The House of Representatives has decided, in its infinite wisdom, that members of Congress simply could not get by on what its members were making. So they voted a 2.2% raise for themselves. In 2004 they'll "earn" about $158,000.00 which is a big improvement over the $154,700.00 they made this year. & don't bring up those dark days of 1999 when they had to get by on $136,700.00 a year per member.
They have also decided that a pay raise of 4.1% is appropriate for almost all federal employees.
From the article:
"Only one House member — Rep. Jim Matheson, D-Utah — voiced objections to the congressional increase during the debate.
'We are fighting terrorism on numerous fronts and our economy is in serious trouble, unemployment is at record high levels and our future budget deficits are predicted to be the highest in the history of this great nation,' Matheson said. 'Now is not the time for members of Congress to be voting themselves a pay raise.'
By a 240-173 vote, the House rejected Matheson's procedural attempt to get a direct vote on the pay raise for lawmakers. In 1989, Congress voted to make cost-of-living pay increases for themselves automatic unless they voted otherwise.
Without counting outside sources of income, the earnings of members of Congress rank within the top 5% of the nation."
I'm disturbed that those who tax us against our will by threat of force, who make our means of defense illegal, who create laws & systems designed to subjugate us, who legislate our Rights away as well as those who do their dirty work, are doing their jobs so well that they receive raises for it.