WASHINGTON - The economy is in tatters and job losses abound, but there are pay raises to be had in these trying times.

You just have to get elected.

Joe Biden, who will become vice president on Jan. 20, will receive a salary of $227,300 — $6,200 more than predecessor Dick Cheney. Close behind is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who will get a $6,100 jump to $223,500.  

Senators and members of Congress will get a $4,700 increase, bringing their salaries up to $174,000. House and Senate leaders’ salaries will rise to $193,400 from $188,100.

President George W. Bush issued an executive order on Thursday to provide the annual cost-of-living increase.  ”Every year the president issues this in December or January and it takes place in the first applicable pay period after Jan. 1,” White House spokesman Carlton Carroll said.

The government increases pale compared with huge year-end Wall Street bonuses that can rocket the recipient into the millionaire category.