Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cut Congressional Pay

It’s nearly 11 months since Democrat Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona was shot in the head during a rally held with her constituents outside a Tucson grocery store. Giffords had just won re-election to her seat over a tea party candidate that campaigned against Gifford’s support of the Obama’s health care law. As usual our “professional” media reported as “fact" that there may be some connection with Tea Party fanatics and the shooter. Gun control folks immediately jumped on the bandwagon and claimed if we had nationwide gun control this heinous act would have been prevented and the gun rights folks countered with claims that if people were allowed to exercise their 2nd amendment rights someone in the audience would have been packing a firearm for defense and could have returned fire saving at least some of the lives lost and people wounded in the shooting would have been saved. As the months went by police investigations determined that a mentally unstable shooter named Jared Lee Laughner claimed to be a liberal upset with Giffords too conservative stance on the issues. Not surprisingly the media had again reported as fact something that wasn’t even close to being the truth.

It seems Representative Giffords, who is making heroic efforts towards recovery, has submitted a plan to the Super Committee with an idea to cut our $1.4 trillion dollar deficit. POLITICO reported late last week that Giffords and 25 House members have asked the Super Committee to consider cutting lawmakers’ pay as part of the deficit reduction before the November 23 deadline. In a letter to the Super Committee the bipartisan group asks that the cut be made;
“both as a commonsense way to cut government spending and to send a powerful message to the American people that Congress should not be exempt from the sacrifices it will take to balance the budget.” The savings from a 5 percent cut — the amount sought in Giffords’ bill — would amount to just $50 million over a 10-year period, according to the letter.
To tell the truth – this makes sense. Congressional people are paid $174,000 in salary as well as a benefit package that is pegged worth about half again as much as their salaries. It would seem that the very people making our laws and currently earning about 5 times as much as the average American citizen would want to get on board with this proposal to “share the pain” like the rest of us are doing during this recession. The last time congress took a pay cut was in 1933 in the midst of the great depression.

Noticeably absent from those calling for a congressional pay cut are Montana Senators Max Baucus, leader of the Super Committee, Senator Jon Tester, K-Street corruption fighter and Representative Denny Rehberg, former Bush yes-man turned Tea Party poster child.  Congressional staff budgets should be cut as well along with the congressional pay cuts.

It is time to get with the program boys -- your constituents are watching and election time is rapidly approaching.

Related story at POLITICO
Copy of Gifford's letter to the Super Committee


  1. 5% isn’t nearly enough of a cut considering all the perks they get

    Also why should a representative that is only in office for one term immediately get a retirement equal to his past pay? I have no problem with them receiving retirement if they have had a long career in office but to receive a pension because they served for only two years?

    No one else in this country has this kind of deal so give us a break and correct this

  2. Maybe they should just meet for 90 days like we do in Helena

    What have they gotten done this year they couldn't have accomplished in 90 days?

  3. I watched the race and wouldn’t even have noticed the booing if the announcer hadn’t made a big deal of it

  4. Cutting their benefits would save a lot more. Honestly their pay compared to the cost of living in Washington DC is not out of line. It's a very expensive city to live in.
    Maybe the candidates should bid for their pay package. Then we could vote for the lowest bidder. That's how the USPS hands out it's rural routes.