I bring to you an idea, then. Why not pay our federal leaders (at the very least) the median salary? As they need to establish households in DC as well at home, I'm all for giving them some additional compensation. Let's give them a housing allowance for the DC property. Also, let's have the taxpayers cover travel (with public reporting to boot). Lastly, let's have Congress' pay raises pass a super-majority of the popular vote; a national referendum, if you will. At the very least, it'll shave a few smackers off the federal budget.
It's pretty common for people to complain that politicians are disconnected from "the people". There's a certain truth to this, especially when one considers that they are in the highest income bracket.