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American Opinion: On congressional pay raises should stop:

An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:

From The Associated Press

On congressional pay raises should stop:

A bill to once again block an automatic congressional pay raise for 2011 is a good step at a time when America is wallowing in fiscal calamity, but Congress really needs to go further and abolish the automatic increase entirely.

For the second year, both the House and Senate have passed a bill that will prevent the 0.9 percent adjustment from kicking in next year, increasing the base member salary of $174,000 a year by $1,600. It will be sent to President Barack Obama for signing into law.

The House bill -- H.R. 5146 -- was co-sponsored by Rep. Michael Arcuri, D-Utica, who co-sponsored a similar measure last year. The 2010 pay raise also was blocked, saving taxpayers approximately $2.5 million. ...

More important, Arcuri's bill would repeal the automatic pay raises, a perk approved by Con-gress in 1989 when it decided to provide itself with annual raises via an option called "cost-of-living adjustments." It guarantees lawmakers a salary increase every year whether they deserve it or not. Arcuri's legislation would require Congress to vote on any salary increase. ...

While allowing anyone to vote on his own pay raise might cause some employers to shudder, in the case of Congress, it's the lesser of two evils. At least by requiring legislators to publicly vote on their own pay increase, they'd be held accountable in the eyes of the taxpayers -- and the voters. ...

-- The Observer-Dispatch,Utica, N.Y.