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Will The Fiscal Cliff Hurt Members Of Congress Paychecks?
The fiscal cliff is officially 26 days away and both parties have come up with their own solution.
President Obama’s proposal calls for $1.6 trillion in new revenues, when tax cuts expire for the wealthiest Americans, as well as $600 billion in spending cuts. Republicans put forward a counter offer that will put forward $900 billion in spending cuts and $800 billion in new revenues without any tax cuts.
As members of Congress are trying to reach an agreement to avoid tax increases and program cuts that go into effect Jan. 1, we ask how it will affect Congress. The answer is no.
In this week’s segment of “Say What?” KEYE TV hit the streets asking folks what benefits they think Congress receives.
What is the base salary of a member of Congress?
Srikanteh Srinivasan said, “about $75,000?”
“Probably like one million a year?” said Valentin Shapovar.
Phil Cartwright said, “The base salary? Probably $100,000.”
The base salary for a member of Congress is $174,000. More if you have a leadership position.
Srinivasan said, “Wow, I can't believe that.”
“I think it's actually low for a professional,” said Brian Lacour.
Each member of congress also gets an "allowance.” It's generally used to their offices. Any guess as to How much their "allowance" is?
“I think maybe $100,000,” said Lacour.
Representatives in the House receive more than $900,000 on salaries for up to 18 permanent employees and about a quarter-million dollars more for office expenses, including travel, and additional funding for mailing items to members and a $500,000 budget to hire up to three legislative assistants.
Srinivasan said, That's crazy!”
“I can't say I'm surprised, but I am amazed,” said Cartwright.
Do you think they get any special tax deductions?
“Probably,” said Srinivasan.
They do. Members of congress can deduct up to $3,000 for expenses while outside their home districts or states.
“Again, that blows me away,” said Cartwright.
If all planned taxes happen, the average family will be hit with $2,200 more in taxes in 2013.
By Christie Post