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  • Members of Congress Earn Big Salaries and Fringe Benefits

    Congress’ job approval ratings have sunk to around 20 percent, while their disapproval is up to an average of 73.4 percent. Yet for all of America’s dissatisfaction—and Congress’ failure to combat the nation’s fiscal crisis—Members of Congress are earning salaries and fringe benefits that far exceed those of the average American, according to a new report by Our Generation and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

    The report details how Members of Congress earn a salary of $174,000—that’s 3.4 times higher than the average full-time American worker, who earns $50,875 per year. Even if you compare Members of Congress to more educated, private sector employees, they’re still doing pretty well—those Americans earn on average $83,000 per year according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    But Our Generation and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance report that the congressional base salary is just the beginning. If you count the $110,000 in taxpayer-funded fringe benefits Members receive (including plush retirement plans, paid time off, and contributions to Social Security and Medicare taxes), they’re earning close to $285,000 per year.

    The report goes a step further and compares Congress’ salaries and benefits to 12 other developed nations (using a ratio of legislators’ salaries to wages for average full-time workers). The result? Members of Congress are the second highest paid internationally, falling just below Japan.

    But here in the United States, when it comes to being an overpaid federal employee, Members of Congress have plenty of company. Heritage’s James Sherk explains in USA Today that the average federal employee cleans up in comparison to private sector workers in America:

    The average federal employee earns an annual salary almost 60% higher than the average private-sector employee — $79,000 vs. $50,000. Federal employees do have more education (on average) than private-sector workers. Their unions argue that this justifies their higher pay. But it doesn’t. Even after controlling for education and experience, federal employees get paid significantly better — 22% more per hour, on average — than private-sector workers.

    Though not all federal workers earn above-market pay, Sherk explains that “Overall, government workers earn well above what their private-sector counterparts make, even before you consider benefits.” And those benefits include near-absolute job security, robust retirement and health benefits plans, paid leave, group life insurance, and even on-site child care.

    So it seems that the job of a Member of Congress or a federal employee isn’t a bad one, if you can get it. The grass is greener on the other side, and the U.S. taxpayers are paying to keep it that way.

    Related reading:

    Click here to read more about high federal pay—and what can be done about it—in James Sherk’s report, “Inflated Federal Pay: How Americans Are Overtaxed to Overpay the Civil Service.”

    Click here for the full report “Are Taxpayers Getting Their Money’s Worth?” by Our Generation and the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    35 Responses to Members of Congress Earn Big Salaries and Fringe Benefits

    1. It needs to be a sacrifice again to be a member of Congress. It shouldn't be such a cushy job.

    2. Pingback: Members of Congress Earn Big Salaries and Fringe Benefits « OBX Tea Party News

    3. Bobbie says:

      disproportionate act of government to determine their salaries off the backs of tax payers while they only have the collapse of the country to show for it! those rightfully accountable for damage done doesn't deserve a dime and if anyone should be paid for performance it should be members of government as the economy reflects the performance of those governing. THEN to have unions determine the salaries of government workers is also despicable. I heard government paid city bus driver can make up to and beyond 75k!!!! At least it's a service everyone can use but the pay doesn't seem to fit the job that doesn't take much mentality…

      COUNTY COMMISSIONERS ARE OVER 100K!!! Absolutely NOTHING POSITIVE to show for it!!!! We shouldn't appreciate the obligation to pay for the poor performance we suffer through by their works within their control.

      This extreme fashion is unacceptable and another indication government has too much of our money freely abusing their power used to corrupt when we suffer ALL consequences of their dereliction and failures beyond our control as they smother the existence of the private sector.
      What an ugly country the governing of it, is making it.

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    5. jeff says:

      Those in congress are as bad as the union thugs that( while their employers are going bankrupt ) will not give up any thing to help save their own jobs but instead demand more from their employers

    6. Dave says:

      This is just their salaries. Most are millionaires and are just greedy people. They are out to destroy the middle class. Sending our manufacturing jobs to other countries and making us a nanny state. It does not madder the party they both are out to take over. It is the time to vote them all out and start over. Candidate: one who is for American and Americans, supporter of our allies and not our enemy, energy independent, LESS government, and a fair tax. Spend less and take care of the U.S. Product our borders, fix the broken education system. Do not worry whether some baseball player took roids, let baseball take care of it.

    7. Marcus says:

      It's hard for our "representatives" to appreciate the plight of their constituents when their lives are so much different in every way. Furthermore, if there is belt tightening to be done, it should be done across the board. Compensation for a tough job is one thing but overcompensation does not guarantee a better product. I think that is obvious by the current state of affairs.

    8. Jim says:

      My plan: no salary, no benefits. Members of congress should live in a government assisted housing project or apartment/condo complex in DC ("Congressional Arms", the 'unit' belongs to the seat, not to the person) and maybe get a food/travel allowance. Serving should be a civic duty, not a profession or career.

