Myth Blaster: Congressional Pay Raise and No Raise for Social Security Recepients


Richard Hupf, retired Coast Guard, sent me this email sent to him by unknown source, that was posted as a letter from a citizen to Rep. Walt Minnick, Sen. Mike Crapo (good surname for a congressman), and Sen. Jim Risch. It reads as follows:

To:

President Barack Obama

January 4, 2010
How can you live with yourselves! It is unbelievable that you are that out of touch with your constituents. 

U.S. House & Senate have voted themselves $4,700 and $5,300 raises. 

1. They voted not to give you a S.S. Cost of living raise in 2010 and 2011. 

2. Your Medicaid premiums will go up $285.60 for the 2-years and 
You will not get the 3% COLA: $660/yr. Your total 2-yr loss and cost is
-$1,600 or -$3,200 for husband and wife. 
3. Over 2-yrs they each get $10,000 
4. Do you feel SCREWED? 
5. Will they have your cost of drugs – doctor fees – local taxes – food, etc., increase? 

NO WAY . They have a raise and better benefits. Why care about you? You never did anything about it in the past. You obviously are too stupid or don’t care. 
6. Do you really think that Nancy, Harry, Chris, Charlie, Barnie, et al, care about you? SEND THE MESSAGE– You’re FIRED. 

IN 2010 YOU WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO GET RID OF THE SITTING CONGRESS: 
up to 1/3 OF THE SENATE, AND 100% OF THE HOUSE. 
MAKE SURE YOU’RE STILL MAD IN NOVEMBER 2010 AND REMIND THEIR REPLACEMENTS NOT TO SCREW UP. 
It is ok to forward this to your sphere of influence if you are finally tired of the abuse. 
Maybe it’s time for the…….. 
Amendment 28
“Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United 

States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives, 
and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or 

Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the 

United States.” 

Let’s get this passed around, folks – these people in Washington have brought this upon themselves!!! It’s time for retribution. Let’s take back America.

Myth Blaster Verdict –
MIXED Results.
Congress didn’t vote for a pay raise – it is automatic. However, they can stop an automatic raise by temporarily stopping it when it appears annually. And, as an added piece of information: federal employees and military service members do not get an adjusted percentage pay raise automatically annually – it must be passed as part of a budget or separate bill and signed by the president. Once again demonstrating the pompous attitude of the US Congress, and their excuse is like what Robert Byrd stated back in 1989 that automatic pay raises avoid grandstanding on the issue.
My senator presently is Russ Feingold, a Democrat who surprisingly is against automatic pay raises and presently there is a bill to kill the practice.
The email stated correctly that a $4,700 raise (congressional salaries are now at $174,000 and this does not include the perks and benefits they provided for themselves, such as a congressional retirement plan) was automatically passed in January of 2009 amidst the economic recession leading to the beginning of a depression. Automatic legislation is not mentioned in the Constitution and it isn’t hard to figure out why. However the 2010 automatic pay raise was rescinded. Not that this makes it any better because it is like congressional legislation (healthcare) is being negotiated behind closed doors rather than in congressional session with airing by C-SPAN for public knowledge and viewing. The legislation to stop this practice passed the Senate with Senator Byrd and House Speaker Pelosi standing against it. Nancy Pelosi also received an email from Las Vegas, California:
To:
Rep. Nancy Pelosi
December 24, 2009
This is an email that I HAPPILY forwarded to everyone on my mailing list.

Please pay special attention to the part about “Amendment 28”
——————————————————————————–

U.S. House & Senate have voted themselves $4,700 and $5,300 raises.
1. They voted to not give you a S.S. Cost of living raise in 2010 and 2011.

2. Your Medicaid premiums will go up $285.60 for the 2-years and
You will not get the 3% COLA: $660/yr. Your total 2-yr loss and cost is -$1,600 or -$3,200 for husband and wife.
3. Over 2-yrs they each get $10,000
4. Do you feel SCREWED?
5. Will they have your cost of drugs – doctor fees – local taxes- food, etc., increase?
6. Congress has its own lifetime insurance plan, which is much better than anything being proposed by Congress for the average US citizen. Congress has its own retirement system, which it much better than anything the average US citizen can ever hope to enjoy, even other Federal government employees. These benefits happen after simply being elected ONCE to Congress. Imagine…… lifetime insurance and retirement pay after ONE two year term for a US Representative or a ONE 6-year term for a US Senator. And, they do NOT have to wait for age 65!

