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Old 03-09-2007, 09:25 PM   #1
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Congressional Salary vs. Minimum Wage

This is a cut from an old petition that I use to run. I had put together some interesting information for it. If there is much interest, I may place this petition back on the web.

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As I am sure many of you have heard in recent news during the Summer of 2006, the federal government has once again voted against raising minimum wage for the hard-working American people. This is not the first time this vote has come before Congress this decade or even the first time they have voted it down, but what is really disturbing is when you consider who decides Congress's pay. You may not be surprised to know that they do! Congress not only decides how much we get paid, but how much American money is placed in their own pockets each year. And to top it all off, Congress has no moral or ethical problem in considering themselves for a raise right after turning down a raise of minimum wage. This is what is happening right now, as of the Summer of 2006!

Let's take a good look at our Federal Government's Congressional benefit information. According to The Congressional Institute, members of Congress are currently paid $165,200 per year before taxes, more than 13 times what most hard-working Americans get. In addition to this, because many Congressmen are also business owners, they are allowed to earn an additional 15%.The lowest possible pay on the Congressional charts is $129,500. The average hard-working American who has a minimum wage job ($5.15 per hour), makes $9,888 per year before taxes ($824 per month). How much of it that is taxed depends on how often they are paid and how many dependants they have. Also note that if you work a job that earns tips, you likely make less than minimum wage! In addition to their considerable salary, members of Congress have a very nice benefits package that includes health and life insurance, and a retirement plan which depends on how long they served and how they chose to implement it. According to the Congressional Institute, "The average retired Member in 2002 who had used the FERS system while in office had served for 18.7 years and receives $41,856 annually." This is still $31,968 more than what a hard-working American gets.

There you have it! Congress is well taken care of with their salary and benefits, while the hard-working American lives in low-rent housing, struggling to survive. Ironically, that $824 per month is quickly becoming the average amount for low-rent housing in many places in the U.S., especially New York. And we wonder why the average American is forced to live on the street?

To resolve the issue, we have a great idea! Let's put our system of checks and balances to use and let the people decide whether or not our state and federal governments should have a raise in pay. We think this vote should be placed on a public ballot so that WE can decide on their pay just as they do for us. This is the principle of Checks and Balances on which our government stands. For this reason, we have established this online petition to have Congress add their pay and benefit amendments and bills to a public ballot so that we can decide for them instead of them deciding for themselves.
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:22 PM   #2
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Good idea to allow the people to decide on raises for elected officials.
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Old 03-09-2007, 10:50 PM   #3
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I think so too. You know elected officials wouldn't get a raise until minimum wage is somewhat closer to the average cost of living in America.
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