What were voters trying to tell Washington in this year’s election?
Boy, there’s been a lot of debate about that. Yet, whatever message we voters were trying to send, the message our U.S. Senators received was . . . well, a little garbled.
They must have heard that it’s a good time to grab another pay raise. Just had an election; two whole years before the next one; better grab more dough while the grabbing’s good.
And can ya blame ’em? The paupers are only making $150,000 smackers a year. Over the last few years, Congress has been raising its pay steadily. Thumbing its nose at the pay raise restrictions in the 27th Amendment to the Constitution and giving themselves what they call “cost of living adjustments.”
Cost of living? With their lavish medical benefits, ample perks and phenomenal pensions, congressmen do pretty well for themselves, even aside from their pay. Which, now that they’ve raised it yet again, will be $154,700 dollars a year.
During the boom years of the 90s Congress rationalized all the self-pay-raises by reference to their wizardry in getting the economy going. Apparently, our businessmen and women are simply bystanders. But, now that the federal government is deficit spending again big time what’s the excuse now?
Well, this is not a hard case to solve. They did it because they felt like it. And because they don’t feel very vulnerable to you, the voter. Or maybe it’s a cry for help: They’re trying to let us know there’s still an awfully big swamp to drain.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.