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Thread: Elected officials' salaries

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002

    Elected officials' salaries

    There are times when comparisons matter a lot. Just compare Congress and its self-voted forthcoming salary increase from $150,000 to $155,000 a year with the federal minimum of $5.15 per hour that Congress has frozen for years.

    Since 1989, members of Congress have granted themselves a total of $60,500 in raises. This is much more than keeping up with inflation, in addition to their very generous pensions, health and life insurance, housing deduction and assorted perks. The federal minimum wage, by contrast, is lagging severely behind inflation. Had Congress kept the minimum wage at the same purchasing power as it was in 1968, it now would be $7.50 per hour.

    Millions of Americans are working today for wages that buy far less livelihood than minimum wage workers bought in 1968. During this time the economy has doubled in real GDP per capita.

    The failure of our economy to provide for working families is in part a failure of Congress, the White House and their surrender to business lobbyists whose prices certainly have not stagnated and whose executive compensation has soared.

    The moral authority of Congress to govern reflects itself to many citizens by the way the legislators handle their pay. The Congress has been handling it very poorly. Thirty or even twenty years ago, Congressional Committees would hold public hearings and conduct public floor debates on increasing the legislators' pay. Members of the House and Senate used to have to stand up and vote one way or the other. There was intense talk radio and other media interest in this character examination.
    \"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.\" -- Dom Helder Camara

  2. #2
    Congress and the .gov need to do something about minimum wages. It's not fair that they get to sit on their ass all day and decide that they deserve a raise for.... well, nothing really. They just think that they deserve it and since they have the power to do so, they do. *sighs*
    IMO, they definately deserve a pay cut without some other compensation.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    These saleries are not high when compared to the private sector for a comparable position. Maybe we could get a more honest crew if we actually raised the saleries allot. maybe then someone would think the salery itself would be worth working for and roust out those working for 'favors'. IMO the honest and the brightest go where the money is. those with a scheme go into politics. With honest people in maybe buisness would not have as much influence on the min wage.
    Bukhari:V3B48N826 “The Prophet said, ‘Isn’t the witness of a woman equal to half of that of a man?’ The women said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘This is because of the deficiency of a woman’s mind.’”

  4. #4
    Old Fart
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    A true catch-22 IMHO. If you reduce salaries, you increase temptation to generate 'income' via other means, i.e. influence peddling to the highest bidder. But by the same token I feel that congress is over-paid for the amount of service they provide to the American PEOPLE. However, American BUSINESS is getting a bargain for the amount of services provided to them by congress. The minimum wage issue could well serve as evidence of that statement.

    What's the solution? I don't know if anyone can answer that. I addressed the issue in the thread below and whether or not it's a good idea is anyones guess. Personally, I still think that removing the ability of corporations to influence legislation AND legislators is the best alternative, but thats JMHO.
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  5. #5
    Senior Member The Old Man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    What is the solution? I sure don't know. Recently i was invited to a fund-raiser for a senator, and the invitation stated that " contributions from any corporation will be accepted..." that was the first time i'd seen anything that indicated a politician would answer to the "citizen", and not to big business. What's that? ...Sure, i went!

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    What senator Old man? I'll give him my vote
    Probably not in my state though. Hehe
    \"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.\" -- Dom Helder Camara

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    politicians remind me the baseall players...

    what's the line from the replacements?

    "do you know how much the insurance is on a Ferrari?" or somthing to that effect.

    no matter how much you make, you get used to living that way. Then you think you need more to be happy... only thing is that the politicians are about the only people that have the ability to give themselves a raise.

    maybe I'm missing the point, or maybe I'm just jealous that they actually have jobs. btw, anyone want to hire a Network/System Admin?

  8. #8
    Senior Member problemchild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Mark Twain said that Congress is America's only native criminal class.
    Do what you want with the girl, but leave me alone!

  9. #9
    This problem is not the sole property of American Legislature...
    Canadian politicians have been doing the same thing for as long as I can remember, and much like American politicos, the frequency with which it occurs is increasing. What burns me is that our 'new' government in BC not gave themselves a 'raise' soon after the election, they instituted a two-stage minimum-wage, due to pressure from the business lobbyists. They had initially raised the minimum to around 8.50 to 9.00 p/hr ( remember, this is $Canadian, not $US). But bowing to business pressures, they brought about the two-stages part, whereby the employer 'only' has to pay (roughly) 7.75 for the first six months as a probationary period, then after that the wage immediately goes up to the 'recommended' minimum. Gee, what are the chances anyone will be employed for more than six months?...not to mention that minimum wage rarely is properly indexed to the cost of living...
    Allenb's right, there is a Catch-22, in that reducing government salaries begets temptation, but there's gotta be a way...

    You can lead a yak to water, but you can\'t teach an old dog
    to make a silk purse out of a pig in a poke
    -Berke Breathed/ Opus The Penguin

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Yeah, but doesn't minimum wage raise the cost of everything else? Burger King just passes the cost on to the consumer anyway.

    In my town city council makes $25 a month. This ensures that only rich can run.

    I found out earlier that the Simpsons sends the cartoons to Korea to be colored. That is what's wrong with this country. Businesses don't pay any taxes because they claim they are based over seas. Greedy bastards.

    It is good you are focusing on Congress but there are bigger fish to fry.

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