Buzz growing for Congress to take bite out of own benefits

Columbus Dispatch

WASHINGTON — The last time it happened was way back in 1933.

As President Franklin D. Roosevelt took office in the midst of the Great Depression, members of Congress decided to do their bit and chop their pay from $9,000 a year to $8,500.

Nearly 90 years later, as the nation’s unemployment rate is hovering at 9.1 percent and a special congressional committee aims to reduce the deficit by $1.5 trillion in the next decade, murmurs are growing that maybe Congress should take a pay cut.

In a letter yesterday to the 12 members of the special committee, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance urged a 10 percent reduction in congressional salaries, which would save $100 million in the next 10 years.

“During a weak economic recovery with high unemployment and many Americans being forced to do with less, Congress should not continue to reward itself with extravagant salaries and benefits,” wrote David Williams, president of the Washington-based nonpartisan organization.

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Buzz growing for Congress to take bite out of own benefits »