Quote of the Day: As Likely As Anthrax on Cheerios
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. No members of Congress stepped before the microphones to explain why their performance over the past year entitles them to a fatter paycheck. Or to make the case for helping themselves to more money at a time when so many Americans are out of work, the economy is in recession, and financial distress is spreading.
Hard as it may be to believe, there was a time when members of Congress didn't make it an annual priority to pad their pay envelopes. In 1932, during the Great Depression, the House and Senate even cut their pay by 10%, then cut it by another 5.5% in 1933. Today's lawmakers, save for a handful of honorable exceptions, are about as likely to follow that precedent as they are to sprinkle anthrax on their Cheerios.