Pay raises in Washington

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AlyssaEimers's picture
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Pay raises in Washington

Obama Orders Pay Raise for Biden, Members of Congress, Federal Workers | The Weekly Standard

Do you think that now is an appropriate time for Washington to be passing out raises for people working in these positions?

boilermaker's picture
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Sure. Those are not high salaries at all IMO. It truly is public SERVICE without much compensation for the crap that they put up with.

A pay raise of 1/2 of 1%? Not much, really, for the work that they do.

Joined: 05/31/06
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He'd just better be careful to not bump them over $250k~! Because then they would be RICH! And then they would get screwed.

And yes, I'm being ironic, because no one making 250K and living on the hill or in arlington or most any reasonably desirable part of DC (or the Northeast, for that matter) is in any way "rich".

Anyway, I don't really care. The amounts are minuscule.

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"Potter75" wrote:

He'd just better be careful to not bump them over $250k~! Because then they would be RICH! And then they would get screwed.

That is funny.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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I am surprised that he chose this time to do raises. There is so much of America that is barely making ends meet. I tried Googling the average median income in the US and got several different answers, but each website I looked at said less then a third of that these people are making.

I do not have a problem with some people making more than others. I think that is just the way it is, but it does strike me as odd in the administrations "Take from the Haves, and give to the Have Nots" attitude, that they would be giving more to the top earners.

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"boilermaker" wrote:

Sure. Those are not high salaries at all IMO. It truly is public SERVICE without much compensation for the crap that they put up with.

A pay raise of 1/2 of 1%? Not much, really, for the work that they do.

Basic pay of a US soldier - Army Base Pay and Basic Pay Chart | GoArmy.com

Average pay of a Police Officer - Police Patrol Officer Salary - Salary.com

Average pay of a Teacher - Teacher Salaries By State | Average Salaries For Teachers | Beginning Salaries For Teachers | Teacher Raises | TeacherPortal.com

Average pay of a person in Congress - US Congress Salaries and Benefits

I apologize for not having the best links, but I think they give the jest of an what these workers make. I do not think a congress member's job is any more/less of a service than these other professions.

Joined: 08/17/04
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So what about people in the private sector? I got a raise this year and last as well as a cost of living increase this year on top of my raise. Should I not get a raise because someone else isn't?

Even in my job I got a higher raise than most in my dept. because I worked super hard last year and I rock at what I do. Should I not get a bigger raise because someone else got a smaller one?

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"Potter75" wrote:

And yes, I'm being ironic, because no one making 250K and living on the hill or in arlington or most any reasonably desirable part of DC (or the Northeast, for that matter) is in any .

This was exactly what I said in a recent tax hike debate here. The cost of living is so variable depending n which part of the country you live in.

But as to the debate, I am not sure as I do not know what their salaries are.

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"Jessica80" wrote:

So what about people in the private sector? I got a raise this year and last as well as a cost of living increase this year on top of my raise. Should I not get a raise because someone else isn't?

Even in my job I got a higher raise than most in my dept. because I worked super hard last year and I rock at what I do. Should I not get a bigger raise because someone else got a smaller one?

But raises at private companies have to do with the profits earned by those companies. That's what makes it different.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Basic pay of a US soldier - Army Base Pay and Basic Pay Chart | GoArmy.com

Average pay of a Police Officer - Police Patrol Officer Salary - Salary.com

Average pay of a Teacher - Teacher Salaries By State | Average Salaries For Teachers | Beginning Salaries For Teachers | Teacher Raises | TeacherPortal.com

Average pay of a person in Congress - US Congress Salaries and Benefits

I apologize for not having the best links, but I think they give the jest of an what these workers make. I do not think a congress member's job is any more/less of a service than these other professions.

Well, their pay scale argues that the bulk of Americans disagree with you, as what we pay them says we value their role and experience enough to pay them significantly more.

