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June 29, 2005

Congress Gets Raise- What about Min Wage?

Under the law, Congress gets an automatic pay increase tied to inflation, which amounts to $3100 more pay next year, or $165,200 per year.

Now, there's nothing wrong with indexing pay to inflation, but what Congress does for itself, it refuses to do for minimum wage workers. Today's $5.15 per hour minimum wage is 41% less in inflation-ajusted terms than the minimum wage in 1968, when it's real value was $8.78.

Since 1997, the last time the minimum wage was raised, Congressional pay has risen from $133,600, or a 24% increase in pay. If the minimum wage had even kept up with Congressional pay increases since then, the minimum wage should be at least $6.37 per hour.

But instead, while Congress's pay automatically increases each year, minimum wage workers see inflation cutting their real pay year after year after year.

Posted by Nathan at June 29, 2005 07:57 AM