Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Congressional Raises

I’ve just had my annual review (actually it was at the beginning of the year but pretending it just happened is more convenient to my post). I accomplished three of my goals. The other two goals weren’t accomplished but I made satisfactory progress. Overall my boss was happy with me (he wasn’t really but it works for this blog). Therefore, I got a three percent raise (again, made up fact).

Congress is scheduled to receive a 2.8% raise, making their annual salary $174,040 per year (approximately three times the annual HOUSEHOLD SALARY), not counting other perks and benefits they receive (all facts in this paragraph are actually factual).

What did congress do to receive a pay increase on top of their already bloated salaries, you may ask? Great question. I say that because that is the question I’m prepared to answer. Most importantly, congress has been able to increase their disapproval rating from 53% according to NBC/Wall Street Journal in 2005 up to 79% in 2008 according to the same polling organization. Why is this an accomplishment? Well, nothing unites people like a common enemy. The American public is becoming increasing united knowing that our own congress is our enemy. Keep in mind that the year is only half over. Congress is likely to increase their disapproval rating even further before year end, binding the American public much closer.

If that wasn’t enough of an accomplishment to earn an automatic raise, congress has accomplished so many things this year. It has clearly established that a baseball player and the player’s trainer will tell conflicting stories about steroid use. It has also rushed through an economic stimulus plan that ensures our great grand children will be paying for the IPODs many of us rushed out to purchase. Congress has continued the tradition of not balancing the budget through wasteful spending and lavish pork barrel projects. It also continues to defy the calls for creating an exit plan out of Iraq. Congress has also continued the traditions of not defining an immigration policy, an energy policy or a rational foreign relations policy (other than “if you are not with us, you are against us” and we will shoot you). Perhaps one of the most notable accomplishments over the past twelve months is the complete absence of Senators Clinton, Obama and McCain even though they continue to receive paychecks and benefits.

I can imagine going to my boss and saying, “Jim (his real name), I haven’t accomplished anything (except getting a Woodstock Museum in New York funded by tax payers in all of the other states), I barely show up for work and everybody here hates me. Where’s my raise? Oh, it’s automatic. Great. See you next year.”
How about this? Nobody in congress gets a raise unless it 1.) accomplishes goals set before it by voters in the previous election and 2.) its approval rating is above 50%. Note that I didn’t put any unreasonable suggestions like they have to show up for 95% or more of the votes. I didn’t mention harsh evaluation items like being arrested for sexually harassing interns or misappropriation of funds barring you from your raise, just for that year. I’m not even suggesting that if you take 18 months off the job to run as president, you need to take a leave of absence and suspend your pay and benefits.


Julie said...

Hey, former boss:

I know I don't work for you anymore, but I did a really good job making sure all the price stands were perfect. Awesome use of my college education. Now I do a really good job of e-mailing vendors. Can you talk to my current boss and tell her I deserve 4% instead of 3%?

Your former employee

PS: Corporate America Sucks.

Robby said...

i want to be an elected offical where do i sell my soul?

wowcthis said...

Wonder where I have heard all this before?.... Oh Yes, I remember now, it's in the UK where our useless government behaves the same way.

Rick said...

The 27th amendment was an effort to stop these raises but the raises were then ruled as cost of living increases. Great blog!

Aaron Brand said...

I learned recently that congressmen continue to receive this amount annually as a pension, even if they're not in office anymore. They need only have served one term to receive this pension. So even if we vote in a new congressman, we now have to pay both people's salaries.

I'm glad that Congress has the American people's interests in mind. I don't even care about paying $4 a gallon and wondering if I can make rent next month. At least I can rest assured that all my congressmen, past and present, are well provided for.

wowcthis said...

To Aaron. Yes it is a privilege to pay $4 per gallon. Try UK prices where we have the privilege of paying £1.20 per LITRE(double this for dollars) thanks to government taxes!!! This useless lot over here have also just voted to keep their John Lewis accounts so that they can furnish their second homes in London courtesy of the tax payer. They are all the same.