Congress is going to hit the ground running when the new term begins.They’ve given themselves another pay increase.
Beginning this week, US representatives and senators will be paid $174,000 a year. That represents an increase of $4,700 and the 10th time since 1998 that congressional pay has been given a boost.
As has become routine, this salary hike is taking place automatically – there were no hearings, no vote, no debate.
And no mention of it during the congressional campaigns just a few months ago.
It’s only symbolism, of course, but maybe that counts for something right around now. It might be fair to say when you’re living the good life in Washington, you lose touch with the real world to the point where you don’t understand what taking more taxpayer cash looks like.
It’s not just Washington, it’s even Washington County, where commissioner’s thought it’s a good time to raise their pay. Shortly before Christmas, the board added a 3.5-percent increase to the commissioners’ salary. They’ll draw on their $52,713 salary starting last week.
Technically, it’s a part-time position, though commissioners say it’s really full-time. Still, the issue of unpaid elected officials doesn’t usually come up during campaigns.
But maybe the symbolism of a tighter salary belt isn’t that important to people. You tell me.