Could our congressional representatives live on $10,712 per year?

In the last two weeks our congressional representatives have (a) given themselves the seventh straight raise since Republicans took control of Congress (an increase of $3,300 per year for an annual salary of $168,500), and (b) denied an increase in the minimum wage by keeping it at $5.15 per hour (where it has been for nine years).  They obviously believe Americans can live on $10,712 per year and do not need an increase in the rate set almost a decade ago, yet they can not survive without annual increases in their salary which they setup to happen automatically so they wouldn’t have to worry about them.

I think it’s a sincere question: Could our congressional representatives live on a gross income of $10,712 per year?  They seem to think We The People can do just that.

A reader of the Sun-Sentinel puts into words what I think everyone should be feeling about this:

Sen. Mel Martínez should try to live on $10,712 per year ($5.15 an hour). Clearly, based on his recent vote not to raise the minimum wage, he feels that Americans earning that amount can sustain themselves.

He can say it is to help business or to protect jobs, but he has once again stuck it to working Americans who will live below the poverty level working full time at that wage. Why ask business to pay a fair wage when he can burden the American working family already crushed under the national debt?

Thank you, Sen. Martínez, for keeping an affordable home out of the grasp of working Americans. His anti-family vote not to raise the federal minimum wage while he accepts a raise is the height of hypocrisy.

Whatever he got for his soul, he should donate it to a family trying to survive at $5.15 an hour. For his sake, I hope that he has enough wealthy constituents to support his next campaign, but I doubt it. Shame on him.

[via Daily Kos]

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