Since all of these are public, if, say, a teacher wanted to get paid what a congress person did, they should have run for congress. Teachers in our state have gotten raises, as have police officers, etc etc etc. You also can't just post their salaries without also posting their average educations, tenure, etc etc. Its silly to act as though the average Senator has a similar job and should have similar pay as the average teacher similar because they both are "public servants". That would be like arguing that since a secretary and a CEO both work for a publicly traded corporation they ought to have similar compensation. Not so.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Well, their pay scale argues that the bulk of Americans disagree with you, as what we pay them says we value their role and experience enough to pay them significantly more.

Since all of these are public, if, say, a teacher wanted to get paid what a congress person did, they should have run for congress. Teachers in our state have gotten raises, as have police officers, etc etc etc. You also can't just post their salaries without also posting their average educations, tenure, etc etc. Its silly to act as though the average Senator has a similar job and should have similar pay as the average teacher similar because they both are "public servants". That would be like arguing that since a secretary and a CEO both work for a publicly traded corporation they ought to have similar compensation. Not so.

I am not saying they should be paid the same. I am sure it verries by state, but in DH's school and across much of the country teachers have not gotten any raises (Even cost of living raises they were promised when they were hired) in over 5 years.

I am not saying they should never getting raises or make a good amount of money. I am saying this was a poor time to do it.

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I do agree that it is horrible timing to announce this right now, but my DH is a federal employee and has not had a raise in at least 3 years.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

I am not saying they should be paid the same. I am sure it verries by state, but in DH's school and across much of the country teachers have not gotten any raises (Even cost of living raises they were promised when they were hired) in over 5 years.

I am not saying they should never getting raises or make a good amount of money. I am saying this was a poor time to do it.

Oh, you listing the pay of other public employees confused me then, sorry.

They have not had a pay raise since 2010, this one goes into effect in March of 13. When since '10 do you feel would have been a better time for them to have been given notice of the raise? I know that when I worked for Citigroup our bonuses and raises were always given at this time of year, it helped families a lot for budgeting and for allocating FSA allocations, 401K contribution percentages, ESP percentages etc etc.

GloriaInTX's picture
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Just more proof that now that he has been re-elected he doesn't really care what anyone thinks he can just thumb his nose at all the people who don't agree with his agenda.

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At least someone thinks it is a bad idea.

Senator urges Obama to rescind pay raise for Congress | Fox News

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Just more proof that now that he has been re-elected he doesn't really care what anyone thinks he can just thumb his nose at all the people who don't agree with his agenda.

Like all of those Republicans he just gave raises to? When you say "agenda" in this instance, what do you mean? They are still paid less than the "rich" who he wants to heavily penalize. What exactly do you mean, maybe I don't understand.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

At least someone thinks it is a bad idea.

Senator urges Obama to rescind pay raise for Congress | Fox News

Give me a break. This nobody is using this moment to grandstand their "morality" and dislike of the president over $900? Cheap sale for their soul Smile Want to make a real difference? Do something with your position. This is simple attention mongering and a false pretense of selflessness.....we talkin about 900 bucks here, folks. And while someone may cry 'thats a lot of money!" ............thats the price of the wine at a dinner for 6 in one night in DC with lobbyists. C'mon.

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$900 for one person is not that much, but when you times it by everyone it adds up. Spending cuts need to happen in both small and large areas. I did read that in the new Bill that the House is working on that there is something to repeal the raises. I do not think they have much support right now.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

$900 for one person is not that much, but when you times it by everyone it adds up. Spending cuts need to happen in both small and large areas. I did read that in the new Bill that the House is working on that there is something to repeal the raises. I do not think they have much support right now.

When the military is willy nilly placing million dollar orders with my husband and THOUSAND of other contractors like him at their fiscal year end (Sept 30) in order to "use it or lose it" and we are dickering about this sort of numbers its just silly posturing. This is small potatoes.

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"Potter75" wrote:

When the military is willy nilly placing million dollar orders with my husband and THOUSAND of other contractors like him at their fiscal year end (Sept 30) in order to "use it or lose it" and we are dickering about this sort of numbers its just silly posturing. This is small potatoes.

It might be small potatoes, but cuts should be made across the board. If an individual family was in a financial crisis, I would hope that not only would they cut down on the unnecessary major spending, but also cut out unnecessary petty spending as well. No one is saying this is the answer to the budget woes of America, but it really sent the wrong message to the struggling middle class that is looking a huge tax increases.