NO WAY. They have a raise and better benefits. Why care about you? You never did anything about it in the past. You obviously are too stupid or don’t care.
7. Do you really think that Nancy, Harry, Chris, Charlie, Barnie, et al, care about you? SEND THE MESSAGE–

You’re FIRED. IN 2010 YOU WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO GET RID OF THE SITTING CONGRESS: Up to 1/3 OF THE SENATE, AND 100% OF THE HOUSE.
MAKE SURE YOU’RE STILL MAD IN NOVEMBER 2010 AND REMIND THEIR REPLACEMENTS NOT TO SCREW UP.
It is ok to forward this to your sphere of influence if you are finally tired of the abuse. Maybe it’s time for the…….. 
Amendment 28 “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators or Representatives, and Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States.”
Let’s get this passed around, folks – these people in Washington have brought this upon themselves!!! It’s time for 

retribution. Let’s take back America.

If you don’t forward this to all your friends you’re just part of the problem of national apathy. Belief fuels enthusiasm, and determined enthusiasm explodes into passion. It fires our souls and lifts our spirits.

According to the GovTrack site, H.R. 156 – To Prevent Members of Congress from receiving any automatic pay adjustment in 2010 was sponsored and initiated by Rep. Harry Mitchell of Arizona on January 6th, 2009 and still is sitting in committee. There are no co-sponsors.
The fact that members of Congress make 94 percent more than they did in 1990 is tough for many Americans to swallow and it draws complaints from activists for a more efficient government. Lawmakers up for reelection in 2010 mid-term campaigns can say they didn’t raise their salaries for 2010, but Congress has accepted automatic yearly pay bumps allowed through “The Ethics Reform Act of 1989” in 13 different years and rejected them for seven others since 1990, according to the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. … David E. Williams, vice president of policy at Citizens Against Government Waste, a private nonpartisan and nonprofit organization that looks for federal government inefficiency and mismanagement, said the congressional salary system wouldn’t stand in most American workplaces. … Earlier this year, more than 100 House members signed on as co-sponsors of the Stop The Congressional Pay Raise Act of 2009 and when the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 was signed into law in March, it prohibited the scheduled 2010 pay raise. The pay raise defeat came while lawmakers were eyeing mid-term elections in 2010.
So, Congress rejected pay raises for 2010 (not 2011 as stated in email), so that part of the email is correct and the part that they voted for raises was false because they automatically received a pay raise (without stopping it) in 2009, the first year of the impending economic depression in the United States, despite record high unemployment and cost-of-living skyrocketing. As David WilliamsCitizens Against Government Waste, stated:
In the private sector you don’t get a pay raise for poor performance. Also, in the private sector you don’t get an automatic pay raise, you actually have to work for it.
Few in Congress do.
However, the bill DID NOT PASS with a vote. GovTrack shows:
This bill is in the first step in the legislative process. Introduced bills and resolutions first go to committees that deliberate, investigate, and revise them before they go to general debate. The majority of bills and resolutions never make it out of committee. [Last Updated: Jan 5, 2010 7:22PM]
The second part of the email/published letter to Congress was that there will be no COLA increase for Social Security recipients. True.
President Obama, however, out of this concern for senior citizens, announced support (with congressional approval) of a one-time payment of $250 to seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities. Keep in mind that VA benefit payment recipients [disabled veterans] will also not receive a COLA raise in 2010. US News:
To counteract the stagnant retirement benefits, President Obama announced his support for a one-time $250 payment for seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities yesterday. Under the proposal, checks would be mailed to 49 million Social Security beneficiaries, 5 million Supplemental Security Income recipients, 2 million veterans, 500 thousand railroad retirement and disability beneficiaries, and about 1 million public-employee retirees. The amount is equivalent to a 2 percent increase in benefits for the average Social Security recipient and would cost $13 billion. Only one payment would be allowed per person.
If Americans want real change, honest reform and a return to the Jeffersonian republican form of government established 233 years ago – you have to clean out Congress; and by doing so you will also clip the socialist fangs of Barack Obama. He will have to fly right or undergo impeachment hearings by a constitutional Congress.
Don’t count on the GOP to provide constitutionally-minded congressmen and women – they have admitted they haven’t qualified candidates to fill slots in Congress. Many congressional members are retiring and not seeking another term. It has been reported that the chair of the GOP (Michael Steele) has announced that his party will not win back the House in 2010. Now is the chance for real reformers and constitutionalists to fill seats in Congress, and make it once again the power of the People.
Rats leaving a sinking ship after they cause it to flounder.
Further Reading:
Getting Control of Congress, Permanently … John Armor, American Thinker
Mad and Madder … Carol Brown, American Thinker
Obama Lies 8 Times on Health Care Negotiations Video … Maggie Thornton, Maggie’s Notebook
Racial Spoils in Obama’s America … American Thinker 
The Intellectual Dishonesty of the Democrats … Lauri B. Regan, American Thinker

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