Thursday, March 12, 2009

Queen Pelosi Decrees: No End to Automatic Pay Raises

Just imagine if, say, Newt Gingrich demonstrated such insufferable arrogance as this woman during a time of economic crisis. The condemnation would be nonstop. As if it's not bad enough she's raking up a tab in the millions for military flights, she has the nerve to refuse ruling out pay raises for Congress. As if these people deserve it.
Congress' automatic pay raises are in little immediate danger of being scrapped for good, even with the economy slumping and millions of Americans unemployed. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Thursday would not commit to holding a vote on a bill to do away with the annual cost-of-living increases. She pointed out that Congress recognized the economic crisis by voting this week to skip next year's raise.

In so doing, though, lawmakers defeated a Senate measure to abolish the automatic pay hikes and force them into the deep discomfort of casting actual votes to give themselves raises.

No one is rushing to defend the current system in a tanking economy that has rendered the annual raise a quaint memory for many outside Washington.

Even inside the Beltway, President Barack Obama has frozen pay for about 100 White House workers making six-figure salaries — an acknowledgment that appearances matter to a financially fragile nation.

But scrapping Congress' own automatic, cost-of-living raises for good? That's where congressional leaders drew the line this week — and buried it beneath an avalanche of legislative process, blame-passing and rhetoric.

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