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Job Well Done? Congress Gets a Raise!

After authorizing billions of dollars in bailout cash that can't seem to save the US economy and lambasting CEOs for their perks and salaries, Congress has decided to give itself a raise.

While many Americans deal with salary freezes, or no salary at all, members of Congress will get a $4,700 pay increase, which will cost taxpayers $2.5 million extra.

To be fair, the 2.8 percent increase is automatic, and only half of the cost-of-living adjustment given for Social Security. Since taxpayers would probably never give Congress a raise, do you think keeping the salary out of politics by making the increase automatic is best, or should Congress's compensation be based on performance and the economy just like everyone else's?


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smokeydan smokeydan 8 years
Oh not to mention all the bribe money( I mean earmarks ) they get!!!!
smokeydan smokeydan 8 years
You have got to be kidding me, these idiots should take a pay cut! There isn't a one of them worth a damn! By the way they don't pay any expenses, if they live somewhere else your tax dollars pay for them to fly back and forth and get per diem! Come on people wake up!!!!!!!
jennythereader jennythereader 8 years
I've thought for a while that the salaries of elected officials should be tied somehow to the incomes of the people they represent. Haven't figured out exactly how to do it though... Automatic cost of living increases are a decent way to manage things.
brookrene brookrene 8 years
Ooooooh UD, i didn't know this. I definitely agree with you. If they aren't serving anymore they shouldn't be getting paid.
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
The problem i have isn't that they are getting automatic raises, but that they get their salary for life. IMO, any public servant, regardless of how popular, should lose their salary when they leave public office.
janneth janneth 8 years
I want this office to be within reach for a non wealthy person, so automatic raises are important. Maybe the rich ones could just refuse their salary this year.
ccpdm ccpdm 8 years
How about taking that raise and donating it to a charity where it will benefit whomever they represent??
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
It's my understanding that they don't exactly make millions and millions of dollars a year. says that "The current salary (2008) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $169,300 per year." So that's a damn good living, yeah, but not ridiculous, IMO. I do think automatic is best.
Pegona Pegona 8 years
The automatic increase is definitely better than performance-based increases. Who decides if congress performed well or poorly? It's easy to say that there should be no increases at all ESPECIALLY IN THIS ECONOMY, but ultimately that sort of sentiment would make Congress into an even more exclusive, elitist rich boys club than it already is. Though they're definitely the minority, there are many legislators, especially representatives, who aren't bajillionaires. In Congress they make a hefty salary, but they also have to keep up two homes and travel extensively. If inflation is raising the cost of living, congressional salaries need to keep up (which 2.8% doesn't, really) in order to keep the offices accessible to normal folks!
KadBunny KadBunny 8 years
Yeah I'm with Sarana.. I mean I totally respect them and all but we're going through some rough times. Even without the raise they'd still be living some pretty fabulous lives while everyone else is still toiling away.
Sarana Sarana 8 years
Even if the raise is normally automatice they could have rejected it this year to show the people they know how hard they have it. You can't ask your people to cut down and accept that their salaries will be frozen when you give yourself a raise.
zeze zeze 8 years
I just don't like the fact that they of all people asked the big 3 CEOs to take dollar salaries, I mean if we all got $1 salary depending on the deficits we create, Congress would probably owe everyone else money in lieu of a salary.
brookrene brookrene 8 years
Yep GS, I'm with you.
organicsugr organicsugr 8 years
Yeah, if they're not going to do their job and oversee the federal reserve, inflation is going to eat up their paychecks. Maybe they should just do their job, so that the money they already earn remains valuable. I just wish I could vote myself a raise to keep up with rampant inflation.
The-City-Girl The-City-Girl 8 years
Meanwhile, Senate staffers continue to have to eke out a living on a salary that is about half that of a comparable private industry position, with no raises in 3 years (but. . .at least I have a secure job. . .sighhh).
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
This is a toughie. My gut instinct was to be all miffed that they would do that, then I read these three comments which make a lot of sense. Especially ts's about reelection.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
Automatic is best. They do have some pretty harsh employee evaluations--they're called elections! If we don't like the job they're doing, they don't not get a raise, they lose their seat.
jessielynn657 jessielynn657 8 years
remember that some have to live in two locations (dc and where they represent). not defending just stating.
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
2.8% is a pretty standard cost of living increase, and I think having it be automatic is best.
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