Moving right along, I came across this article entitled "Finally, A Cold Day in Hell." My younger friends can't relate but to those of us over the age of 50, memories, long-banked, will come back in a flood.
So Congress is entertaining a pay freeze? About time! This is from Politico.com:
Members of Congress will earn an annual salary of $174,000 in 2009. Party leaders make more; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will get $223,500 this year, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) and Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) will earn $193,400 each…Yet, despite the image of members of Congress as fat cats, many are not personally wealthy, especially those who have served for 20 or 30 years. So the battle over pay raises becomes an intergenerational fight, with older lawmakers vehemently opposing a COLA freeze, while younger members, often elected on a reform platform, supporting it. In the past, the older members have usually won this fight.
Lawmakers also have to pay for two residences, and they face tough restrictions on what outside income they can accept. They argue that failing to pay a fair salary to lawmakers will mean that the “best and brightest” won’t run for office because they can make more in the private sector.
I don't know about you but my pay has been frozen for a mighty long time. Do the math, people. An average of $16,000 a month. Boo hoo! They have to pay for two residences. Most of us are having problems paying for one. No pity here. Maybe as part of the stimulus package, they can buy one of those swanky condo buildings, standing empty as a result of the building frenzy and subsequent down-turn in the market, in the metropolitan area and turn it into a residence for Congressional members. Seems to me that would kill two birds with one stone: 1) take an empty property off the market and 2) provide permanent housing for the stuffed shirts. But, then, they wouldn't be able to write that off! Drats!
Just a little food for thought. Enjoy your week.