texan
Topic Author
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Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:40 pm

This is from Jim Hightower's Lowdown:

Quote:
Do you have one of those really good jobs in which your pay is automatically raised every single year by nearly $4,000 – and the only way your pay hike can be withheld is if you choose not to accept it?

You don't find these jobs in the "help wanted" ads, friends. You find them in congress.

Once again, our congress critters have generously bestowed a pay hike on themselves, raising their total annual take to $168,500 apiece. These are the same people who have refused to raise America's poverty-level minimum wage for ten years and who have shown no concern for the majority of American working families whose wages have not even kept up with the rising cost of living.

This month, house members voted for the eighth year in a row to up their own pay. In a little game of political dodgeball, congressional leaders of both parties run an insider scam that makes their pay raise automatic – unless they magnanimously vote to block it. Guess what? They don't. For eight straight years, these statesmen have grabbed the money and run.

Speaking of running, both party's leaders have cut a secret save-the-incumbents pact, agreeing their candidates will not use the pay raise as an issue in the fall elections. And you thought there was no bipartisanship left on Capitol Hill.

Members try to dismiss the pay hikes as a trivial sum, merely enough to keep them ahead of inflation. Over the eight years of steady raises, however, these cost-of-living "adjustments," as congress likes to call them, have added a total of $32,000 to their paychecks. That's more than the annual income of most Americans – and it further isolates our congress critters from the harsh economic reality being faced today by the great majority of people they supposedly represent.

This is Jim Hightower saying... Shouldn't at least one party be campaigning to bring congress down to earth – starting with ending their soft cushion of automatic pay raises?

Sources: "House members accept pay raise," Austin American-Statesman, June 14, 2006. http://www.thecapitol.net/FAQ/payand...s.htm

Mike Conway (R-TX 11) stated in The Dallas Morning News that he did not oppose the pay raise because "Members of Congress should be able to make a living wage." $168,500 per year is what constitutes a living wage? Wow. Strangely enough, this guy also opposed raising the minimum wage above $5.15 per hour. Or about $10,712 per year. The proposed new minimum wage was $7.25 per hour or about $15,080. Still not a living wage. But then again, if Congress thinks that $168,500 is a living wage then you can see why they would be hesitant. And know that they do not live in the same world as the rest of us.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
atrude777
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 9:57 pm

Personally I make 6.50 an hour, already higher then what our regular minimum wage which is also 5.15 nationwide. The state of Illinois is 6.50 for 18 and above.

Naturally I would like a minimum wage higher then 6.50 but we then again do make more then the average.

If this guy can accept a raise then he can help support it for us folks who can barely, and I do mean BARELY get by with 5.15 and 6.50 an hour.

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
cfalk
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:05 pm

I would support a constitutional amendment that reads as follows:

Amendment XXVIII: Congress shall pass no law increasing the renumeration of its own members, members of the executive branch, or any other federal employee in any year where there is a projected federal budget deficit.

That should shake things up a bit.

Who else here would support that?
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
BHXFAOTIPYYC
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:21 pm

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 2):
Who else here would support that?

Yep, I'd support it being applied worldwide too ....

... although MP here in Portugal were told to travel in ECONOMY on flights under 4 hours now, so really us peasants should be grateful for their sacrifices...
Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
 
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ManuCH
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:26 pm

Quoting BHXFAOTIPYYC (Reply 3):
... although MP here in Portugal were told to travel in ECONOMY on flights under 4 hours now, so really us peasants should be grateful for their sacrifices...
I've also heard that rule applied in some companies. What executives now do is to book their flights thru some intermediate city, basically making a 2-legged flight out of 1 leg, stretching it just enough over the 4 hour mark to justify a business ticket

On topic: I think a high pay for congress people is justified, but it's not correct that they're allowed to vote for a rise of their own pay. That should be done by someone else.

-Manuel

[Edited 2006-07-07 15:27:02]
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
luv2fly
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:32 pm

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 4):
On topic: I think a high pay for congress people is justified, but it's not correct that they're allowed to vote for a rise of their own pay. That should be done by someone else.

There was a time when working as a public servant actually paid less then working in the private sector! Guess those days are long over!
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
Gilligan
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 10:56 pm

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 2):
Who else here would support that?

I would.

This is my biggest pet peeve with the whole government. When the founding fathers envisioned our republic going to Congress was supposed to be a service not unlike being drafted into the military was. You went there, did your time, did a good job, then got out and went on with your life. Everything I have read indicates they never envisioned people making a "career" out of being a politician.

