For the benefit of congressmen and their staffs, a subway runs between government buildings on Capitol Hill and between Capitol Hill and the White House. While I was an intern in Senator Strom Thurmond’s office in January 1973, I used it a couple of times. It’s only a little larger than a roller coaster, but it’s comfortable, runs very frequently, and there are plenty of seats to go around. They may have upgraded it since then.
Paid luxury vacations. They’re more formally known as fact-finding tours or junkets. In fact, the overwhelming majority of junkets are taken to popular vacation spots where no useful political information can be gathered.
Automatic pay raises. Voting themselves a pay raise has always been politically unpopular. During the 1980s, congressmen discovered a politically safer way to ride the gravy train: automatic pay raises. That way, they can tell their less-informed constituents that they had never voted for a congressional pay raise.