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Ear to the Ground

Lawmakers Agree Not to Give Themselves a Raise

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Posted on Apr 27, 2010
Flickr / laura padgett (CC-BY-ND)

Following a similar gesture in the Senate, the House voted Tuesday to freeze members’ pay before an automatic raise could kick in. It adds up to only $1 million in savings, but it’s the politics that count in this election/recession year.

Washington Post:

Lawmakers frequently push such pay freezes in election years, and they are generally even more eager to do so in the midst of a recession.

The freeze, which Congress also passed last year, accomplishes little in a public-policy sense; the federal budget deficit is estimated at $1.3 trillion this year; the bill passed Tuesday would save less than $1 million.

At the same time, few lawmakers want to defend their own pay, as many in Congress are millionaires from previous work and the median household income in America remains just above $52,000.

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By melpol, April 28, 2010 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment

I walk the walk with a plastic bag and pick searching for cigarette butts. There are others like myself that hate those nasty looking things. We have formed a team, hired a flatbed truck and visit new areas each day. People applaud us, and ask for assistance, they also hate those cigarette butts on their streets. Unfortunately we are not making much progress, as we pick up one butt, another replaces it.
  Millions are unemployed, but there is new hope for them in the cigarette butt collection business. Trillions of butts can be put into plastic bags and dropped off at the garbage dump.  The task is endless because there will always be smokers, and a permanent job. The bag and picks are available. It is now up to the EPA to do the hiring and put Americans back to work.

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By MarthaA, April 28, 2010 at 4:28 pm Link to this comment

Such compassionate foresight.  It is definitely hard to believe that Congress would give up any money, while expecting the populace to live on nearly nothing, since they say the cost of living (COLA) hasn’t increased, only the cost of food, supplies, gasoline, utilities, clothing, rent, etc.  Amazing.  Really amazing as to how the COLA didn’t increase, as well,— unbelievable.

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By ofersince72, April 28, 2010 at 8:35 am Link to this comment

You couldn’t write a novel this absurd.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 28, 2010 at 4:01 am Link to this comment

I don’t get it: I thought the latest Constitutional Amendment, #27, said when Congress gives itself a pay raise, it cannot go into effect until after the next election.

“No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened. “

This was written by James Madison as one of the 12 proposed for the Bill of Rights, but while it wasn’t ratified initially, there was no expiration date on it and it was ratified in 1992, taking over 200 years to actually pass!

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By WykydRed, April 28, 2010 at 1:58 am Link to this comment

Oh, I just feel SOOOO fuzzy and warm about our government now!

Read the above with as much sarcasm as you can muster…

Day late, dollar short guys in Washington! You should have been doing this 9 years ago, every single year all along! But… we can’t feel too bad for ya. Just because you refused a yearly pay increase (mine was 22 cents in Jan.!) I’m sure that didn’t stop anyone from adding another million to each of your retirement benefits, and all the other life-long “perks” you get for serving 2 lousy years. Most of you are just in it to get all the other things you can gather up and stuff in your (and any kids of yours going into The Business) pockets.

I feel so fricken good about this lousy country and the lousier people in it…..

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, April 28, 2010 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

Mighty white of them, don’t you think?  Of course, perhaps they should take a pay cut like the millions of workers who got screwed by their friends and benefactors on Wall Street.  I would suggest 50% as a starting point although I would think Repubs and their conservative Dem friends should actually give back the last several years worth just as compensation for the screwing the normal folks got from their corrupt policies.

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By skulz fontaine, April 27, 2010 at 7:30 pm Link to this comment

There you go and see? Congress IS thinking about ‘we the people’.  What Congress
may or may not think is open to further debate of course.

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