      • Bobbie says:

        I totally agree, Jim. There would only be people sincere in governing us and boy could America use sincere governing. It would eliminate the greed and corruption and thievery because those enjoying themselves now off the tax payers, wouldn't be. The government has too much superiority over ALL people the GOVERNMENT controls the mind to convince inferiority. Listen to the minds already who can't get beyond their narrow thinking taught, to reach the truth. They have limited speech and say the same thing over and over again with the same EXACT thought expressed.
        But we have an undisciplined, unprincipled, disrespectful government that controls the vulnerable minds of innocence, the same…

    9. Paul S says:

      The middle class is becoming an endangered species!! The rich will keep getting richer and the poor will never be able to climb out of this hole we are digging ourselves. More of the same old same old coming out of Washington! While they continue to bicker and posture!!!
      This is just fluff and staging for 2012. I for one am disgusted!!!
      The middle class is becoming an endangered species!! The rich will keep getting richer and the poor will never be able to climb out of this hole we are digging ourselves.
      Wake up people!! WE did this to ourselves!!! By standing by and just going with the status quo. WE created the career politicians. WE let them abuse the power we gave them. We let them rob us blind of our future and the future of our kids and the generations to follow. WE have never held them accountable for their actions (or inaction for that matter).
      IT IS TIME FOR “CHANGE” Real change. It is time for WE THE PEOPLE to stand UNITED. Make our voices heard again. Take back our country and make it GREAT again.

      FB – We the People for Congressional Reform

      • Genevieve Wilson says:

        How can we take back our country from the greedy thieves in Washington? There is too much government to start with. It's been design this way since the beginning of time. They are like leaches sucking us dry till we have no more to give. They created this deficit we didn't. America its time to act and take back what Washington took and is taking from us. We pay their salaries, fringe benefits and they pay for nothing. It's time for change.

    10. Concerned says:

      These guys along with the rest of the Administration and Government in total talk about shared sacrifice but they mean it to be applied in the private sector only, the sector that foots the bill. Time to cut (reduce the size) all of Government–every aspect of it.

    11. Pete in AZ says:

      Our nation was originally organized so that our legislators were to be 'landed' gents…people of property and wealth, to begin with. Why? It was considered to be not only an honor to serve the young country, but a responsibility as well ! Their personal wealth was expected to enable them to weather the lean time while in Congress and not have to live off the backs of their constituents.

      How we have arrived at our present position must be our own responsibility, since our congress'people' are able to authorize their own wages and retirements.

    12. iluv2create says:

      But we keep electing the same old farts over and over again. The local government is the same way. We get so comfortable with the tried that we are afraid to change and these jerks know that. This isn't anyone fault but our own. We had a fantastic chance last November and again, The Dems got in when we needed to get rid of them. Now, here we are at another crisis on the monetary level.
      Pay for performance, who is going to oversee that. Accountablility? Our government was us to be entirely dependent upon them and then they will continue to bully, steal and punish us!

    13. Sallie says:

      The majority of members of Congress are not taking our country in a positive direction. Decisions are made based on political popularity, not common sense. Years ago, under Johnson's Great Society, entitlement programs got out-of-control. For example, immigrants, aged 62 and older, are able to receive monthly Social Security without having ever worked in America. Do the math–this is crazy and yet the voters continue to reelect these politicans who continue to head us toward financial ruin. People are too busy to be informed and young people are being raised in an idealistic, not realistic world, the majority of them also uninformed. Salaries of Congress will stay overly inflated, that will not change so we need to pay attention and elect those who do a better job for this riduculous pay. Maybe the Tea Party will interject some conservative demands in line with how the founding fathers would have responded to this debt.

    14. deb says:

      Not new news!!!

    15. voteright2012 says:

      Check out the website http://goooh.com/. Join GOOOH to elect new responsible Congressmen/Congresswomen and Senators.

    16. Kyle says:

      And unfortunately for the American taxpayers, a good majority of these members of congress are nothing other than parasites!

    17. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Being a member of Congress was suppose to be a part-time and temp. job, now they sit there for years and have all these vacations and draw full time plus pay. The salaries are just the start, theey get salary with COLA's for life plus free medical (they can go to Mil. hosp.) and they get allowances for offices and staff in their home district. The truth is that a person of mediocre means cannot afford to run for office so we hav a bunch of millionaires,Pelosi for one, telling us how we should live, eat ,work and then spend what they allow us to keep. Time to clean HOUSE And Senate of all who have been there 12 yrs or more. We need term limits and during this "Crisis" Congress should turn back those last 2 pay raises they granted themselves while they refused COLA for retirees. If I was given the power I would clean house starting in the WH with csars and Mishell's aides, then EDU and ECO would go, all close to retireing would be given a buyout and jobs filled from other agencies. No new hires all agencies would have an audit, line by line, dead wood gone.

    18. Jeanne Stotler says:

      Part 2: Dept. of Def. would be required to shop ACE hardware instead of payinf thousands for a two dollar part. All agencies would have a budget equal to 1980 and made to live in it. All agencies formed since 1980 would be closed or merged , No new hires, all close to retirement bought out and vacancies filled from within and all agencies gone over line by line. No SS or gov't assistance to illegal, ICE would do their jobs, Judges would rule according to the Constitution or be relieved from their jobs. All Law Enforcement would be able to uphold the laws both local and Federal without penalty. We would go back to people working to support their families, if able bodied and not working You would only get so much unemployment and no welfare just for sitting home and making babies, it would be for those who really need it not just because you family's been on it for four or five generations. I wouls also legalize MJ and tax it. Remember Washington and Jefferson both grew it and probably smoked it.

