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Friday, October 24, 2003

Congress Gets an Automatic Pay Raise
The U.S. Senate voted today to give themselves a raise. They didn't call it that, of course, they said it was a cost of living adjustment, just like folks in the military are getting. The fact of the matter is that congressional salaries will go up from $154,700 to $158,000. Sounds like a pay raise to me.

The median four person family income in America is $63,278, according to charts from the U.S. Census Bureau available here. So, each member of Congress will make more than double what most families of four take home.

It's understandable why our men and women in uniform would get a cost of living increase, especially this year when they have performed so admirably in Iraq and Afghanistan. But why should politicians get an automatic pay raise, especially when the economy is on the skids and they're running up record deficits? And, even if they do deserve a raise sometimes, isn't it a bit of a conflict of interest for them to approve their own pay raises?

Thirty-four Senators voted against the increase. You can see the vote record here.

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