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Way to Go, Congress

December 19, 2008
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Try as I might, I just can’t seem to make sense of an article I found on The Hill today entitled “With Economy in Shambles, Congress Gets a Raise” (see link below). Yes, it’s written in English, and while it’s true that the sentences and paragraphs are put together in a logical, grammatically correct way, I can’t for the life of me figure out why Congress would allow itself a raise when it seems everything else in this country is falling apart.

The long and the short of the article is this: Members of Congress receive an automatic 2.8% salary increase annually (which equates to an additional $4,700 per year), and while they could have voted to suspend the raise this year in light of the - oh, I don’t know - economic Armageddon the rest of the world seems all too aware of, they didn’t, and now watchdog organizations are taking aim, and rightfully so.

Remember the old maxim our parents and teachers used to tell us when we were growing up? You know, Lead by example? Congress must be having a good laugh over that one. And what about the auto industry execs they’ve been raking over the coals of late? Yes, I realize these auto execs are probably grossly overpaid to begin with, but where does Congress get off guilt-tripping anyone into a $1 annual salary before accepting another five grand per congressman per year to the tune of $2.5 million from our near-empty government coffers?

Credit Steve Ellis, V.P. of the budget watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense, for injecting some, well, common sense into all this crazy. His quotes in The Hill article are reasoned and 100% on-point. Once you’ve read them, be sure to come back and let us know what you think about the situation in the comment section below.

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