Now that the Republicans are back in charge, I look forward to them following up their tough talk about runaway government spending with concrete action. The first thing they should do is cut their own pay by 10% and reduce their office budgets by the same amount.
Those in the ailing private sector fortunate enough to have jobs are already tightening their belts. Why should Congress be any different? After all, the company they work for, the United States Government, has had a few bad years and has seen its revenue tumble. Every dollar that Congress receives is adding to the deficit.
Back in April, Ann Kirkpatrick (D-AZ) proposed a bill that would cut congressional pay by 5%. ( I guess you have to start somewhere.) She noted in her floor speech that the last time Congress cut its pay was in 1932 at the height of the Great Depression. What other group (outside of ballplayers, news anchors and union members) has not had a pay cut in almost 8 decades?
Congress has already voted to turn down pay raises for 2010 and 2011. That’s not enough. Revenue is down, their pay needs to follow. Even though the overall dollar amount is not huge in relation to this country’s humongous and unsustainable debt, the goodwill benefits of cutting their own pay would be tremendous.
By the way, Kirkpatrick lost her bid for relection to dentist Paul Gosar. His platform included extending the Bush tax cuts for everyone while also balancing the budget in 10 years. I wonder if he also believes in the Tooth Fairy.