Walsh Proposes Indexing Congressional Salaries to Median Household Income in the US

From the Walsh for Congress campaign (8th District)…

(Grayslake, Illinois) – 8th District Republican Congressional Nominee Joe Walsh today promised that, if elected, he would introduce legislation to tie the salaries of members of Congress to the median household income level in the United States.

Rank-and-file members of Congress make $174,000 annually. According to the Census Bureau, the median household income in the U.S. is $50,233 (2007).

“Members of Congress should learn to feel what it’s like to live as most Americans do,” said Walsh. “Congress has become a millionaire’s club of politicians who are insulated from the impacts of their tax-and-spend policies.”

“The 8th district is populated with hard-working middle class and upper middle class families but, even in the 8th, the median household income is about 1/3rd the amount of a congressional salary–that is simply out-of-whack,” Walsh added in explanation of his proposed reform.

Walsh also noted that the high salaries invite politicians to make Congress their career. “A lot of Congressmen couldn’t make $174,000 a year anywhere else but Congress,” said Walsh. “The overly generous salary and benefit levels encourage a permanent political class that undermines the true spirit of public service.”

Unlike his opponent, three-term incumbent Rep. Melissa Bean, Walsh has taken a term limit pledge saying, if elected, he will serve no more than six years in Congress.

In addition to the legislation to reduce Congressional salaries, Walsh has also said he would not take the pension or health care benefits currently afforded to members of Congress.

“I am not a wealthy individual. Like most folks, I’ve had financial struggles in my life. Although the congressional salary and benefits are attractive, I believe they are grossly unfair to ‘average Joes’ like me trying to get by while paying the bills for a government that doesn’t serve them,” said Walsh. “It’s time to re-align the interests of members of Congress with those of the citizens who elected them. My proposal on salaries and benefits will go a long way to doing exactly that.”

Joe Walsh is the Republican candidate running against Democrat incumbent Melissa Bean in 2010 for the Illinois 8th Congressional District. Born and raised in North Barrington, a policy advocate, teacher, and business entrepreneur, Joe has spent his adult life advancing limited-government and conservative principles. For more information on Joe Walsh and his campaign visit: www.joewalshforcongress.com

Copyright Publius Forum 2001