Thursday, January 10, 2008

Congressional pay: A modest proposal

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

Members of Congress are getting a 2.5 percent pay raise this year, according to Tuesday's edition of the Federal Register. Lawmakers will receive salaries of $169,300, a boost of $4,100. Their last raise was in January 2006.

I've been kicking around a constitutional amendment proposal for many years. I drag it out now and again and tweak it a little. Not that it's important, since it would have to be passed by 2/3 of both houses of Congress and that's never going to happen. Anyway, here it is.

Section 1. The salary of members of the Senate and House of Representatives, prior to the taking of any federal taxes, shall henceforth be fixed for each each year in the amount of the average per capita income of citizens of the United States for the prior year, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, less the average of total per capita federal taxes charged against said average income.

Section 2. No additional allowances or reimbursements shall be made for personal living expenses beyond the salary set pursuant to this article; however, military barracks space of the variety and in the per-person space allotment used for light infantry enlisted personnel, convenient to and within walking distance of Congress's meeting place, shall be set aside and maintained to accomodate such members as may decline to procure lodging in the capital at their own expense.

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