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The True Cost of Impeachment: Fact vs Fiction

The Actual Cost of Impeachment vs Misinformation

When it comes to the cost of impeachment, there’s a lot of misinformation out there. You may have heard it said that the Mueller investigation cost $40 million, or that the impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump will similarly cost taxpayers millions of dollars.

However, the truth is that there are zero additional costs associated with impeachment – it’s all part of congressional business. But how can this be?

The simple answer is that the members of Congress who are working on impeachment are being compensated for their time in the same way they’re compensated for all their other work. According to the Congressional Research Service, members of Congress earn a yearly salary of $174,000.

That translates to $7,200.23 per day, assuming they’re working every single day of the year (which they don’t). An average year in Congress is 191 days in session, which means that members earn around $1,376,400 per year.

So how many days have members actually spent on impeachment? As of early December 2019, the House Intelligence Committee had held seven public hearings and the House Judiciary Committee was about to hold its first public hearing.

In addition, the full House of Representatives had voted twice on impeachment proceedings. All of this has amounted to a total of 33 days spent on impeachment-related work.

Using the figures from earlier, we can calculate that the total cost to taxpayers of congressional business related to impeachment has been $11,520,368. That includes compensation for all members of Congress who’ve participated in impeachment so far – not just those on the two committees.

Of course, this is only an estimate, as we can’t know for sure how much time each member of Congress has spent on impeachment-related work. But it gives us a rough idea of the actual cost.

It’s worth noting that this calculation only includes the cost of compensation for members of Congress. There are other costs associated with impeachment proceedings, including security and IT infrastructure.

But again, these are not additional costs specifically related to impeachment – they’re part of the normal expenses of Congress. So why do people believe that impeachment is costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars?

Part of it is likely due to the fact that precise figures are impossible to come by. It’s difficult to know exactly how much time each member of Congress is spending on impeachment, as well as what other costs might be associated with it.

This makes it easy for misinformation to spread. Another factor is the deliberate spread of fake news.

Some politicians and media sources have been spreading the $40 million figure in order to paint impeachment as a wasteful use of taxpayer dollars. But as we’ve seen, there’s simply no basis for that figure.

Ultimately, the impeachment proceedings are a necessary part of congressional business. The process is outlined in the Constitution as a way to hold presidents accountable for wrongdoing.

The fact that every member of Congress is being compensated for their work makes it clear that there are no additional costs associated with impeachment. While there may be other costs involved in running Congress, these are not unique to impeachment and are therefore not relevant to the question of impeachment costs.

In conclusion, it’s important to be aware of the facts when it comes to the cost of impeachment. Misinformation and fake news can be spread easily, but by understanding how Congress works and how members are compensated, we can get a better idea of the actual cost of impeachment proceedings.

Comparison of Impeachment Cost to Total Budget and Other Investigations

While some critics of the impeachment process may argue that the proceedings are costing taxpayers too much, the actual cost of impeachment is a drop in the bucket when compared to the overall federal budget. The federal government spends $4.4 trillion per year, which means that the estimated cost of the impeachment proceedings thus far – $11,520,368 represents just 0.00026% of the budget.

This highlights how small the cost of impeachment is when viewed in context. While the members of Congress leading the impeachment proceedings are being compensated for their time, other individuals involved in the investigation may be facing out-of-pocket costs.

For example, employees of the government who have been subpoenaed to testify may need to hire lawyers to help them navigate the legal process. These legal bills can add up, particularly for civil servants who may not have the same financial resources as high-ranking government officials.

In terms of other high-profile investigations, the cost of the Mueller investigation is often cited as a point of comparison. That investigation cost $32 million, according to the Justice Department, which included salaries for FBI employees working on the investigation.

However, it’s worth noting that the Mueller investigation was much longer and more complex than the current impeachment proceedings, which have focused mainly on a single incident. The Mueller investigation spanned over two years and investigated a range of potential wrongdoing by the Trump campaign and administration.

Another investigation frequently brought up in comparison to the impeachment proceedings is the investigation led by Ken Starr into President Clinton in the late 1990s. That investigation, which resulted in the Starr Report, cost an estimated $52 million when adjusted for inflation.

However, despite the high cost, the investigation did not result in Clinton’s removal from office. Instead, Clinton was impeached but then acquitted by the Senate.

True Costs of Impeachment: Impact on the Presidential Election

While the financial costs of impeachment may be relatively low, there are still other costs to consider. For Democrats, there is the cost of potentially using impeachment to unseat a president, which is a process outlined in the Constitution as a way to hold leaders accountable for wrongdoing.

This process is necessary to preserve the rule of law and to send a message to future presidents that no one is above the law. However, given that impeaching a sitting president is a rare occurrence, there is also the risk that impeachment could backfire for Democrats, especially in the upcoming November 2020 presidential election.

On the Republican side, there is also a cost to consider. Impeachment proceedings against President Trump have put Republican lawmakers in a difficult position: they must choose between their loyalty to the president and to the Constitution.

For some members of Congress, this may result in a significant damage to their public image, particularly in swing states where voters could be turned off by their seeming rubber-stamping of unconstitutional actions. Finally, there is the potential impact on President Trump’s popularity.

While his base of supporters might not be swayed by the impeachment proceedings, there is a risk that the proceedings could erode his popularity among independent voters or even some members of his own party. This, in turn, could affect his chances of winning reelection in 2020.

In conclusion, while the financial cost of impeachment may be relatively low, there are other costs to consider on both sides of the aisle. Democrats are taking a calculated risk by using the impeachment process to try to unseat a president, while Republicans must weigh their loyalty to the president against their commitment to the Constitution.

The true cost of impeachment may not be calculable in dollars and cents, but the proceedings are likely to have a significant impact on American politics and the upcoming presidential election. This article has addressed the topic of the true cost of impeachment, dispelling misinformation and providing accurate figures.

While there are no additional costs associated with impeachment beyond the usual compensation for members of Congress, there are other costs to consider, including legal bills for testifying employees. The financial cost of impeachment is a drop in the bucket when compared to the overall federal budget.

However, there are other costs to consider, including the political risks and impacts on the presidential election. Whether or not the cost of impeachment is worth it ultimately depends on one’s political beliefs and priorities.

Considering the potential impact on American politics and future elections is essential when it comes to understanding the true cost of impeachment.

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