Reid Adds Judicial Pay Raise To Auto Bailout

Good for Harry Reid:

If the $14 billion bailout plan for U.S. automakers passes, it will help more than just Ford, Chrysler and General Motors. Federal judges would get a pay raise, as well. The raise an annual cost of living adjustment, or COLA would bring U.S. District court judges up to par with members of Congress, who will receive an almost $5,000 boost on Jan. 1. District judges and lawmakers now earn $169,300 a year but are expected to be awarded a 2.8 percent raise next year, said Dick Carelli, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., insisted that the judicial pay raise go into the automaker loan measure, which is the only item of business on Congress' lame-duck agenda.

Federal judges are underpaid as it is. This COLA is only fair.

Speaking for me only

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    They just can't help themselves. (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by Fabian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:23:44 AM EST
    Why didn't they put it on the TARP bill instead?  Or the next budget bill?  

    That bill is going to have a hard enough time in the Senate as it is.

    While I agree it is deserved (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by ruffian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:25:29 AM EST
    I hate it when they tack unrelated items onto bills like this. I know, that's the way it's done, but I still hate it.

    OCD legislators. (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Fabian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:36:33 AM EST
    You have to wonder what goes on for the annual budget bill.  Is it really legislators discussing the best way to spend taxes or is it everyone hauling their stack of pork proposals to the table and arguing that their pork is more essential than the other pork?

    Pet peeve of mine too... (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:36:50 AM EST
    I feel it is often used as a way for congress-critters to get something passed that would not get enough votes on it's own merits.  In other words, it is slick and sneaky.

    I don't understand why they can't stick to one issue per bill.

    As deserved as the raise might be, most American wage earners aren't getting raises, it is unsavory to give one to the employees of American wage earners at this time.


    My sentiments exactly, very well said. (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Amiss on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 11:20:48 AM EST
    As deserved as the raise might be, most American wage earners aren't getting raises, it is unsavory to give one to the employees of American wage earners at this time.

    Some day you will have (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 11:39:22 AM EST
    some pet issue that you really want to see passed, and you will be delighted when it's put into an omnibus bill.

    You're probably right... (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:03:31 PM EST
    I'd take the repeal of reefer prohibition by hook or by crook...but that doesn't make it the right way to legislate.

    Yes, she's right.... (none / 0) (#16)
    by oldpro on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:24:50 PM EST
    and there is no 'right way.'

    What works, works.

    Thanks gawd for the Senate decorating the Xmas tree bank-bailout bill, forcing the House's hand.  The add-ons were significant and needed.  The basic bill...not so much...not without more congressional controls.  Sheesh...


    HE, and thanks (none / 0) (#18)
    by andgarden on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:32:43 PM EST
    Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by blueaura on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:56:19 PM EST
    I don't know whether or not they really needed a raise (169K sounds like a lot to me, but I guess they have a high pressure job). But I am against this method of legislation. It seems underhanded. And the irony is, though lawmakers seem to love it, it frequently causes them trouble at election time...

    Voiceover: "Senator Hoohah voted against providing bullets for our troops to use in their guns!"

    Senator Hoohah, from his couch: "But that legislation included provisions for turning stray cats and dogs into food for homeless people!"


    Salary of federal judiciary (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 01:08:58 PM EST
    hasn't increased in years.  Essential to increase the salaries.  Need qualified, experienced lawyers to be interested in applying for judicial positions.  Usually such lawyers take a huge salary cut from partnership in private firms to serve the public as judges.  

    The irony of it all (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by Saul on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 11:05:32 AM EST
    Yeah then get after the banks on the financial industry bailout for spending the money foolishly then turn around and give a bonus to federal judges in the form of a pay hike.  Reid of course  is the democrat who supports Obama whose whole mantra was I will be a different politician.  You will see change with me at the helm.   Yeah right. Give me a break.

    The senate needs to sanitize this auto bail out bill and put all types of conditions on this bil.  One of those conditions it cannot have any related benefits attached.   You want taxpayers money free  auto industry then ok will accommodate you but here are the conditions that the taxpayers want for this free exchange.  Take it or leave it.  

    Why congress did not legislate conditions on the first financial industry bailout is beyond me.  The only way any bail out money needs to be given out is  with conditions.

    As someone currently nursing at the breast (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 11:07:15 AM EST
    of eagle, we need to take of those that feed the eagle so the rest of us can continue to nurse.  The judges didn't need this pay rise right now.  Our economy is probably going to deflate.....in fact I think it is right now but nobody will acknowledge it yet.  Those of us on fixed incomes will be okay for the next year.....everybody else not so much.

    Heh (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 11:15:28 AM EST
    My father (USAF vet) told me that on payday, the usual catchphrase was "The eagle sh*ts tonight!"  I think I like your biological turn of phrase much better.

    I just read what I typed (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 11:19:45 AM EST
    I've had a caffeine free morning and it's showing.  How sad that before noon I can't make sense without coffee.  I hope they never make caffeine illegal.  I'll have to stay in bed until lunch.

    I'd have to break the law. (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by oldpro on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:31:54 PM EST
    Or move to Brazil...

    Break the law... (none / 0) (#19)
    by kdog on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:46:39 PM EST
    when it deserves to be broken...it is your civic duty:)

    I can picture the guy in alley now..."I got French Roast, I got Hazel Nut, I got Colombian...what ya need? what ya need?"


