Legislators Earn Three Times More Than Average Americans

Our Generation and Taxpayers Protection Alliance release report on Congressional salaries amid debt ceiling debate

(Alexandria, Virginia) – Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA) and Our Generation (OG) today released a report titled, “Are Taxpayers Getting Their Money’s Worth?  An Analysis of Congressional Compensation.” The report compares congressional pay to salaries in the private sector and as well as salaries of national lawmakers in other developed countries.  As Congress looks for ways to balance the budget and reduce the national debt, large cuts to their own compensation should be given serious consideration.  Read the full report on congressional compensation here.

Members of Congress receive pay and benefits far in excess of what average working Americans receive. In addition to a salary of $174,000 per year, which by itself puts legislators among the highest-paid five percent of U.S. workers, Members of Congress also receive generous fringe benefits. In fact, congressional compensation, including benefits, totals around $285,000 per year. With the average full-time employee in the United States earning $50,875 annually, Members of Congress make 3.4 times more than the average American.

“Congress has run up a $14.3 trillion debt and a $1.5 trillion deficit, yet they are still among the best compensated employees in America,” said Taxpayers Protection Alliance President David Williams. “It is time to hold our representatives in Washington responsible for their job performance. With the high salaries Congress is collecting, we don’t think it’s too much to ask that they do their jobs and get our economic house in order.”

The study also shows that if congressional salaries were cut to $100,000, taxpayers could save $39 million annually.

“During a weak economic recovery, when unemployment is high and many Americans have to make do with less, Congress should not be rewarding itself with extravagant salaries and benefits,” said Our Generation Executive Director MacMillin Slobodien. “Immediate steps must be taken to cut Congressional salaries and benefits and reassure Americans that sacrifices made during this economic downturn are being shared.”

One Response to Legislators Earn Three Times More Than Average Americans

  1. One of the greatest problems lie in the history regarding inaction in the event of something that would warrant disciplinary action.

    It could be argued that the fringe benefits are there to help offset the increased scrutiny that a member of congress has placed upon their personal lives, families, etc. But if behavior that would warrant termination in any other private sector job occurs (looking at you Weiner, Wu, etc) nothing really has to happen other than them not being reelected, which could be years later. Yes, there is impeachment, but how often does that actually occur? Job security should be enough to “compensate” somebody who’s job is solely to benefit their constituents.

    If Job security isn’t important to our representatives, why should we believe them that their looking out for that in the citizens they represent?

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