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

It might be small potatoes, but cuts should be made across the board. If an individual family was in a financial crisis, I would hope that not only would they cut down on the unnecessary major spending, but also cut out unnecessary petty spending as well. No one is saying this is the answer to the budget woes of America, but it really sent the wrong message to the struggling middle class that is looking a huge tax increases.

What part of the middle class is looking at a huge tax increase? Cite please??????

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"Potter75" wrote:

What part of the middle class is looking at a huge tax increase? Cite please??????

While the tax package that Congress passed New Year's Day will protect 99 percent of Americans from an income tax increase, most of them will still end up paying more federal taxes in 2013.

That's because the legislation did nothing to prevent a temporary reduction in the Social Security payroll tax from expiring. In 2012, that 2-percentage-point cut in the payroll tax was worth about $1,000 to a worker making $50,000 a year.

The Tax Policy Center, a nonpartisan Washington research group, estimates that 77 percent of American households will face higher federal taxes in 2013 under the agreement negotiated between President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans. High-income families will feel the biggest tax increases, but many middle- and low-income families will pay higher taxes too.

Read more: Despite fiscal cliff deal, taxes to rise for most Americans - NY Daily News

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So that works out to about 582 for a family making 50 grand. I will be honest and admit that I can't find it in me to call that a "huge" tax hike, any more than I could call those 900 raises "huge" .

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Numbers from here USA TODAY

AlyssaEimers's picture
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"Potter75" wrote:

What part of the middle class is looking at a huge tax increase? Cite please??????

Why your paycheck is getting smaller no matter what - Dec. 30, 2012

An increase of $50/month for someone making $30,000/year is a lot of money. (DH makes more than that, that is just the example in the article) It might not be a lot to you, between the combination of insurance going up and taxes going up we will be paying about $200/month more this year than last year. You might run in different circles than I do, but to everyone I know, they are going to feel that.

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"Potter75" wrote:

So that works out to about 582 for a family making 50 grand. I will be honest and admit that I can't find it in me to call that a "huge" tax hike, any more than I could call those 900 raises "huge" .

$50-$100 a month may not be a big deal for a rich person like you, but on top of the expensive gas prices and higher prices on everything else plus the insurance increases, it hurts a lot of people.

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We're making more now (much more) than we were when that tax cut went into place. I knew it was temporary so I never counted that as guaranteed money forever.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

$50-$100 a month may not be a big deal for a rich person like you, but on top of the expensive gas prices and higher prices on everything else plus the insurance increases, it hurts a lot of people.

Interesting that you presume to know anything about our finances but okay. If you were right you would just have to acknowledge that that would mean I was getting hit a lot harder. Do you think anyone is excited to pay a 40 % tax rate and a brand new 3.6# tax on investments? Anyway. You know what they say about making assuming making you look like so ill just leave it at that.

AlyssaEimers's picture
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At the time that the executive order was signed, we did not know if we were going over the cliff or not, so at the same time raises were being given to Congress, the middle class was looking at taxes going up an average of over $2,000 per family and the price of essentials like milk going up. I think it is reasonable to say that it was a poorly timed raise.

GloriaInTX's picture
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"Potter75" wrote:

Interesting that you presume to know anything about our finances but okay. If you were right you would just have to acknowledge that that would mean I was getting hit a lot harder. Do you think anyone is excited to pay a 40 % tax rate and a brand new 3.6# tax on investments? Anyway. You know what they say about making assuming making you look like so ill just leave it at that.

If you don't want people to make assumptions on you being well off don't post things about your beach house and your rich circle of friends that go on safaris to shoot zebras. Just a suggestion.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

If you don't want people to make assumptions on you being well off don't post things about your beach house and your rich circle of friends that go on safaris to shoot zebras. Just a suggestion.

Good point. Though id like to point out that knowing people who are rich no more makes you rich than knowing people who had affairs makes you an adulterer. but anyway. If the average poor family finds the 50/month too much to bear maybe they can sell some of their guns, I know you mentioned they are quite expensive. The country is in massive debt- we all have to pitch in some. While its going to hurt us financially I see why we have to help. I'm part of society. I get it.

