On Thursday, PA State Representative Rob Kauffman said that he claims $52.00 in per diems because of the “unique daily expenses of being a legislator.” This left me wondering what exactly Representative Kauffman could be talking about when he describes the special circumstances of the legislative branch that mystically require extra cash to pay for things that the average worker does not need.
What is it about General Assemblymen and State Senators that requires them to carpe per diems?
Could it be that legislators need per diems for gasoline because, once elected into public office, the human body begins to be fueled by internal combustion? No, I think almost every worker in the Commonwealth needs gas to get to work, not just Joe Representative.
Is it the case that legislators, once they get into office, experience an immediate and immeasurable refining of the palate—so much so that a brown bag lunch tastes like, well, a brown bag? No, I think the culinary necessities of being a legislator are not unique to their profession.
I had my questioned partially answered when Rep. Kauffman got on T.V. and explained that he seizes such hefty per diems because he has four kids that he needs to support. That’s all well and good, but having children is not a “unique daily expense” exclusive to legislators.
It is an expense shared by, well, a whole lot of people.
So I put it to you, dear readers, what are the “unique daily expenses of being a legislator” that the average worker does not share? What am I missing here?