How much did that insurrection cost?

There’s a guy I follow on Facebook — regrettably, he’s an old, old friend, but he’s gone off the cliff edge with conservative BS — who was recently outraged that the government spends $40 million a year on the retirement pensions for politicians. I don’t know where he got that number, but it’s not scary at all, since there are probably a few thousand retired politicians who had contracts for a retirement package. Numbers add up!

But here’s what he isn’t complaining about, the conservative estimate of the cost of Trump’s lies.

Those are only the expenses since he lost the election and started vomiting up lies to throw the nation into chaos — he had 4 years before that where he bled us dry with nonsense, and we still have to deal with the legacy of all the garbage he littered on our government.

So yeah, $40 million in retirement expenses sounds cheap to me. I wouldn’t squeak if we were coughing up $400 million in legit retirement costs. I wonder if my poor deluded old friend has retired, and whether he thinks he is entitled to social security and a pension or a 401K, and how he’d feel if we declared him old and useless so we can take that money away?


  1. mcfrank0 says

    Actually, $40 million/year for retired politicians sounds pretty low. Anyone who disagrees should ask their manager for their department’s total salary costs per year.

    Adding: For a lot of us older folks it still hasn’t sunk in that a million dollars is not that much money anymore. And it’s probably the same group of folks that have no idea how expensive it is to go to college these days or the depth of college debt.

  2. tacitus says

    The GQP has already been blaming the Democrats for that half-billion dollar expense, using the tired old trope that they will spend that money to build a wall to protect themselves but not on a border wall. I guess they’ve already forgotten who built a wall around the White House last year…

  3. raven says

    That $519 million cost for the insurrection is just a running total.
    It will be a lot more by the time it is through.
    The next big expense will be legal costs to arrest and try a few hundred right wingnuts.

  4. numerobis says

    I saw someone saying it was Biden-supporting Democrats who waltzed through the Capitol with the Confederate flag and halted the proceedings.

    No lie is too ridiculous.

  5. says

    Well okay but keep in mind that most workers don’t have pensions at all, other than Social Security. It actually isn’t at all surprising that some people are resentful of public employees’ pensions. I’m not saying they shouldn’t have pensions, but most retired people are quite impoverished, and we ought to do something about that.

  6. says

    My dad’s best friend from high school flipped and went full MAGA four years ago. They protested the Vietnam War in the 60s and 70s and ranted and raved against Reagan in the 80s. Then my dad’s friend started watching Fox News in the 2000s. They aren’t friends any more and it’s sad.

  7. microraptor says

    numerobis @5: They also say that it’s the Democrats’ fault for insisting on following the law with recounts and not just letting Trump claim victory or letting him stop the counts when he was ahead. Republicans are truly the party of “Never My Fault.”

  8. chrislawson says


    And to those who insist that Trump is a genius playing five-dimensional chess, let us always remember that Trump wanted to stop one of those counts when he was behind.

  9. Kagehi says

    Sigh.. Got picked up by the cab from hell today (idiot listens to right wing BS all the time in his cab and doesn’t seem to think anyone else cares). So.. This time its Hannity, or how ever the spell the assholes name. Doesn’t mention that one of the leaders of the insurrection was “invited” the day before to the White House. Doesn’t mention, of course, that they where all 100% right wingers, spouting right wing stuff. Doesn’t mention that a lot of them are well, well, well, known, and not as leftists. Nope, his spiel is the semi-truth (which sadly might result in no impeachment) that ranting like a loon isn’t, technically, inciting, and Trump as way more careful than some other idiots around him to now explicitly call for questionable actions. Tack on that a long rant about Democrats saying bad things about Republicans, and claiming its the same as calling for violence. Then rant, and whine, about how the evidence is suggesting this was “pre-planned”. Because, apparently, having right wing nuts, Nazis, etc. all get together, and possibly even one of them going to the White House the day before the attack, all makes it a “leftist” plot, not one the Republicans are involved up to their gill slits in.

    Barely kept from reaching over and strangling the idiot driving while yelling, “Why the F!!!! do you listen to this crap.”, but.. figured that might be a bit suicidal. lol

    In any case, just another day in good old Lake Entitlement, Airheadzona, Trumplandia.

  10. chrislawson says

    I started working out how much this would make the average pension rate for retired US federal politicians (answer: roughly 800 retirees on the books, so ~$50K/year — nice pension, sure, but hardly Rich Uncle Moneybags territory) before I realised I was wasting my time as the original claim was probably regurgitated from some Q/FOX lie and the original claimant was probably not remotely interested in truth telling.

  11. numerobis says

    chrislawson: I not infrequently end up being smarter from looking up numbers regarding the moronic rant. Bringing that back to them feels cathartic at times but is fundamentally useless.

  12. blf says

    Chris Capoccia@15, That reference is talking about “retirement benefits for most of its civilian employees”. The (probably false) claim cited in the OP is about “retirement pensions for politicians” — presumably meaning “elected officials” (so Representatives, Senators, Vice Presidents, Presidents, and no-one(?) else), an obviously small subset of all “civilian employees”. So very probably not c.$100bn — for politicians, albeit their pensions quite possibly are included in that total. (Admittedly quick research suggests the pension scheme for Congress has changed over the years, but is now part of the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS), possibly with some unique-to-Congress benefits.)

  13. says

    The thought occurred to me a while ago that it would probably be useful to ensure politicians have a comfortable pension plan after leaving office, while requiring that nobody who has held office can ever after receive remuneration in any form from a non governmental entity.

    Might put an end to all those directorships and seats on various boards that mysteriously follow the political careers of corporate shills.

  14. snarkrates says

    So, speaking as someone who has looked in some detail at the cost of disasters (they require NASA employees to take classes on the Apollo 1, Challenger and Columbia disasters), the thing people often ignore is the so-called damage to the brand. Much as I hate the Madison Avenue-like sound of that, it is very real, and it can wind up dwarfing the actual monetary costs of the disaster. Apollo 1 was almost the end of the moon shot, and that would have been the end of NASA. The Challenger took a huge toll on NASA prestige, and Columbia was the beginning of the end for NASA building its own hardware. NASA is now well on its way to being just another conduit for money to flow into private businesses.
    The costs of the Trump Presidency and of the Jan. 6 insurrection and the Big Lie that led up to it are incalculable. The US, which used to be the land of opportunity and the bastion of democracy–in reputation, if not in fact–is now perceived as a Third World country with nukes. Businesses will avoid locating here. Smart people will look to Europe when it comes to immigration. The rest of the world perceives our glory days as being in the past. That is going to be very hard to recover from.

  15. davidc1 says

    @17 wrote” Might put an end to all those directorships and seats on various boards that mysteriously follow the political careers of corporate shills”.
    Over here in GB ,it is a given that tory mps will find themselves on the board of some company when they have had enough
    of fecking up the country ,some Labour and lib-dems do the same .
    That fecker george osbourne after he was sacked by the maybot went to edit the Evening Standard .
    Now he is off to play banker somewhere in the city .