My vision of Congress is to put up a nice suite of condos, 535 of them. Attached is a mess hall, gym, laundry facility, and small convenience store. The condos are fully furnished with a small functioning kitchenette, and everything but a mattress. When you are elected to Congress you get issued one of these condos to live in for your term. You are paid no more than what you were making at your former job. The mess hall serves 4 meals a day, no charge. The convenience store sells everything you would need to live day to day. Your family, if you have one stays behind in your district or home state. You get free coach fare to go visit them 2 weekends a month. You and your whole family gets free medical care while you are in office. Once you leave, you're on your own. Institute a 401k program with a 5% matching fund for those who love this spartan life and stay longer than they ever should. If this little piece of utopia were implemented I think it would cut down on the "lifers" in Congress who end up residing there for so long that they have no idea what is actually happening back in their own districts or what it is to have a job where you actually have to be responsible.

As to the pay raise, it should take fully a three quarters vote from all members, no abstentions, to make a pay raise happen as well as there being no deficit that year.
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
ltbewr
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:11 pm

Some Democrats proposed a bill that would tie their rasises to also raising the Federal minimum wage (which hasn't been raised in 8 years!). It's too bad that didn't happen, but the Republicans won't hear of it as they don't want to hurt their friends at Walmart, McDonalds, farming and food processing companies who employ a lot of mim wage employees.
 
Gilligan
Posts: 1993
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:15 pm

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 7):
Some Democrats proposed a bill that would tie their rasises to also raising the Federal minimum wage

So did they then protest the raise by not voting for it?
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
lowrider
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:18 pm

Quoting LTBEWR (Reply 7):
Some Democrats proposed a bill that would tie their rasises to also raising the Federal minimum wage (which hasn't been raised in 8 years!). It's too bad that didn't happen, but the Republicans won't hear of it as they don't want to hurt their friends at Walmart, McDonalds, farming and food processing companies who employ a lot of mim wage employees.

How many of those democrats voted against raising thier own pay? Also, if you think those companies don't give gifts, donations, and support to democrats you are delusional. All elected positions should have a two term limit and all donations in elections should be outlawed. Each candidate gets a certain amount of money from the government once they meet a certain threshhold, and that is the only money they can use to campaign. Use of any outside money will result in disqualification.
Proud OOTSK member
 
texan
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:19 pm

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 8):
So did they then protest the raise by not voting for it?

20 or so did. The other 100-140 or so did not. This issue has nothing to do with which party one is associated. Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) did not want a vote either and said that she stood by her decision to not protest the raise. Russ Feingold is the only one in there who really seems to put his money where his mouth is and gives back the raises he receives from Congress from what I hear.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
Gilligan
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:31 pm

Quoting Texan (Reply 10):
20 or so did.

Out of any crowd, 5% are going to be lunatic in some way or another. You can only hope that on that particular day, in that particular crowd, the 5% are made up of good looking women who feel an overwhelming need to remove their tops!  yummy 
Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
slider
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:38 pm

INTOLERABLE!!!

Write your Congressperson now, people!

Unconscionable...the brazenness of doing this is staggering.  redflag 
 
texan
Topic Author
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Fri Jul 07, 2006 11:53 pm

Quoting Gilligan (Reply 11):
Out of any crowd, 5% are going to be lunatic in some way or another. You can only hope that on that particular day, in that particular crowd, the 5% are made up of good looking women who feel an overwhelming need to remove their tops!

Please, please, PLEASE don't tell me you're suggesting we have a "Breasts of Congress" calendar! Dear Lord, the last thing we need is to have Nancy Pelosi bearing her boobs for all of us to see. That falls under "cruel and unusual punishment." Then there would probably be a "Buns of Congress" calendar to make sure they are sexist in both directions, and do we really need to see Ted Kennedy's ass? I do not like your idea at all  Silly

Quoting Slider (Reply 12):
INTOLERABLE!!!

Write your Congressperson now, people!

Unconscionable...the brazenness of doing this is staggering.

Preach on, Preacher!

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
BHXFAOTIPYYC
Posts: 1442
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 12:00 am

.... I'm telling you, this is a global epademic....

From the Australian (newspaper)

Pollies get their crackers
June 24, 2006
AUSTRALIA'S politicians have hit the jackpot, winning pay rises of at least $7800 a year.
The generous 6.9 per cent salary boost was quietly announced yesterday as the nation celebrated its World Cup success.

The rise is more than twice the inflation rate, which is running about 3 per cent.

A federal backbencher's salary will jump to $118,950, but senior politicians do much better.

Prime Minister John Howard scored a $20,280 pay rise, bringing his annual salary to $309,270.

The wages win follows an effective wage freeze for 1.6 million minimum-wage earners, whose annual rise will be delayed for four months.

The Federal Remuneration Tribunal posted the latest salary adjustment on its website yesterday.

Made up of a 4.4 per cent annual rise and a special 2.5 per cent rise, the adjustment will kick in on July 1 and flow to all state and federal MPs.

Premier Steve Bracks's salary will rise by $15,600 to $235,016, while state backbenchers get the basic $7800 rise, taking their pay to $109,708.

