Friday, October 24, 2003

Livin' Large in DC

The salary of a US Senator will rise from $154,700 to $158,000 starting next year, after the Senate yesterday rejected a proposal to exclude Congressmen from the scheduled gov't pay raises. This makes for the fifth year in a row that salaries have risen, totalling over $21,000 in raises during that time.

I don't mind the pay raise in theory, but as executed, I must raise an eyebrow. That $21K in pay increases means that salaries have risen 15.3% over five years. I hope my "cost-of-living" increases will be so generous.

Furthermore, the entire process has the air of an end-run around the 27th Amendment. Since Congress is prohibited from voting itself a pay raise until the next election, the raise is made automatic unless otherwise voted down. Plus, it means that you never have to explain to your constituents why you voted for a pay raise; you simply say it's "required by law," as the Senator from Alaska did.


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