Congress Needs to Take a Pay Cut

Imagine you have employees who when they need a pay raise, they increase it without your permission. They can also increase their benefits and they determine what their pensions should be. Who are these employees? Do they work for a Labor Union? No, they are our US Congress.

When did being a politician give him/her the right to exploit his/her benefits in this economy? How could this happen? It’s called the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution gives Congress the right to increase its wages without a vote by its employer, The American People. In 2009, while both parties were waging a war on the Debt, very few representatives vocalized opposition to the automatic wage increases. In 2009, Congress along with President Obama did not take the salary increase. They also did not decrease their pay or their benefits.

When did it become a career for politicians to live off taxpayers? Benjamin Franklin argued that no publicly-elected official should receive any payment, however, he was overruled.

Benefits paid to our representatives are a luxury we can no longer afford. How does Congresspersons get increases? They vote on them, we don’t. Isn’t it time with all the noise about health care for American citizens being unconstitutional, we should demand that our representatives have the same health care as us taxpayers? How about changing the laws where the only increases government representatives get are voted on by the American people? Let’s consider passing a law where there are caps on the allowable and amount of expenses by Congresspersons.

Write to your Congressperson and tell him/her to take a major deduction in pay. In order for us to face our Debt no politician anywhere should benefit from our pain.

• The average Congressperson makes $156,000 a year according to the latest information from usgovinfo.about. com. The senior representatives receive $194,000 a year. The average pay for a Congressperson in 2007 was $97,500. President Barack Obama signed into law nixing Congress’ authority to automatically increasing its pay for 2011, reported by Jordy Yager from The Hill.

• According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2011, the average American employed in Professional and Business Service makes $42,135 a year.

• The same report details US employers cover retirement plans for 74% of their employees while 99 % of government employees at state and local levels have retirement coverage.

• What can you do? Write to your Congressperson at www.house.gov. Express your dissatisfaction. Let them know they also must reduce their own expenses in this difficult time.

Congresspersons need to take a pay cut and look for significant expense reductions. They also need to voluntarily roll back their own benefits for the welfare of our country.

An argument was brewing in the Pennsylvania’s State Capital over the price of bottled water being available for the representatives. The only time I can afford bottle water is when I fill up a bottle from my kitchen sink.