First-Term Senator. Salary: $174,000
You get elected to your first term as a United States Senator. You walk onto the plane with an enormous home state crowd cheering as you depart for the nation's capital. You wave goodbye, ready to take on the system. You arrive in rainy Washington, D.C., to find only an empty lot. And you have to flag down your own taxi.
Junior Senator. Salary: $174,000
Walking down the hallway, a reporter catches you and peppers you with questions. Not taking it too seriously, you make some offhanded comment about climate change. Suddenly fifteen reporters are shoving microphones in your face. All you wanted to do was take a bathroom break.
Senior Senator. Salary: $174,000
You put a lot of work into a bill that you're really passionate about. Working it through the motions, you get a dozen co-signers in both houses of Congress, and the bill goes up for a vote. It passes, and you and your supporters jump for joy. Fifteen minutes later, the President vetoes the bill. Party-pooper.
Majority Leader. Salary: $193,400
After a hefty election battle sees your party take control of the Senate, the members of Congress decide to make you their leader. Your first task is to ask—nay, demand—that all of the desks get cup holders attached so senators will stop spilling their drinks everywhere. The motion makes you the most popular Majority Leader in history.
Corporate Lobbyist. Salary: $1,000,000+
Having done a considerable amount of work in your time in the Senate, you decide it's time to hang up the politician hat. On your first day of retirement, a package gets delivered—a shiny new hat with a corporate logo on top. Putting it on top of your head, you open that massive contact list you built while working for The People and, uh, start working for just a couple of people.