The Benghazi witch hunt, I mean hearing, is back in the news again.  So, besides the fact that it will accomplish nothing of any quantifiable value to U.S. taxpayers, I thought it might help to assess the cost being paid by taxpayers to let these professional suit-wearers sit behind an official-looking desk, fold their hands, and look serious.

In case you didn’t notice, the time they spend leaning on one arm and staring at their phones is time they get paid very well for, and they do ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.

Instead, they eat, drink and play with their phones until they’re called upon to say something written on a card by their staff.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m sure it’s a very tough job.  Tougher than digging ditches, fighting terrorists or designing computer networks.  But someone’s got to do it.

Here goes:

  • S1 = Average Salary of House member on the panel (2014: $1,255,909)
  • N2 = Number of professional suit-wearers on the panel (12)
  • S2 = Average Salary of their staff (2014: $31,183)
  • N2 = Average Number of staff per Suit (6)
  • W = Hours worked per year (2,000 – sabbatical time = 1,120 hours)
  • X1 = Suit salary per hour  = S1 / W
  • X2 = Staff salary per hour = S2 / W
  • H = Hours spent on witch hunt panel (let’s assume 80 for now)

Sub-total:  (X1 * H) + (X2 * H) = Professional tax spending costs

Now, let’s add the rest:

  • Sound and Lighting Technicians
  • Support Technicians
  • Broadcast Engineers
  • Security Staff
  • Computer Technicians
  • Catering Staff
  • Custodial Staff
  • Chauffeur Staff

These are typically billed by the hour.  Let’s all this number Z.  Assuming Glassdoor salary averages (you can look them up individually) for DC Metro region, using Federal contract rates (FARS/GSA).

  • F = Food and drinks
  • G = Gas for limousines
  • V = Heating and Cooling costs

Now divide that by the hours (H) and you get how much they’re sucking from your tax money every hour.

Something like $720,893.20 total for 80 hours of blabbering.  Something like this…


Now ask yourself: what are YOU getting in return for that?

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