Earlier today I learned of these numbers today from Mature Landscaping:

Salary of retired US Presidents ……………$180,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of House/Senate ……………………..$174,00​0 FOR LIFE
Salary of Speaker of the House …………….$223,500 FOR LIFE
Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders …… $193,400 FOR LIFE
Average Salary of a teacher ……………….. $40,065
Average Salary of Soldier DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN $38,000


I had been feeling unsettled by a gnawing sense of guilt and shame ever since. That’s probably why when we caught a glimpse of the evening news, I suddenly blurted out,

Did you know how much a soldier that is currently fighting in the war is paid? A year? $38,000. That’s how much!

The boys immediately were feeling just as outraged. “That’s not a lot of money right?” The Teenager got a bit emotional. “And they are risking their lives over there!”

8-year-old Mr. Monk got up on the coffee table and pontificated as he’s wont to.

You know what? What we need is for the economy to get better!

I swear I have no idea where he got this (or any others). We seldom watch TV, let alone news. I wonder whether this has anything to do with his endless viewing of The Simpsons. In fact, he watches The Simpsons so much he’s able to quote some of the episodes the way The Husband is able to quote The Princess Bride.

You know how you can tell the economy is getting lower?

(He is, after all, only 8 years old…)

The free ice cream at ______ Burgers is now so small that you only get the bottom part. It used to be as big as the Dairy Queen’s!

Hold the thought while I contact The Economist about the Ice Cream Index idea.


Lies August 21, 2011 at 2:20 pm


I don’t even have words for your Mr. Monk… (fortunately he has enough of his own, it seems).

Clever kid, that one.

Lies August 21, 2011 at 2:21 pm

(On an unrelated note… where do these people earn the right to have a salary for life? But let me check how it works in my country before I start a USA rant ;).)

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm

It’s ok. Feel free to start a US rant. LOL. 😉

Absence Alternatives August 21, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Too clever for his mommy’s own good it seems. 🙂

SisterMerryHellish August 12, 2011 at 10:00 pm

I’d say we could pay presidents and congress in ice cream and up the salaries of service men and teachers, but giving the ice cream isn’t much punishment.

Unless they’re lactose intolerant! Hmmm…

Absence Alternatives August 12, 2011 at 10:03 pm

Give them frozen yogurt! (Sorry, I am against “fake” ice cream…)

secret agent woman August 12, 2011 at 5:29 am

I don’t understand why a lifetime salary should be part of an elected government position.

Absence Alternatives August 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm

Apparently it is incorrect: the president gets a pension. Yeah, that makes all of us feel better, right?

Jack@TheJackB August 11, 2011 at 2:44 pm

The Ice Cream Index. I like it but it might be hard to promote, it is kind of vanilla.

Absence Alternatives August 12, 2011 at 9:32 pm

You do know vanilla is the world’s most popular flavor for ice cream, right? LOL

pattypunker August 10, 2011 at 3:41 pm

despicable. what is wrong with this country? why aren’t we compensating the people who are really moving mountanins appropriately instead of over-compensating so many buffoons. so depressing.

Absence Alternatives August 11, 2011 at 12:07 am

I agree.

Chris P. August 10, 2011 at 9:35 am

My right-leaning friends (yes, I do have some but they are forbidden to yell politics at me) have been re-posting this alot on Facebook, so as I always do when I get stuff from them I looked it up, and guess what–the President doesn’t actually get a SALARY for life, he gets a pension (plus Secret Service protection for 10 years) that fluctuates but is currently $191,000. Didn’t look up the other stuff but I have to tell you I was surprised that the deployed soldier even got that much. I believe they get additional pay when they go into combat, but really, they can never pay those guys enough. Of course I’m of the very strong opinion that NONE of them should be over there in the first place!

Absence Alternatives August 11, 2011 at 12:06 am

Thank you for doing the fact checking. Not to find an excuse for myself, but I usually would check it out. Was thinking the point is that the soldiers make only 36000! What the hell?!