------------------------

From online This is Local London:

Enfield: Councillors give themselves a pay rise
By Louisa Barnett
Enfield's councillors are set to vote themselves a bumper pay rise which will see their allowances rise by more than 30 per cent in a £334,000 pay-out.

If the proposals are given the green light, basic allowances will rocket from £6,650 to £9,500 a year.

Special allowances for councillors fulfiling duties outside their regular roles will also be increased some by more than £6,000.

continued...
Leader of the council, Mike Rye, who also holds down a job as a teacher, will see his annual allowance increase from £20,400 to £34,500.

-------------------------

and Finland in 2000...

Finnish MPs vote themselves hefty pay hike


On Tuesday, the Finnish Parliament voted to pass a measure that effectively raises their pay by up to 30 percent. The bill, which was passed by a vote of 132 - 29, puts decision-making power over Parliamentarians’ pay in the hands of a special outside committee. The measure also gives the committee detailed instructions on how much extra money Finland’s 200 MPs expect to get. Finnish MPs currently earn between FIM 17,000 and 22,000 a month, depending on seniority. The rise should be about 30%, somewhere between FIM 6,000 and 8,600 a month. In addition, Members of Parliament are entitled to generous tax-free compensations for expenses; after the rise, they will vary between FIM 5,176 and 9,490 a month, with the exact amount depending on how far from the Helsinki area an MP lives
Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
 
Gilligan
Posts: 1993
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:03 am

Quoting Texan (Reply 13):
we have a "Breasts of Congress"

Only if we can include staff and interns!!!  yummy 

Quoting Texan (Reply 13):
Nancy Pelosi bearing her boobs


What boobs? Nancy Pelosi in a wet t-shirt contest is just a horrible waste of water. BTW is it just me or does every unposed picture she takes look like someone just shoved a cattle prod up her backside?



and of course someone managed to capture the true image

Warm winds blowing, heating blue skies, and a road that goes forever, I'm going to Texas!
 
ANCFlyer
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:05 am

Already sent my notes of displeasure to Ted Stevens, Lisa (the worthless Alaska Senator) Murkowski and Don (our only and most useless Rep) Young.
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
LFutia
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:23 am

Quoting Atrude777 (Reply 1):
Personally I make 6.50 an hour, already higher then what our regular minimum wage which is also 5.15 nationwide. The state of Illinois is 6.50 for 18 and above.

Naturally I would like a minimum wage higher then 6.50 but we then again do make more then the average.

If this guy can accept a raise then he can help support it for us folks who can barely, and I do mean BARELY get by with 5.15 and 6.50 an hour.

Alex

Alex, last I read, Rod wanted to raise minimum wage but I cant find a link.

I make 8 bucks an hour, well over the minimum wage for the state of Illinois. I know what it was like making 6.50. They say that everytime minimum wage goes up, it costs people jobs.

Its a tough situation for the people and the lawmakers.

Leo
Leo/ORD
 
atrude777
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 2:54 am

Quoting Lfutia (Reply 17):
Alex, last I read, Rod wanted to raise minimum wage but I cant find a link.

He wants to raise it up from 5.15 to 6.50 for those under 18 (i think). I am over 18 and am already being paid above minimum wage state wide, but the same for 18 yr old and up. If Rod raises the minimum wage for under 18, I would hope he raises it for 18 and over as well. But then again is it fair for those who are not paid a salery, but an hourly pay, who makes about 12-20 dollars an hour, and they don't get a raise either, after all they are making more then minimum wage too!

Alex
Good things come to those who wait, better things come to those who go AFTER it!
 
tbar220
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 4:50 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 2):
Amendment XXVIII: Congress shall pass no law increasing the renumeration of its own members, members of the executive branch, or any other federal employee in any year where there is a projected federal budget deficit.

I like that, I would support it.

Quoting Slider (Reply 12):
Unconscionable...the brazenness of doing this is staggering.

No kidding. They give themselves payraises while cutting student loans, funding for education, funding for food stamps and medicare, and a refusal to raise minimum wage.
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mdsh00
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 4:58 am

Quoting Slider (Reply 12):
Write your Congressperson now, people!

Unconscionable...the brazenness of doing this is staggering.

Nonsense! After a hard days work of tackling important and pressing issues like the Constitutional ban on Gay marriage and the Pledge of Allegiance, they deserve the raise. Issues like the deficit and the war can wait!  Yeah sure
 
BHXFAOTIPYYC
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:08 am

Ultimately, worldwide, we elect these buttheads. Realistically, when politics changed from serving your country to serving yourself, we should have noticed and acted. Any ideas?
Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
 
halls120
Posts: 8724
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:16 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 2):
I would support a constitutional amendment that reads as follows:

Amendment XXVIII: Congress shall pass no law increasing the renumeration of its own members, members of the executive branch, or any other federal employee in any year where there is a projected federal budget deficit.