      • hardworking American says:

        Why does everyone always pick on the DOD? Would you really want our soldiers going off to protect us with the same products that don't last for the average consumer? There are specifications the military products have to meet in order to protect our military members so that they can protect us, and that costs more than the cheap plastic piece of garbage made by someone in China or Mexico. The testing to make sure these products meet the specifications also costs money. Contractors overcharge the government every day and provided substandard work to what has been done by federal workers in the past. Yes, there are some sectors within the government that are useless, and I completely agree that they should be cut, but please stop lumping all federal workers into the pork barrel. We are hard working Americans, doing our best to keep our heads above the water, just like everyone else. We pay taxes, and support our country.

      • Lynda Deming says:

        You were doing well until you attacked the DoD. They should be the LAST department to clean out. Yes, there is wasteful spending going on there, but let's start with the spending everywhere else before tackling the DoD budget. How about we start with the lavish parties, vacations and staff by the criminals in the WH? Abolish all departments and activities that are not expressly listed in the Constitution.

        The other point I disagree with is legalizing drugs. Do some research and find out just how much "We the Taxpayers" are paying for the drug addicts and drunks in our society. If you choose to make yourself a blithering idiot unable to support yourself, that is not my problem. Stop subsidizing them as the first cut in government spending.

    19. John Larkin says:

      Beyond the pay and benefits we can "see", there's a host of "revenue streams" and perks available to these folks.

      Check out the Congressional Death Gratuity program they enjoy!

    20. gracepmc says:

      And the Vice President personally collects rent from his Secret Service detail while staying at his beach house.

    21. Pingback: Los miembros del Congreso ganan sueldazos con bonificaciones | Heritage Libertad

    22. Mary says:

      Each and every member of congress takes an oath to protect and defend the Constitution. Each and every member of congress is guilty of treason for not protecting and defending the Constitution against the tyranny of the obama administration. They are aiding and abetting the illegal occupant of the White House. They all, knowingly and willingly, participate in and condone illegal and unconstitution acts. And that includes the 'dog-and-pony show' called the debt crisis and raising the debt ceiling. They deserve nothing less than impeachment and imprisonment.

      • Cecil Nixxon says:

        Mary, that's a bunch of ideological hogwash! The Obama administration is no more a tyranny than Congress. They're all in cahoots. And you have been duped into selecting one side over the other to blame. That's their way of keeping you docile and thinking your money is on the winning horse. It's their horses and one of the teams has you cleaning the stables while they sip mint juleps.

    23. Lets reduce spending get rid of Congress

    24. we need to repeat History…..
      The history of Congressional pay
      Until the 1850s, Members of Congress were paid on a per diem basis of $6-$8 for each day
      that Congress was in session. Although the number of days in session varied from year to year,
      Members of Congress who were in session around 160 days per year made annual pay of around
      $960 to $1,280. During this same time period, service in Congress was considered as part-time
      employment and Members of Congress typically had additional employment outside of their duties
      in Congress. In fact, this tradition is still the norm in many states.

    25. brenda says:

      Why would any member of Congress ever vote for term limits? With an annual salary of $174K (House – even more for Senators) plus many more thousands in benefits, this will never happen. It is up to us, the general, middle class taxpayer to make sure their terms are limited. A member of Congress can draw full SS at age 62 with only 5 years of service. Our SS is drastically cut if we retire at age 62. To make what Weiner will draw from benefits, having served in Congress for 12 years – 1.2M- I'd have to live to be 110 after working for 50 years.

      Additionally, each Congressman gets about $110K of taxpayer funded benefits: office space both on the Hill and at home, travel, assistants, mailings, a car, a driver, etc. while working on an average of 3.5 days/week.

      It's time for the taxpayer to revolt against Democrats and Republicans who will vote to decrease SS or Medicare without also changing their own benefits packages.

      Spread the word!



    26. ray says:

      what makes me mad is there is talk to cut our militarys retirement an medical in half. they wont cut there own but instead go after the ones who realy deserve it . vote them all out until they get the message .

    27. cvn says:

      real simple name of congressmen total dollar amount plus there benefits equals how much I want each n every name working now or retired then you get mad

    28. Ed Fernandez says:

      Are we rewarding failure here? A disapproval rate of 73.4 . Good thing they don't have a performance review system like our private sector tied to pay.

    29. Jared Jones says:

      Why does everyone who run for office say they want less government but instead uses government for there own agenda like getting a retirement compensation. They fooling us people. They trying to get a retirement check like us because they know that social security check won't sustain their cost of living expenses if they somehow go broke.

    30. Linda says:

      Why do Congress get to vote themselves a pay raise? They don't want to give the rest of the Federal employees a raise so why should they get one. They are always talking about big salaries of federal employees. Most of us federal employees make less than $50,000 a year. Congress and the President have frozen our salaries for the past 3 years, but they have approved themselves raises. That's not right.

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