Republican Congress Feasts at Taxpayer Trough, Keeps Scraps for Themselves

For the ninth time in as many years, the GOP-dominated Congress kept Democratic-sponsored legislation intended to raise the minimum wage from coming onto the floor for fear it might pass.

The Republican-controlled Senate smothered a proposed election-year increase in the minimum wage Wednesday, rejecting Democratic claims that it was past time to boost the $5.15 hourly pay floor that has been in effect for nearly a decade.

The 52-46 vote was eight short of the 60 needed for approval under budget rules and came one day after House Republican leaders made clear they do not intend to allow a vote on the issue, fearing it might pass.

Meanwhile, the people who brought you the Contract on with America have raised their own salaries to the tune of $30,000, or twice what is considered to be the poverty line for a family of three.

What else do you expect from a party whose never-earned-a-dollar-in-his-life leader thinks that a single mother working three jobs to support her family is "fantastic" and a "uniquely American thing?"

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5 Responses to Republican Congress Feasts at Taxpayer Trough, Keeps Scraps for Themselves

  1. Cato says:

    I have mixed feelings about the Congressional pay raise. I am sick, sick, sick of Republican spending. As a conservative it has driven me to support either Third Party or Democrats in the next election. On the flip-side, I understand that Congressmen have to have one home in their district and another in D.C. They should get paid enough to be able to house themselves and fly back and forth to their districts, but this is getting ridiculous. What ever happened to sacrificing and serving your country? We need to take the elitism out of Congress. I am not against cost of living raises, but we don’t need to be paying for their new BMWs.

  2. trueblueblog says:

    Hear, hear.

    Generally speaking, I'm not opposed to a six-figure salary for elected officials either. The whole idea of paying an elected official a fairly large salary is to enable them to better serve their constituents and to reduce the liklihood of them being bribed.

    Unfortunately this idea hearkens back to a simpler time and is completely out of touch with today's political reality. According to the Down With Tyranny! blog:

    Normally about half the senators are millionaires, which ranges from people with assets over $100 million (like John Kerry, Herb Kohl, Jay Rockefeller and probably Bill Frist– they all fudge big time when it comes to reporting) to a few with barely over a million (like Grassley, the Florida Nelson, Landrieu, Hatch, Boxer, Cantwell, Stevens, Carper, Brownback, Reid). Assets are different from annual income.

    Every member of Congress is paid a salary of $154,700 (and members of the leadership get $171,900 each) and each is the recipient of a truly generous, even royal retirement and health benefits package; all this puts them in a financial situation considerably higher than their constituents. Only 10 U.S. senators reported a net worth of under $100,000.

    Jonathan Salant of Common Dreams pointed out after the 2004 elections that about half the incoming members of Congress were millionaires and that "many will face votes that could affect their financial holdings."

    [ more ]

    Given the financial means of our elected officials, it is extremely insulting for them to effectively starve the working class while lining their own pockets. Add repealing the estate tax only adds insult to injury!

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