That should shake things up a bit.

Who else here would support that?

LOL, a great idea but it would never pass! And even if it did, I'm sure they would just find a way to cook the books so that there would never be a "projected" deficit.

I am still a proponent of term limits. Make public service a calling, not an occupation.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
fumanchewd
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:25 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 2):
Who else here would support that?

I would.

Concerning the minimum wage, I am really teed off. I have no idea how a family or even an individual can survive by working for those scraps.  Sad

Low wages are another reason to support deporting illegal immigrants from the US. Yes, cost of living and inflation will increase along with wages, but in the end it will be beneficial.
In the time of chimpanzees, I was a monkey...
 
eaglekeeper101
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:31 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 2):
Amendment XXVIII: Congress shall pass no law increasing the renumeration of its own members, members of the executive branch, or any other federal employee in any year where there is a projected federal budget deficit.

Just curious - are you including active duty military members in your proposed amendment, since we are federal employees as well?
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
IFEMaster
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 5:46 am

It's a shame that their "living wage" isn't dependent on the part of the nation the represent. While $168,500 is a fortune in, say, Tennessee, it really isn't anything unusual in California.

I don't mind them earning so much if only they would actually do something to earn it.
Delivering Anecdotes of Dubious Relevance Since 1978
 
BHXFAOTIPYYC
Posts: 1442
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 5:47 am

RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:11 am

Quoting IFEMaster (Reply 25):

I understand that the European Parliament recently changed the rules whereby previously MEP's got paid the equivalent salary of MP's in their own country to a standardized Europen model, and a lot of MEP's from places like Latvia, Lithunania etc saw their salaries increase 10 fold overnight.

It's basically a collective of bought politicians.
Breakfast in BHX, lunch in FAO, dinner in TIP, baggage in YYC.
 
MUWarriors
Posts: 197
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 6:41 am

Quoting Texan (Reply 10):
Russ Feingold is the only one in there who really seems to put his money where his mouth is and gives back the raises he receives from Congress from what I hear.

This is true, and from what I recall he is still making what he made after his first election in 1992, although I could be wrong on that. Also, I believe Herb Kohl also gives back his raises (he really doesn't need the money, where as Russ isn't independently wealthy like Herb). Yeah I am a former Wisconsinite who really appreciates the senators from there.
 
cfalk
Posts: 10221
Joined: Mon Dec 04, 2000 6:38 pm

RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 11:02 am

Quoting Eaglekeeper101 (Reply 24):
Just curious - are you including active duty military members in your proposed amendment, since we are federal employees as well?

Good point. So a revised text:

Amendment XXVIII: Congress shall pass no law increasing the renumeration of its own members, members of the executive branch, or any other non-military federal employee in any year where there is a projected federal budget deficit.
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
eaglekeeper101
Posts: 269
Joined: Fri Aug 05, 2005 8:14 am

RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:19 pm

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 28):
Amendment XXVIII: Congress shall pass no law increasing the renumeration of its own members, members of the executive branch, or any other non-military federal employee in any year where there is a projected federal budget deficit.

 checkmark  I'll vote for that!
"The earth is but one country, and mankind its citizens." - Bahá'u'lláh
 
ANCFlyer
Posts: 21391
Joined: Mon Nov 15, 2004 3:51 pm

RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sat Jul 08, 2006 10:17 pm

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 28):
renumeration

 no 

remuneration
 yes 
FOR THOSE THAT FOUGHT FOR IT, FREEDOM HAS A FLAVOR THE PROTECTED WILL NEVER KNOW OR UNDERSTAND
 
texan
Topic Author
Posts: 4070
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RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sun Jul 09, 2006 5:30 am

Just to let y'all know, I did this at work yesterday. I walked in and told my boss that, since I refused to hold a vote, the company now must pay me an additional $3,000 per year. Apparently, though, he has veto power. Damn. Must be nice.

Texan
"I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library."
 
searpqx
Posts: 4173
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2000 10:36 am

RE: Congress Gives Self Pay Raise

Sun Jul 09, 2006 5:46 am

Quoting Cfalk (Reply 28):
Amendment XXVIII: Congress shall pass no law increasing the renumeration of its own members, members of the executive branch, or any other non-military federal employee in any year where there is a projected federal budget deficit.

Not being picky, but what about the Forest Service Ranger who's just had his area doubled or tripled by budget cuts, and yet can't get a cost of living raise? I agree with the concept, but scooping all Federal employees into this would be unfair to the vast majority that simply do the work of keeping this country running. Modify it to apply to only those who are either elected or appointed, and you'd have my vote. Add a clause tying salary levels of all elected official to the average salary of the area they represent, and I'd donate money to the campaign.
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