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"Potter75" wrote:

The country is in massive debt- we all have to pitch in some. While its going to hurt us financially I see why we have to help. I'm part of society. I get it.

Do you also see then why the raises were not a good idea? I would also think you could make the assumption that you are not hurting for money if you do not think $900 is very much money. That would be a lot of money to much of the country.

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"Potter75" wrote:

Good point. Though id like to point out that knowing people who are rich no more makes you rich than knowing people who had affairs makes you an adulterer. but anyway. If the average poor family finds the 50/month too much to bear maybe they can sell some of their guns, I know you mentioned they are quite expensive. The country is in massive debt- we all have to pitch in some. While its going to hurt us financially I see why we have to help. I'm part of society. I get it.

I wouldn't mind pitching in if they actually cut spending instead of adding to the debt. At this point its just like throwing money into the wind. If someone is already wasting all the money they have it doesn't help to give them more money.

The Senate package does not include any material spending cuts, infuriating those on the right. It angered many on the left because it worsened unionized government workers' job insecurity, is overly generous to the rich on inheritance taxes, and it doesn't protect entitlement programs. The head of the AFL-CIO, Richard Trumka, said the deal "sets the stage for more hostage taking."

Further, the deal addresses only a tiny slice of the economic problems confronting America. Not only does it not address the $16 trillion national debt, it ignores the far bigger and more challenging deficit associated with looming retirement health care obligations. It also does not in any way address the still great need to help stimulate growth and create jobs in the U.S. economy. And it leaves in place most of the loopholes and provisions that allow America's richest to steadily accumulate more and more while inequality in this country gets worse and worse.

So, this was both a manufactured crisis and an unnecessary distraction from bigger issues. The deal that was hastily cobbled together actually increases our deficit, and it creates an even bigger potential crisis just weeks from now. That said, other than its lack of vision, creativity, accountability, sense of responsibility, courage, basic math skills, wisdom or competence, this cliff deal is not bad.

Cliff deal hollow victory for American people - CNN.com

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"AlyssaEimers" wrote:

Do you also see then why the raises were not a good idea? I would also think you could make the assumption that you are not hurting for money if you do not think $900 is very much money. That would be a lot of money to much of the country.

You can continue to try to talk about my income if you like but it's kind of jerky. My point is that $900 is a tiny percent of their current income- which was published-thus a tiny tiny raise to them. Has nothing at all to do with me. Continue to try to talk about or infer my income level if it makes you happy- but please note it does not relate to the debate. Thanks.

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"Potter75" wrote:

You can continue to try to talk about my income if you like but it's kind of jerky. My point is that $900 is a tiny percent of their current income- which was published-thus a tiny tiny raise to them. Has nothing at all to do with me. Continue to try to talk about or infer my income level if it makes you happy- but please note it does not relate to the debate. Thanks.

I am not trying to relate it to your income, just that to the majority of the country it was a lot of money and an insult that it came in the midst of a financial crisis.

Joined: 04/12/03
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I don't know how I feel about it. It sounds like a lot of money but when I break it down, I'm not so sure... Even with their other financial privileges, they still have to spend a lot of their own money for their career. To be a rep you have to continue to live in the district where you were elected, but you also have to maintain quarters of some sort in DC. No way would I want the hassle of flying from Bakersfield to DC all the time. I know the cost is covered, but the time spent isn't. Not to mention all the appearances and time spent campaigning (except for my rep - he's run unopposed for 2 of the past 3 elections; this time another Republican ran against him).

I looked at the history of congressional pay, it hasn't increased all that much. Comparatively, the annual salary of congress is about the same as the cost of 1 day of the war in Iraq. At 540 (or is it 541?) members * $176,000, the amount of the salary amounts to $1 per family of 4.

Since 2008 I've considered running...to file it costs 1% of the current salary (whatever it may be at the time). Like I said before, our rep runs unopposed so I figure it's just a waste of time and money.

I won't see an increase in my taxes but I have seen a steady pay decrease over the past 5 years.

