So, you’ve probably heard that soon to be former US Representative and all-around douchebag Jason Chaffetz of Utah has proposed a housing stipend for members of Congress of $2,500 per month. Because, hey, it’s hard to pay to live in DC and keep a home back home on their meager $174,000 a year salary. Never mind that, not including all their other perks, such as, pretty good health insurance and subsidies, free airport parking, free on-site gym, weakened insider trading restrictions – cha-ching! – 239 days a year off (for comparison purposes, a person with weekends off, 13 paid holidays – there are 10 Federal holidays, and most people don’t even get all of those, but anyway – and four weeks of paid vacation would get 104 + 13 + 20 = 137), $900,000 staff and $250,000 budget for travel and office expenses, great retirement plan, all the K-Street you can eat (and drink)…. Because, you know, Chaffetz (net worth back in 2008, anyway, of $5.6 million) has a point. If a “regular” person were to get elected, it would be tough for him or her to make ends meet. Plus this would, in his estimation, “save money” because he wouldn’t have to fly home for free every weekend (the way us regular people who have to take an out-of-state job do).

So, OK. But I’m sure the honorable mister Chaffetz wouldn’t want to just be doling out welfare, even if it is to mostly deserving white men. Obviously, we need to attach dome strings.

First off, rather than a stipend (which would cost $2,500 per month * 12 months * 535 members of Congress = $16,050,000 per year), I propose that we build or buy a dormitory-style residence for our destitute Congressional reps. For $16 million a year, we should be able to get a decent mortgage or even pay rent. I know of a lovely dormitory at Catholic University whose common bathroom/shower facilities would do wonders to foster the collegial atmosphere that seems to be so missing in today’s House of Representatives. And as a good Christian nation, we of course wouldn’t allow co-ed floors, so, like 9 floors for the boys and 2 floors for the girls ought to do it. I figure two to a room, but I guess we could go for triples and quads (hell, I lived in a quad when I was a freshman).

We’d also have to do means testing, of course. I mean, no reason to give millionaires a free ride (not in America, right?). You could work out the details, but some sort of sliding scale from free to, oh, I dunno – whatever the going rate for a dorm room in DC is. But they get their asses out when the semester ends and if they want to stay over the summer, that’s extra. And they can buy a meal plan, or eat someplace else. No microwaves or toaster ovens in the rooms, but they a can have coffee makers and a small refrigerator.

Also, no alcohol or cigarettes in the dorms, and regular, random drug testing (of course).

And since we’re providing all this, there will no longer be free air travel back and forth to the home (I mean, Chaffetz floated this idea as a money saver, and I take him at his word). And they can all take the metro to work. Maybe give them the student rate – we’ll have to see about that.

But, yeah, in principle, when it comes to subsidizing housing for the needy, I’m good with that.

But then I’m just a dirty liberal.