Kristy August 9, 2011 at 6:27 pm

All joking aside, that is a horrible block of information to read. Why don’t we cut out some of that shit to help with the debt? Any of the rest of you get paid the rest of your lives for 4 years of work? Yea… didn’t think so.

Absence Alternatives August 9, 2011 at 7:35 pm

One would assume that they DESERVE to be paid for life because after this line of work, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for them to find any lucrative jobs, book deals, speech invitations, etc etc. So they need this money to survive.

(Being sarcastic in case some people don’t get it… Not you of course. You don’t call yourself sassybitches for nothing, right? LOL)

Ameena August 9, 2011 at 11:36 am

Kids are super perceptive and they absorb like sponges – so this is testament to how smart and savvy their mother is. I hope that my kid is as smart and worldly as yours at 8!

Absence Alternatives August 9, 2011 at 1:09 pm

That’s why I was astounded because I am NOT. Thank you for the kind words! You are probably delusional from hunger and thirst during the day. (Ha, that description makes you sound like a vampire)

Mama Zen August 9, 2011 at 10:43 am

Sounds like a perfectly reasonable economic indicator to me!

Absence Alternatives August 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm


alejna August 9, 2011 at 9:10 am

I think the Ice Cream Index is brilliant. Give that child an award. And a larger serving of ice cream.

Absence Alternatives August 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I need to go ask him which one he’d like better!

Elly Lou August 9, 2011 at 9:05 am

*wanders off to fulfill sudden ice cream craving*
*runs back*
Hey remember when Ben & Jerry’s did that thing where their CEO couldn’t make more than x times the salary of their lowest paid employee? Yeah.
*seeks rag to clean chocolate drips off of keyboard*

Absence Alternatives August 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I love that!
And this comment.
And you.
And your drips on the keyboard.

Kristy August 9, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Andrea August 9, 2011 at 8:24 am

Ahhh! I love it! And the Ice Cream Index is actually something that would make much more sense to the majority of us participating in the economy. This is genius!

Absence Alternatives August 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm

And we can eat it afterwards.

Kathy August 9, 2011 at 7:40 am

Wow–these numbers are pathetic! It would also be interesting to know the salary of an average teacher in Afghanistan. I’m gonna guess that number would prevent all of us from sleeping at night! Let’s get Mr. Monk on that one!

Absence Alternatives August 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm

I am going to guess that the teachers over there are on a pay basis that is similar to a volunteer…

Nance August 9, 2011 at 6:17 am

Ah, the Ice Cream Index. I fear David Beers has discovered something to be snitty about over at _______Burgers and has downgraded them in a fit of pique. Dairy Queen’s probably part of the McGraw-Hill/S&P holdings.

Please tell me you’ve got Mr. Monk’s birth certificate handy; with his penchant for speeches and economic savvy, he may find he needs it to prove something someday to a world eager for real leadership.

Absence Alternatives August 9, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Oh Nance, now you got me all paranoid. If that is even remotely true/possible, I probably should shut down this blog, my Facebook and my Twitter account right this moment! LOL.

MacDougalStreetBaby August 9, 2011 at 4:07 am

Does your husband walk around chanting, “Hail to the King, baby?” I thought I was the only one out there.

I love witnessing a young mind turning critical. Last year my kids’ elementary school starting adding a bonus feature to the popcorn they were selling: prizes at the bottom of the containers. I don’t know if they were trying to channel Cracker Jack or not but my 10 year old came panting up to me, a light bulb having just gone off in her tiny brain. I know why they’re doing this, Mom! Obviously their sales are low and they’re trying to sell more popcorn! Rock, on, kid and, no, this doesn’t mean you get to buy the popcorn.

Absence Alternatives August 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Somehow I imagine that is done nekkid… *sorry*

Yes yes. Sometimes I swear I can see the light bulb!

Life with Kaishon August 9, 2011 at 12:12 am

Ha Ha ha HA! So good.
You always make me think.

Absence Alternatives August 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm

Soon he’s going to demand royalty. (That is, if this blog made any money…)

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