NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Are Taxpayers Getting Their Money's Worth?

August 12, 2011

Citizens across the country are struggling to make ends meet.  They are frustrated with the failure of their elected representatives in Congress to address pressing national problems to make things better for all Americans.  Compounding their frustration is the fact that members of Congress receive pay and benefits far in excess of what average working Americans receive, says the Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

  • In addition to a salary of $174,000 per year, which by itself puts members of Congress among the highest-paid 5 percent of American workers, Congressmen and women receive more generous fringe benefits than typical American employees.
  • In fact, congressional compensation including benefits totals around $285,000 per year.
  • In a time when unemployment rates are at unacceptably high levels and those who are working are often subject to "pay for performance" standards, it is galling to many to hear of the generous pay and benefits Congress has provided for itself.

Members of Congress should be adequately compensated for their efforts.  However, the salaries and benefits make them among the best compensated employees in the American workforce.  Given record budget deficits and Congress' seeming inability to agree on plans to address the shortfall, many Americans are skeptical of what they receive in return for what they are paying their elected representatives.  Immediate steps need to be taken to cut Congressional salaries and benefits and reassure Americans that sacrifices made during this economic downturn are being widely shared.

Source: "Are Taxpayers Getting Their Money's Worth?" Taxpayers Protection Alliance, July 2011.

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