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'Greed Gone Wild' -- Pennsylvania's Legislators Vote Themselves a Pay Raise

Sometimes you just have to step back and look at how legislators elsewhere in America treat their taxpayers to realize that "over there" can actually be worse rather than better. While the Grand Poohbahs in Arlington County, or even those in Richmond, have not shown county taxpayers any respect, it could be worse as evidenced by the manner in which Pennsylvania's state legislators gave themselves a pay raise this summer. State legislators there think they "virtually sit on the board of directors of a $35 billion entity called Pennsylvania." That's how Pennsylvania House Leader William DeWeese (D) told the Philadelphia Inquirer, in defense of the legislative pay raise of 16 to 38 percent, according to a column by Ralph Reiland in the American Spectator. Reiland noted that Pennsylvania's legislators received an "F" from the Cato Institute in 2004 "for controlling spending." It gets worse, though. According to Paul Jacobs of Americans for Limited Government, "(b)ecause legislators wanted their new dough right now, they also had to overcome the clear restriction in the state constitution that says they cannot take a pay raise without an election intervening first. How'd they do it? They simply called their raises 'unvouchered expenses' and began grabbing the loot immediately." Perhaps the best view of the pay raise comes from a cartoon posted at the National Taxpayers Union's blogsite.