TPA Releases Report on Congressional Pay and Benefits

David Williams

August 29, 2014

This week the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), in partnership with Our Generation, released a report detailing the costs of congressional compensation and the sobering figures of how much the taxpayer is paying when it comes to pay, and benefits for elected officials. The report, “Are Members of Congress Overpaid? An Analysis of Congressional Compensation” (which you can read here) shows that in addition to a salary of $174,000 per year, which by itself puts DC representatives among the highest-paid 5 percent of US workers, members of Congress also receive more generous benefits than typical employees, with total congressional compensation including benefits adding up to $286,000 per year.  The report also reveals that members of Congress make 3.2 times more than the average full-time American worker. With a $17.7 trillion debt and budget deadlines nearing, there is something to be said about the quality of work being done by Congress in comparison to their compensation. The report details specific attempts made in the past year to scale-back pay for Congress, even as some members say they are “underpaid.” TPA encourages everyone to take a look at the report so that more attention can be brought to this very underreported issue.

Here’s TPA’s Press Release on the report:

August 26, 2014

Congress Paid Three Times More Than Average Full-Time Worker in the United States

Taxpayer group unveils report on congressional compensation and benefits

ALEXANDRIA, VA –This morning the Taxpayers Protection Alliance (TPA), in partnership with Our Generation, released their latest report, Are Members of Congress Overpaid? An Analysis of Congressional Compensation, on the real costs to taxpayers for congressional compensation (read the full report on congressional compensation here).  What is revealed should trouble Americans who are struggling to balance their own budgets. While Congress continues their five-week summer vacation, the country falls deeper in debt. Meanwhile, to let real problems fester causing financial burdens for working Americans nationwide, members of Congress continue to receive more than generous pay and benefits. Read the full report on congressional compensation here (insert link).

Americans have every right to be angry with Congress and polling shows that they are with approval ratings in the low teens. Compounding to the disappointment, members of Congress receive pay and benefits far in excess of what average working Americans receive. In addition to a salary of $174,000 per year, putting Congress among the highest-paid five percent of U.S. workers, they also receive generous fringe benefits. In 2014, congressional compensation, with benefits, totals around $286,000 per year. With the average full-time employee in the United States earning $55,048 annually, Members of Congress make 3.2 times more than the average American.

“While Congress takes more than a month off from working to solve real problems that they’ve known about for some time, they are continuing to collect salaries and benefits that put them amongst the better paid employees in the country,” said TPA President David Williams. “Congress should find ways to cut their own budgets, reduce the more than $17 trillion in national debt they’ve helped to incur, and scale back their own salaries as the average income in middle-class households continues to fall.”

The report also shows that if congressional salaries were cut to $100,000, taxpayers could save $39 million annually; while also highlighting some attempts by specific legislators to scale-back pay in some way or another.

“This report comes after some in Washington have the gall to claim that Congress is ‘underpaid’ and needs a raise, while politicians on both sides continue to spend egregiously on wasteful programs. Taxpayers need to take a real look at the work Congress is doing and ask themselves are they getting their money’s worth? This report should encourage Congress to get serious about reforming their pay.”

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