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September 13th, 2013 2:19 pm
New Study Shows Members of Congress are Overpaid

Even though Congressional approval ratings remain near an all-time low, Congressional compensation is at an all-time high according to a study released  last month by the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

The report found that, in addition to a salary of $174,000, members of Congress receive over $100,000 a year in benefits and perks. In total, the 435 House Members and 100 Senators each receive compensation of $286,000 annually.

Among Congress’ more questionable perks are months of paid time off every year, taxpayer-funded health and life insurance plans and, most shockingly, publicly financed “contributions toward retirement benefits equal to around 47 percent of their annual salaries, or about $82,000.”

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance points out that, on salary alone, members of Congress “make 3.4 times more than the average full-time American worker.” That’s a particularly startling fact when you consider that, for much of America’s history, service in Congress was considered a part-time job.

Writing for Townhall.com, Taxpayers Protection Alliance president David Williams highlighted the reality that U.S. Congressmen are paid much more handsomely that their counterparts in other wealthy nations:

Members of the United States Congress are among the highest-paid legislators in the world. On average, legislators in other parts of the world receive salaries equal to 2.3 times the average wage. In only one other country – Japan – are legislators paid more relative to the citizens they govern. In the United Kingdom, for instance, members of Parliament receive salaries equal to 2.2 times the average full-time worker wage.

When compared to either average hardworking Americans or national lawmakers from other countries, it is clear that members of Congress are overpaid. And, since taxpayers fund their bloated salaries and the nation is mired in suffocating debt, that’s a serious problem.

The Taxpayers Protection Alliance study encourages lawmakers to reduce their salaries to a more realistic $100,000 a year. That commonsense approach to getting Congressional salaries in line with the pay of regular Americans would save taxpayers $39 million annually.

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