Poll: Voters Believe Congress Way Overpaid

Monday, 05 Dec 2011 12:35 PM

By Dan Weil

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While many members of Congress probably consider themselves underpaid at $174,000 a year, their constituents beg to differ. A new poll from The Hill shows that 67 percent of likely voters think congressmen are overpaid.

Only 1 percent believe members of Congress should receive pay raises, and 24 percent say their pay should remain unchanged. In another area of compensation, 69 percent of likely voters say congressional pensions should be eliminated, and only 15 percent believe they should be maintained.

Meanwhile, 64 percent of respondents say Congress is underworked and should be in session for more days. Only 15 percent say Congress should work fewer days, and 16 percent think Congress works about the right amount.

There’s an interesting diversion among men and women over the work load. Among women, 72 percent say Congress is underworked, while only 56 percent of men feel the same way. Among men, 19 percent say Congress should work less, while only 11 percent of women agree.

Voters are likely upset that their own financial situation is much worse than their congressmen’s. The poll shows that 40 percent of respondents expect their personal finances to worsen in 2012, and the same amount see their finances only staying the same. Only 18 percent think their finances will improve.

Poll respondents aren’t happy with the performance of Republicans in the House now that they are the majority. The GOP House takeover changed Washington for the worse, according to 38 percent of respondents, while 28 percent said it changed Washington for the better.

This could simply reflect the fact that voters are displeased with their own financial circumstances rather than that they are upset with Republicans.

Once again there was a split between men and women. A plurality of men – 33 percent – think House Republicans have changed Washington for the better, while 31 percent feel the opposite. Among women, only 24 percent think the GOP House takeover changed Washington for the better, compared to 44 percent who believe the opposite.

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