Voter-Taxpayers Want Congress to Take A Pay Cut
John Boehner will receive a $30,100 pay increase next year when he becomes Speaker of the House. His new salary will be $223,500/yr. The base pay for House and Senate lawmakers is $174,000, while majority and minority leaders each make $193,400 per year.
Only 15.7% of American households make over $100K, but almost every American has seen his/her pay stagnate or even go down this year. Since the average taxpayer makes around $45k, many see congress’ pay as an example of big government being too big.
The NTU, the National Taxpayers Union is putting pressure on the new Speaker of the House, John Boehner, to put pay cuts for congressmen on the agenda.
“There has to be a visible gesture that people can immediately relate to, and cutting pay would be one of the best symbols, because unlike virtually anything else the federal government does, when Congress spends money on its own salaries and benefits, people can make a direct comparison to their own situation, said Pete Sepp, the executive vice president of the conservative National Taxpayers Union.
Lead by example and set the tone by showing the voters the new GOP majority in the House is serious about the campaign pledges they made. Cutting congress’ own pay would make it easier to cut other’s pay in government. Leading by example may even be seen by the individual states as a way to get with the people. It could have an impact on not only fed and state governments, the idea may even trickle down to local governments.
Local governments may need the most encouragement. For example, Bell, California’s mayor, three council members, former city manager and three other former officials were arrested on corruption charges related to their exorbitant salaries. All spent the night in jail. An audit shows the city of Bell mismanaged more than $50 million in bond money and suggests that the ex-city manager and other employees took those funds as further compensation.
Do as I do
Leading by example and cutting your pay first, will put everyone in government on notice. No budget is too small to consider cutting, even if it is more symbolic than real. Perhaps we will becpme a nation of conservative budget cutters.
“It’s pretty clear that the American people want a smaller, less costly, more accountable government here in Washington,” Boehner said to reporters the day after Election Day.
Congressman Boehner, cutting paychecks of congress will send your best first message that you are serious about reducing the size of government.
Quote sources: The Hill