What is the average Congressman's salary? $127,000? $172,000? I don't know. Let me go look it up.
WHAO! $174,000 a year! The Speaker gets $223,500 a year, while the Majority and Minority leaders each get $193,400.
In retirement, according to the Congressional Research Service, out of 455 retired members receiving benefits, 275 were making over $69,000 a year in retirement pay and the other 180 were getting over $40,000. (If that link doesn't open, try this and click "Download report". It doesn't actually download, just opens a PDF.)
Okay. so if we take $15,000 off each Congressman, they will still be set. But that would mean over $8 million dollars in savings each year. And if we cut the retirement pay of those 275 to the same levels as the 180, we'd save another nearly $8 million. For a total of $16 million saved a year.
There is just one idea to cut the budget. And its an easy one. Simple solution, if you look at it. So where else could we cut the budget? Where else can we curb spending so we get rid of this multi trillion dollar disaster?
Why is it so hard, if an outsider, just looking at one small thing, can trim over $16 million. With the size of the Federal government and all the things it spends money on, it cannot be as hard as they say it is to trim the fat. I just did it. And no one lost their jobs. I just reduced the deficit by a big chunk of money just by looking at one group in one part of the US government. And it really won't hurt much. Heck, it won't hurt the average taxpayer anything. Nor will it hurt the average American at all. (I separate these two groups because only 40 some percent of Americans actually pay taxes.)
In his book, The Good Fight, Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) states quite plainly that “[m]ost United States senators have plenty of money and live comfortable lives. So time is the most valuable commodity most of us have” (7-8).
If they live comfortably and have 'plenty of money,' then they can afford to make a little less. The average person makes do on a WHOLE lot less than what the average Congressman makes. And maybe we can cut some of those entitlement things that Congressman have. Maybe make them pay a portion of their healthcare if they want to keep it. Or opt out all together. Now there would be a patriotic gesture. And if they stop getting their overly gracious pay each year in retirement, then maybe we can save a whole lot more than $16 million.
Hey, this is kind of fun. Remember the movie Dave, where the fake President, played by Kevin Kline, brought in his friend the accountant, and they cut the budget? It was kind of like watching the movie. I know I have offered some really big cuts in the past, but this was more fun than usual. Hey, Harry and company, let me at the budget. I bet I get us on a profitable footing in no time.
Now, how much does the President make? The Supreme Court Justices? What about all those staffers that are actually related to the person their working for? You know, the Uncle Bill and Aunt Ginny the elected official's spouse made them hire once they got into office.
I need a paying job, so why not put a bid in for Secretary of Really Big Budget Cuts. And I can commute to DC, no need to actually live there. Heck, this job would be so much fun, I'd be willing to pay for the gas. But you know, some of you out there won't agree with me . . . okay, okay, a lot of you out there won't agree with me. But agree or disagree, you all know we need to trim the fat and waste in government. And you know we can get that multi trillion dollar disaster down a whole lot. But it doesn't matter whether you agree or disagree, whether you think I could do a better job than any dumb old Super Committee or not. It really doesn't matter to me. So long as I get you thinking along some new lines other than the ones the spin doctors of the government are spoon feeding you, then I will have done my job. Because, you know, this is just me, Thinking Out Loud.
Have a great day.
Reid, Harry, with Warren, Mark. The Good Fight. New York, NY. G B Putnam & Sons. 2008. Print.