Bad Comparison: Payments for Troops, Retirees, and Politicians

There are two issues with this meme:

  1. The amounts don’t work out. Lets round up and say we have 600 politicians retiring in a four year period, and each gets a quarter of a million dollars a year (only the president gets more). Assume those politicians stay alive, on the average, twenty years after retirement. The savings from not paying them would be: 600*0.25*(20/4) = 750 million dollars a year. That sounds like a lot, but it isn’t.

    There are about sixty million people collection Social Security. So, if we stopped paying politicians pensions at all, we’d be able to give each one of them a whopping 12.5 $/year increase.

    The military is a much smaller population, about two millions (with the reserves). We’ll be able to give them a bit less than 400 $/year. Still very small.

  2. The lobbying industry will be happy to hire as “consultants” politicians that gave them sweetheart deals while in office. So we’ll end up paying even more, through corruption. Probably this is already happening.

h/t Peter Budd and Scott Bascom

Edit: Fred Geisler claims this is also factually incorrect, and considering his track record on facts I trust him:


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