As most of us know, Lynn Woolsey was one of only 15 members of the House who voted for a pay raise of $1700. The cost-of-living increase went down to resounding defeat with 402 voting against it. The great majority of the members realized that in an economic recession with double-digit unemployment, during the creation of unprecedented federal deficits in the trillions and in a period when Congress is not held in high esteem by the populace; it would be unseemly and unwise to spend more money on themselves.
However, Rep. Woolsey felt/feels so confident of her ability to be reelected regardless of her actions that she bucked the trend.
Certainly, Sonoma County is not a low cost-of-living area. However, most of its employed residents manage on salaries considerably below the congresswoman’s.
If Rep. Woolsey is maintaining that she ought to receive the raise as a reward for good work, well, I beg to differ. She is a member of a Congress that has gone against the will of the people repeatedly and has gone along with two presidents (one Republican and one Democrat) who have put our country in extremely serious financial peril. She is a member of a Congress that has passed a health care bill that most Americans opposed — health care legislation the consequences of which no one yet comprehends and which could be disastrous for us. She is a member of a Congress that constantly acts with divisive partisanship rather than in the interests of our nation. She is not only a member, she is one of it so-called progressive leaders. So, no. I would not say she has earned a salary increase based on performance.
It is time to elect someone to Congress from our 6th District who won’t be so arrogant as to claim a pay raise to an already hefty salary of nearly $175,000.
P.S. Peruse the CRS report and notice how salaries for Congress have climbed over the years. Before the 20th century, annual remuneration never climbed above $5,000 (which, admittedly, was no small sum then). And it wasn’t until after World War II ended that the amount exceeded $10,000. In 1965, the figure was $30,000. By 1980, it had doubled again. And again by the early 1990’s when first the House and then the Senate members received $125,000 per year. Are we really getting anything worthwhile for that level of compensation?