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What does Congress do in a recession?

What does Congress do in a recession?

Why, give themselves a pay raise, of course!

A crumbling economy, more than 2 million constituents who have lost their jobs this year, and congressional demands of CEOs to work for free did not convince lawmakers to freeze their own pay.

Instead, they will get a $4,700 pay increase, amounting to an additional $2.5 million that taxpayers will spend on congressional salaries, and watchdog groups are not happy about it.

“As lawmakers make a big show of forcing auto executives to accept just $1 a year in salary, they are quietly raiding the vault for their own personal gain,” said Daniel O’Connell, chairman of The Senior Citizens League (TSCL), a non-partisan group. “This money would be much better spent helping the millions of seniors who are living below the poverty line and struggling to keep their heat on this winter.”

However, at 2.8 percent, the automatic raise that lawmakers receive is only half as large as the 2009 cost of living adjustment of Social Security recipients.

Still, Steve Ellis, vice president of the budget watchdog Taxpayers for Common Sense, said Congress should have taken the rare step of freezing its pay, as lawmakers did in 2000.

“Look at the way the economy is and how most people aren’t counting on a holiday bonus or a pay raise — they’re just happy to have gainful employment,” said Ellis. “But you have the lawmakers who are set up and ready to get their next installment of a pay raise and go happily along their way.”

… In the beginning days of 1789, Congress was paid only $6 a day, which would be about $75 daily by modern standards. But by 1965 members were receiving $30,000 a year, which is the modern equivalent of about $195,000.

Currently the average lawmaker makes $169,300 a year, with leadership making slightly more. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) makes $217,400, while the minority and majority leaders in the House and Senate make $188,100.

Yeah, Congress is really working for the people, aren’t they?

Hat Tip: Right Wing News

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  • Sean_Galt says:

    I certainly feel $4700 per year more Represented.

    As long as they get paid in devalued currency like the rest of us, what’s another million here or billion there really matter?
    Now if they were getting paid in ammo, I’d be pissed off.

  • J David says:

    How DARE anyone question the worth of our glorious leaders?! It is the duty of the leaders of the proletariat to take and redistribute for the good of all.

    Authoritarian gov’t don’t need to answer for what they do will the money they confiscate. It is about to get MUCH worse than anyone has ever realized it could get.

  • Bob says:

    “Most Ethical Congress Ever” – Nancy Pelosi

    Remember her words, for she has proven this Congress is anything BUT ethical. Remember war profiteer Dianne Feinstein and notice that Obama is about to give her a huge cabinet position.

    We’re all hosed.

    I wrote to my congress critter when I lived in California telling her that I oppose some anti-gun legislation that was going on. I never even got a thank you card, or anything. Just found out that she was a co-sponsor.


  • Daniel says:

    You said it yourself – the economy is bad! Our Congress-critters need more money so that they can maintain their currently lifestyle in the midst of our crumbling economy.

  • NB says:

    I’d love to work for a company where a 20% approval rating nets you a $4700 raise. My current employer actually expects hard work AND positive results. The nerve.

  • Lee says:

    Just like them giving up their private jets (yeah, right) and meanwhile preaching “carbon footprint” BS to us. Just another case of their “rules are for you, not us” mentality…

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