So the public put Congress in its place by fighting off a big pay raise for the lawmakers, did it?

Think again.Though the thwarted pay raise would have been a 50 percent hike for the senators and representatives, it amounted to an increase of only 1.1 percent of the total cost of running Congress.

Meanwhile, the lawmakers voted a $380 million increase in Congress' operating budget, which will come to $2.2 billion this year. That's an increase of 21 percent, compared to a hike of just 7 percent in the total federal budget. In eight years, Congress' budget has risen a total of 81 percent.

The bottom line is that, one way or another, the members of Congress do pretty well for themselves year after year.