Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) called on the Senate to give up twenty percent of their pay; but few have taken him up on it. Although Senators "earn" $174,000 a year and about half are "millionaires," only five senators have agreed to the measure.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) was not too keen on the idea. She said, "I don't think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do...I think it's necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded." huh? This comes from the same woman who reportedly stays in $10,000 per night hotel rooms.
Graham's measure was passed by the Senate last month during a "marathon session of budget votes," as reported by Russell Berman of The Hill, who conducted a survey to find out how many actually put their money where their mouth is. Only Sens. Graham, Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said they would give up 20 percent portion of their pay. It is a noble effort for those who are taking the hit and Lindsey Graham's proposal is a good start; but really, it is not much of a sacrifice.
It should be noted that Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) already gives his entire salary to charity.
Most of those surveyed did not answer, and some indicated that they "already contribute some of their income to charity," including admitted socialist, Bernie Sanders. Ah, the irony. One would think he would give his entire salary to the treasury! President Obama is giving up five percent of his $400,000. salary, while newly minted Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (who makes $200,000.) and gazillionaire Secretary of State John Kerry have also agreed to cut five percent. Kerry makes $183,500 this year. His donation is worth $9,175.
Considering that these officials are elected to represent their constituents; how can they really understand the plight of the average American while their lives are enriched by all sorts of perks on top of their salaries? The only way that government officials can really relate to Americans is to have a salary more in line with the average American. In 2011, the average American household brought home $50,502 per year (and fell from $51,144. from the previous year).
Would these officials agree to a similar salary?
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