts…

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“Contingent Expenses, Expenses Of Inquiries And Investigations, Senate”

$140,500,000.00 – Appropriated for 2010.

$125,780,268.65 - Outlay (spent).

$254,644.79 – Withdrawn or other transactions.

$26,704,079.70 – The ending account balance, a gain of about $2 million over 2009.

$1,257,802 – Average spent per each of 100 Senators based on (outlay divided by 100)

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“Contingent Expenses, Miscellaneous Items, Senate”

$19,909,500.00 – Appropriated for 2010.

$13,524,922.79 – Outlay (spent).

$0.00 – Withdrawn or other transactions.

$49,225,568.72 – The ending account balance, a gain of about $1.2 million over 2009.

$135,249.22 – Average spent per each of 100 Senators.

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“Compensation Of Members And Related Administrative Expenses, Senate”

$23,603,773.00 – Appropriated for 2010.

$20,708,164.76 – Outlay (spent).

$0.00 – Withdrawn or other transactions.

$4,230,079.21 – The ending account balance, a gain of about $1.1 million over 2009.

$207,081.64 - Average spent per each of 100 Senators.

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“Contingent Expenses, Secretary Of The Senate, Senate”

$1,990,000.00 – Appropriated for 2010.

$756,508.92 – Outlay (spent).

$0.00 – Withdrawn or other transactions.

$9,557,875.92 – The ending account balance.

$7,565.08 – Average spent per each of 100 Senators.

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“Contingent Expenses, Sergeant At Arms And Doorkeeper Of The Senate, Senate”

$141,601,000.00 – Appropriated for 2011-2014.

$10,000,000 – Appropriated for 2010.

$90,719,432.93 – Outlay (spent) 2010-2014.

$0.00 – Withdrawn or other transactions.

$60,881,567.07 – The ending account balance as of 2014.

$907,194.32 – Average spent per each of 100 Senators as of 2014.

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“Settlements And Awards Reserve, Contingent Expenses, Senate”

$1,000,000 - The ending account balance as of 2010.

$10,000 – Average spent per each of 100 Senators as of 2014.

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“Congressional Use Of Foreign Currency, Senate”

$4,000,000.00 – Appropriated for 2010.

$4,416,425.52 – Outlay (spent).

$0.00 – Withdrawn or other transactions.

$27,613,635.88 – The ending account balance.

$44,164 – Average spent per each of 100 Senators.

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“Senate Office Of Public Records, Revolving Fund, Senate”

$22,907.00 – Outlay (spent).

$204,092.08 – The ending fund balance as of 2010.

$229 – Average spent per each of 100 Senators as of 2014.

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“Daniel Webster Senate Page Resident Revolving Fund, Senate”

$41,173.33 – Outlay (spent).

$268,265.96 – The ending fund balance as of 2010.

$411.73 – Average spent per each of 100 Senators as of 2014.

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And last, but but certainly not least… we come to the actual salaries that are paid to have this set of 100 Senators.

“Salaries And Expenses, Office Of The Legislative Counsel Of The Senate, Senate” - We see that $7,154,000 was appropriated by the Senate itself for the Senator and staff Salaries. Of that amount, $6,394,041.59 was actually paid out (outlay) to the Senators and staff.

That left a balance in this account of $939,136.37.

That represents $63,940.41 per Senator.

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“Salaries, Officers And Employees, Senate” -

$168,217,500.00 – Amount appropriated in 2010.

$150,017,546.99 – Amount paid (outlay) to officers and employees in 2010.

$27,053,492.09 – Account balance end of 2010 fiscal year, an increase of about 5.1 million over 2009.

$1,500,175 – Average amount paid for every Senator.

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“Salaries And Expenses, Office Of Senate Legal Counsel, Senate”

$1,544,000.00 – Amount appropriated in 2010.

$1,050,722.89 – Amount paid (outlay) to “legal counsel” in 2010.

$877,105.95 – Account balance end of 2010 fiscal year, an increase of about $18,000 over 2009.

$10,507.22 – Average amount paid for every Senator.

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“Payment To Widows And Heirs Of Deceased Members Of Congress, Senate”

$174,000.00 – Amount appropriated in 2010.

$174,000.00 – Amount paid to “widows and heirs”

$1740.00 - Average amount paid divided by 100 Senators.

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So what does all of this mean?

Well, what is your definition of wasteful spending?

In order for each state to have two representatives, a total for the country of 100 Federal Employees for which we call “Senators”, and with the understanding that this in no way represents all monies spent on the Senate or the money that each state pays separately for each Senator (employees, office leases, supplies, legal council, etc.), the taxpayers paid at least the following for 2010:

$8,162,563.35 per Senator

$815,257,003.33 spent/outlay

Of course, the actual amount appropriated for these things is always much higher than the actual costs by thousands or millions of dollars. Sadly, this is purposeful. And, the account and fund balances that have accumulated over the years from over-appropriation (assigning too much money) to these funds for 2010 stand at at least a total of:

$297,905,741.83 excess account and fund balances (in red above).

All of this (plus much much more that is not listed here) just to have 100 men and women pretend to represent us. Remember, these are the people who don’t even read the bills presented to them by their corporate lobbyists before they sign them!

That treason costs the taxpayers of America over $815 million dollars, and well over $1 billion if all related expenses were taken into account.

All this to support 100 men in fancy suits. Imagine what the congress costs…?

All this while Americans lose their homes, their jobs, and their lives.

What has America become?

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Makes Rand Returning $100k In Budget Seem A Lot Less Impressive

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Rothbard: "Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."

You have done a great service

by taking the time to go through those reports and detail what you found.
I have read your entire post and have bookmarked it so I can look over the links myself.
IMO, this should have gotten more attenion but people are too busy trying to convince others to vote or not to vote for gj.
I'm going to suggest that you raise this post again after Nov 6 (and after all the posts about the election results have died down) with more nuggets from the reports so people will actually pay attention to it. Then we can email your review to our new Liberty Senators and ask them to take action.
Great post!

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

I'd like to take credit but it wasn't me who took the time

it was –Clint Richardson (realitybloger.wordpress.com)

I just found it very interesting and did like you and saved the links. I've just spent the last hour looking at excel spreadsheets that will make you physically ill.

No where to cut?...I could hardly find anywhere we could NOT cut. We are spending 1 billion a year just on the first family.

And the fcuking "Helium Program Fund" costs us 1 million a year in interest and the helium we are storing (for god knows what) seems to be spoiling after 2 years of storage so it's worthless anyway.

Didn't know helium went bad.

prolly its just being rehypothecated.

In any case, the helium reserve ensures that we will, in the future, be able to meet the needs of our projected future safety and security initiatives. The commodity stockpile will eventually be used in building the next evolution of drones. The new "green" drones will be lighter than air dirigibles and zeppelins.
TSA has already pre-ordered several dozen units to be used for mid-air safety checkpoint stops

I think the costs are likely

I think the costs are likely because of energy and space costs to keep it in liquid form.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

LOL

I went straight to the figures when I saw this post and didn't read the opening lines. Thanks for pointing that out - I feel a little silly now. Still, thanks for posting this and I still think you should repost it after the election dust settles.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
James Madison

Thank you for posting... very

Thank you for posting... very educating.

I apologize for not reading the whole thing though, it's a very long winded post. :D