The D.C. Council: Because Things Don't Ban Themselves

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The D.C. Council, whose greatest hits include prescription drug price controls and our imminent smoking ban, says it's time for a pay raise. And not just any raise: a raise that will elevate them well beyond their counterparts in such backwaters as New York City and Boston. Via the Washington Times:

One bill under consideration would lift their annual salaries from $92,530 to $115,000—a 24 percent increase. Another bill would raise their pay to $122,530—a 32 percent increase.

 Yesterday, the lawmakers said they deserve a pay raise because they haven't had one in years and their current pay is not adequate for the long hours they work.

 "It tires me to hear any reference to this being a part-time job," council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat, said during a council meeting. "This has been more than a full-time engagement. This has been my life for eight years."

The public hearings come after an attempt to pass "emergency legislation" for a 51 percent pay hike. That bill's sponsor says he's struggling to support his family on a $92,000 part-time job.

Shira Toeplitz has a better idea.

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  1. I wonder if more than 2% of the cowple who actually live in DC know or care about this. Seems like the main body of resistance are the folk who commute in and out, with a sigh of “thank goodness I don’t have to live here.”

    I would differ from them as I avoid that side of the river, work in Arlington, VA and say that whatever stupidity they vote in they deserve.

  2. Oddly enough, I often say the same thing about Arlington.

  3. D.A.,

    Yes, Arlington does have it’s version of big-city-government-stupidity, but DC is way ahead of anything Arlington ever thought of. BTW, I vote in TN.

  4. I think the total compensation of any elected official should be capped at the after-tax median income (based on the census) of their constituents. In the years between the census, raises are capped at the rate of inflation.

    That way, if elected officials want a raise they have to either lower taxes or somehow make their constituents incomes greater.

  5. “It tires me to hear any reference to this being a part-time job,” council member Jim Graham, Ward 1 Democrat, said during a council meeting. “This has been more than a full-time engagement. This has been my life for eight years.”

    That is the problem. No legislative body in America (Congress included) ought to meet more than 90 business days a year. After that, the doors are locked and they have to go home and get a life. If we did that, we would have a lot less government and lot less bullshit than we have now.

  6. DA:

    It is worthwhile for out-of-towners to pay attention to the DC council, because these assholes are constantly threatening their bullshit “commuter tax”. To the Council, commuters are parasitic invaders. Let’s just totally ignore the millions commuters spend on local businesses.

  7. During the hearing, outgoing council member Vincent B. Orange Sr. (D-Ward 5) said he has struggled to support his family, with three children, on his $92,530 annual salary.

    Maybe then, he should get a different job?

    He may have a point. Spending 600,000,000 of taxpayers’ dollars on a new baseball stadium is hard work.

  8. JW,

    The Honorable Mr. Orange may be well to invest in some birth control too, since his salary is not keeping up with the growing headcount in his house.

  9. This town is full of entitled, self-important assholes.

  10. It is worthwhile for out-of-towners to pay attention to the DC council, because these assholes are constantly threatening their bullshit “commuter tax”.

    Agreed. I probably should have admitted in my original comment that I am a native Arlingtonian.

  11. Lets be fair, Carroll Schwartz deserves a raise. She might actually be my favorite pol ever.

    http://www.dccouncil.us/SCHWARTZ/alcohol_ban_statement_june21_2005_rls.htm

  12. It is worthwhile for out-of-towners to pay attention to the DC council, because these assholes are constantly threatening their bullshit “commuter tax”. To the Council, commuters are parasitic invaders. Let’s just totally ignore the millions commuters spend on local businesses.

    Commuter taxes always seemed pretty reasonable to me. Commuters get the advantages of working in a city but stick the residents of the city with the expenses of running a city, not to mention the traffic and pollution.

  13. Commuter taxes always seemed pretty unreasonable to me. Inner city residents get all the advantages of taxes paid by suburbanites, but then stick them with the expenses of social and cultural devolution, not to mention the out-of-wedlock births and functional illiteracy.

  14. Commuter taxes never made sense to me.

    On the objective of raising revenue then tax the businesses in town. The commuters will be taxed when it is passes to them.

    I would like to know what “services” the commuters are using free? Certainly is not water or electricity because their employers are paying for that, the city does not provide it free.

    Use of roads? Give me a break! DC does seem to have better roads than Manhattan, but not much better. You are going to charge commuters for that? DC drivers don’t pay for the surrounding roads either.

    Public transportation? The riders are supposed to be paying for that.

    DC is just ginning up another scheme to steal from the captive employees of the federal government and various industries.

    They already figured out how to “tax” the feds for phone service (tax the phone company per line, not the user per line). Now maybe they can figure out that just because the feds give a business tax-exempt status the city does not have to follow along.

    I am quite amazed that the first toll booths on the interstate are north of DC, rather than on the VA and MD borders.

    I swear, if DC imposes a commuter tax I hope all of the surrounding areas impose them on DC residents too. Maybe the Arlington COSTCO parking lot will thin out a bit.

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