    Hazel nut! Hazel nut?!? (none / 0) (#25)
    by oldpro on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 07:18:31 PM EST

    I don't want my coffee doctored with flavors unless I order a mocha (that's with chocolate, natch).

    Jeez...french roast is flavor enough...coffee flavor.


    Umm, yeah (none / 0) (#5)
    by jarober on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 08:43:20 AM EST
    Because adding unrelated items to the bill will make the public happier about it.  

    If you liked Paulsen's plan, you have to love this one.  Remind me again what the real differences are between Bush and the Democrats?

    For one (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 09:11:52 AM EST
    Most Democrats aren't in favor of letting 2 million jobs disappear, in the middle of a recession, by opposing relief for the auto industry.

    Senate Republicans.... (none / 0) (#7)
    by Fabian on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 09:54:53 AM EST
    It's not the Democrats.

    oh pleeeeeease! (none / 0) (#22)
    by Prithimp on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:48:35 PM EST
     This is political posturing at its worst. There is ABSOLUTELY NO GAURANTEE THAT THESE JOBS WILL BE SAVED IN THE LONG RUN!If that were really true  then a case might actally be made for bailing out these companies.
    These companies haven't had a bright idea in over a decade and suddenly they come back in a week with "concrete" plans to turn around their companies just because Nancy told them to!
     The auto companies are threatening to bleed to death right on our doorstep ..sound familiar ?Nobody has a clue what to do but apparently 'doing nothing" is not a option according to Dodd and the rest of the dopes .Well now that is real reassuring! The fact of the matter is supporters "hope" that after this bailout everything will be ok.In fact Chris Dodd and gang  have freely admitted that there are no gaurantees but are quite happy to throw good money after bad to save their collective political butts. Afterall they can't really afford to look like they haven't a clue.  A more sustainable solution may be retraining workers to find jobs in other industries and supporting them in the meanwhile . And it seems that while everyone else is getting a "haircut" our "hardly" working public servants in congress are due a  "much deserved" $5000 boost for the great job they have done so far .

    You are correct (none / 0) (#24)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 06:13:28 PM EST
    but the long run is not the issue.  In the short run we're in a recession and we definitely can't afford to lose those jobs.  In the long run, if there's no way those businesses can become profitable, oh well.

    In the short run it's a very clear choice, and one of the choices is letting more than a million people lose their jobs.


    Oh well ? This is a LOT of money (none / 0) (#26)
    by Prithimp on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 10:12:02 PM EST
     even thou it seems a pittance considering the way 'billions' are being thrown about these day?  
    And what exactly is the the short run? At a burn rate of 3 billion dollars per month for GM alone, 15 Billon is not going to get them far...maybe just enough to get them into early next year.  This recession is going to be here a long while after that. Doesn't it make more sense to invest this money into creating a long term sustainable jobs programmes along the lines of those already being suggested such as thru infrastructure etc rather than flushing it down the toilet .According to  reports, worker salaries account for abt only approx 10% of costs (not sure if that is a correct figure). Even if it is a bit hgher ,adding the salaries of workers in ancillary industries it would still be cheaper and smarter  to simply support these workers while they retrain or find another job.

    As a rule (none / 0) (#27)
    by Steve M on Fri Dec 12, 2008 at 01:51:00 AM EST
    it is far cheaper to save an existing job than to create a new one.  I see no reason why this should be the rare exception.

    I'm not aware of any either/or decision where we have a fixed pot of money and we have to either bail out the auto companies or create a long-term jobs program, but not both.  I'm not sure I accept that infrastructure counts as "long-term sustainable jobs," for that matter, although I'm certainly in favor of that sort of spending.

    When you're in a recession, the sort of thinking that goes "let's put 2 million people out of work today, we can invest in a long-term jobs program and they'll have something to do eventually" simply does not compute.  The economy right now cannot absorb a failure of that magnitude, no matter how much you want it to be so.


    I think we are at cross purposes. (none / 0) (#28)
    by Prithimp on Sun Dec 14, 2008 at 09:45:30 AM EST
    First I'd like to make it clear, I am not per se against bailouts but they must make financial sense. So by all accounts (and must say that there is so much conflicting information out there that my understanding may be be wrong abt one or all 3)I would say  Ford is the only one who has a chance of turning around and so a case can be made  for a bail out .
    Two points actually one point and a question...there really IS a  fixed pot of money..and I do not mean the TARP or any other fund that may be  created when Obama takes office but in the sense that every government has a fixed pot of money as defined by its revenue (taxes that you and I pay directly or indirectly) and must prioritise and invest this money wisely else said govt will be sitting on a pile of debt or as the saying goes "mortgaging its future".
    My question..how much do you think  this auto bailout will cost in the final analysis. Do you believe 15 billion will be the end of the matter or do you think that the government will end up givng them by some estimates anything upto 125 billion?

    Remember also (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by cal1942 on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 12:20:13 PM EST
    that the auto measure is a loan not a grant.

    er..not...a loan is when you have a chance of (none / 0) (#23)
    by Prithimp on Thu Dec 11, 2008 at 03:58:05 PM EST
    getting it back.
    This is as the saying goes a "hail mary pass"to save political butt.
    The only company with a slim chance is Ford,the rest are history.
    In a way I actually appreciate Blagojevich "honesty" rather than the subtle intrigues that is so euphemistically refered to as  "politics"!