Alissa_Sal's picture
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Again, please don't make debates personal (i.e. "I know it's not a lot of money to a rich person like you...")

I would hate for the atmosphere of the debate board to become one where we feel like we can't share aspects of our lives (be that homeschooling or that we know people who can afford to go on safari) without fear that it will be thrown back in our faces later.

Thanks!

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"Potter75" wrote:

You can continue to try to talk about my income if you like but it's kind of jerky. My point is that $900 is a tiny percent of their current income- which was published-thus a tiny tiny raise to them. Has nothing at all to do with me. Continue to try to talk about or infer my income level if it makes you happy- but please note it does not relate to the debate. Thanks.

I recently received my annual raise, and it totals about $900 - and I make a heck of a lot less than those in DC who got raises. This was a very small percentage for me, so it must be practically 0.5% for them.

KimPossible's picture
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a 900 dollar raise is not a huge raise for them. It has nothing to do with individual perspective, its simply not a big raise given their skill set and their income.

GloriaInTX's picture
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Of course all of us will have to pay more taxes, but special interests still get their tax breaks. Obama wants to tax the rich unless they are on his special list. I guess Hollywood got their payback for all the money they raised for his campaign.

So how did the special deals make it into the fiscal cliff compromise?

"The White House insisted," said Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The White House didn't respond to a request for comment.

The measures did get examined in detail by the Senate Finance Committee, which approved them by a 19-5 vote in August. The package includes extensions on popular breaks that benefit individuals, including the deduction for state and local taxes.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), one of the few who voted against the measure in committee, said he fought vigorously against what he called "tax goodies for special groups."

"I lost every vote," he said.

"I'm sure there were people on both sides that wanted it in" the fiscal cliff deal, Coburn said. "You have people calling for fairness, but they want to protect the wealthy or their supporters. And that's on both sides of the aisle."

'Fiscal cliff' deal has billions in business tax breaks - latimes.com

From NASCAR to rum, the 10 weirdest parts of the ‘fiscal cliff’ bill

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I won't pretend that I have any true grasp of finance or politics, I find it all rather tedious. That said, the movie tax break is for companies that shoot/produce their films here in the U.S., with extra breaks for doing so in low income communities. Isn't that a good thing? That way all the spending happens here, benefiting everybody?

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I won't pretend that I have any true grasp of finance or politics, I find it all rather tedious. That said, the movie tax break is for companies that shoot/produce their films here in the U.S., with extra breaks for doing so in low income communities. Isn't that a good thing? That way all the spending happens here, benefiting everybody?

Why should they need a tax break to do that? Funny how all the Hollywood actors are the one's out there saying how everyone needs to do their part and protesting against corporate greed and all that, and yet they need a tax break to do theirs? Bunch of hypocrites.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Why should they need a tax break to do that? Funny how all the Hollywood actors are the one's out there saying how everyone needs to do their part and protesting against corporate greed and all that, and yet they need a tax break to do theirs? Bunch of hypocrites.

Aren't there similar tax breaks for other industries? Companies get tax breaks for keeping their industries in the U.S. because otherwise, they save bundles of money by going elsewhere. They're all working for profit, they're not going to spend more if they don't have to without a compelling reason.

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"GloriaInTX" wrote:

Why should they need a tax break to do that? Funny how all the Hollywood actors are the one's out there saying how everyone needs to do their part and protesting against corporate greed and all that, and yet they need a tax break to do theirs? Bunch of hypocrites.

Its not that they *need* it...its an incentive to run your business a certain way because the country benefits on its return.

If the money created by keeping production local is worth more than the tax break offered, then it is worth it. If it is not, then its not worth it. And that should be the basis on if this break makes sense or not....

if that is the actual case? We can only speculate.

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"freddieflounder101" wrote:

I won't pretend that I have any true grasp of finance or politics, I find it all rather tedious. That said, the movie tax break is for companies that shoot/produce their films here in the U.S., with extra breaks for doing so in low income communities. Isn't that a good thing? That way all the spending happens here, benefiting everybody?

Exactly this. Gloria are you actually arguing that it is BAD to encourage companies to do business in the US, in low income areas in particular? This shocks me.