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« Brain food from the heartland

Congresspayraise-citizensagainstgov'twaste+commentary

By Louie b. Free (Contact)


Published June 14, 2006

Washington, D.C. xc3xa2xe2x82xacxe2x80x9c The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today criticized the House of Representatives for voting to raise its own pay by $3,300. The House yesterday voted 249 to 167 to reject a procedural attempt to get a direct vote on pay, which is scheduled for an automatic 2 percent increase. Unless changed by the Senate, rank-and-file members of Congress will make $168,500 starting in January 2007.



Congress amended the law in 1989 to allow for automatic xc3xa2xe2x82xacxc5x93cost of livingxc3xa2xe2x82xacxc2x9d increases every year unless there is a specific vote to cancel it. This marks the sixth straight year that Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) was defeated in his attempt to seek a separate up-or-down vote on the pay hike, which is an obscure part of the annual appropriations bill for the Departments of Transportation/Treasury/HUD/Judiciary/District of Columbia. Last year, Rep. Matheson introduced a bipartisan bill (H.R. 4494) that would eliminate the automatic pay increase.



xc3xa2xe2x82xacxc5x93Serving in Congress is the only job in the country where you can set your own salary without regard to performance or fiscal constraints,xc3xa2xe2x82xacxc2x9d CCAGW President Tom Schatz said. xc3xa2xe2x82xacxc5x93It is shameful that Rep. Matheson was the only member to speak on the pay hike. In an era of bitter political division, there is one position that members of both parties rally behind: fattening their paychecks at the expense of taxpayers.xc3xa2xe2x82xacxc2x9d



Financial disclosure forms show that members of Congress are hardly impoverished. In addition to their salary, members benefit from perks that include free outpatient care at certain hospitals, frequent-flyer miles from government travel, free meals and vacations from lobbyists and business groups, access to first-class gyms and tennis courts, taxpayer-subsidized life and health insurance; and a special pension program. The benefits of lawmaking extend beyond time in office; nearly half of former lawmakers who are eligible move on to lucrative careers in the lobbying industry.



In 2004, the Pennsylvania state legislature approved pay increases of up to 54 percent for elected officials in all three branches of government. Although the pay increase was repealed, the move sparked a grassroots revolt that toppled 12 incumbents in Republican primaries.



xc3xa2xe2x82xacxc5x93Lavish salaries and perks for politicians help make life a financial struggle for the average taxpayer. Despite the $8.4 trillion national debt and the dismal approval ratings for Congress, members themselves think they are doing a terrific job! Maybe voters will offer a different assessment in November,xc3xa2xe2x82xacxc2x9d Schatz concluded.


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If you work in the private sector, you can certainly ask for,or even demand a raise. Management can gift you w/the raise-give you a raise or NOT give you the additional requested $$$s. Even so-called strong unions cannot demand pay increases. -Ah, but this is where congress differs. This is a situation where the EMPLOYEES(after all,they DO work for us,U.S.-don't they?)FORCE their EMPLOYERS(us) to give increase their salary.

FORCE?--ABSOLUTLY!!!

If we don't pay the salaries that THEY, OUR Congress demand, THEY have a private collection agency,a private police force that THEY,OUR EMPLOYEES(Congress) , have established for THEIR collections !! WE pay the salaries of this collection agency-police force too. This collection agency-police force has been given the right by OUR employees(congress) to collect THEIR(congress') salaries by attaching our wages,taking our homes,our cars,personal belongings,bank accounts,etc. - if WE,the employers of Congress refuse to pay their salaries !!! You doubt me? See what happens if you refuse to pay Congress' salaries!! Oh, the name of that collection agency-police force? The Internal Revenue Service-the I.R.S.-of course!

WOW-What a GIG! You become employed by We-the-People,conspire w/OUR other employees to RAISE your salaries and force us to pay it and if we refuse-you send your collection agents FORCING US to pay your salary and increases!!!-hey, and WE pay YOUR collection agents!!! Huh-am I correct? WHAT A GIG!
~Louie








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