How can they comprehend what it's like to be a regular citizen if they don't even pay for a haircut or gas for their car or heating their paid for residence ? If they want the job (and they will) they'll do it for the prestige and a normal pay check with a very few perks. They spend far more $ getting elected than they earn. Also, when they retire they often make more a year in benifits (speaking engagements, pensions etc.) than most do in a lifetime.