Former Members of Congress: Six Figure Salary — Or Real Money?


US Senators make $174,000 per year — but that's chump change compared to what they can make in the private sector.

Today, as the 112th Congress sets up shop, Tim Carney handicaps where outgoing senators and Congressional representatives are headed as they leave the rarefied world of the United States Congress — and, perhaps, even the Beltway itself.

Take, for example, Senator Judd Gregg.

"Can Mitt Romney, whom Gregg endorsed in 2008, pay Gregg enough to be a full-time surrogate? If Gregg went home and spent all his time stumping for Mitt, it could make a difference. Probably, Gregg would have to combine this with consulting, and then hope for a top spot in a Romney White House come 2013. Predicted job: Business consultant/Romney surrogate."

If I were Gregg I would aim higher.

Sen. Gregg was among the most financially savvy guys in the Senate — and would be a shoo-in for an enormous paycheck if he were to head to Wall Street.

(Case in point: I invite you to imagine what Phil Gramm likely cleared during his nearly 10 years as vice chairman of investment banking at UBS.)

In any case, none of these guys will be hurting for a meal.

And no one will face the indignity of humbly returning to their plow: Unless, of course, that return is cleverly staged for television.


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