We all know that no one works harder than members of Congress. That's why they totally deserve that barely livable annual salary of $174,000, which is technically higher than the minimum wage no one needs because if you own a microwave, come on, how poor can you really be? And besides, the poor dears haven't had a cost of living adjustment in so many years, which is really unfair when you think about it, given that they are so "underpaid" as it is. You mere mortals have no idea how hard it is to be "stuck here making $172,000 a year" (also, too, counting can be tricky) and having to "drive a used minivan" like some kind of underpaid schmuck who can't even live "high on the hog" because of his measly 10-times-the-national-minimum-wage salary (or the Illinois gazillionaire Bruce Rauner, who would like to be the state's next governor so he can eliminate the minimum wage altogether).

And now that summer vacation is over, Congress is heading back to the grindstone for an absolutely grueling schedule, as you can see from this handy-dandy chart, courtesy of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy:

In case you might be suffering from some adorable delusion about what that chart means, those highlighted days are the days Congress will actually be showing up to the office. And yes, we are very impressed that the hardworking congresscritters have the super-human strength to cram 27 whole days of work into a mere four months. Those not-highlighted days? Well, those are the days Congress will supposedly be tending to other matters, like going to their respective home districts to tell voters why their contracts should be renewed for another term so they can not work some more. And no, you adorable little thing, it's not like Congress keeps this lightened load just for election season. Because if you click on that calendar link, you'll see that Congress has put in a whopping 85 days in the first seven months of the year. (Well, okay, the first six months; they didn't work at all in August. That's prime vacation time, you know. Unless you're the president, in which case, how DARE you take any vacation time. IMPEACH!)

It's not as if this work schedule is exclusive to election years either. In 2013, Congress was working its hardest to set a new record for not working. By July of last year, the House had logged an impressive 84 days of office time, putting the lazy sack of Senate to shame with its mere 80 days. But look: When you require three-day weekends -- because, to quote ourselves, "as we learned when Democrats were running things in 2007, the GOP fucking hates working on Fridays" -- that really cuts into the days you can even make yourself available to show up for work.

However, given that when Congress does bother to show up at the office, it wastes time and also a lot of our precious tax dollar money (which we cannot afford to waste on dumb things like health care or food stamps because fiscal conservatism and bootstraps and such), investigating various Fauxgates and suing the president for being president like he's some kind of twice-elected president -- again, with our money -- maybe it's better that Congress not show up for work more often. We really can't afford it.



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