Government Pay Cuts — What a Concept!

By Alden L. Benton

According to an AFP story linked on the Drudge Report (New French Government Hands Itself 30% Pay Cut), the in-coming socialist regime in France decided to reduce the pay of the president and ministers by 30 per cent. 

It’s a start, anyway.  Perhaps the United States should make a similar symbolic move to reduce the cost of government. 

Since Americans always do things on a grand scale, why stop with a measly 30 per cent cut in pay?  After all, isn’t public service supposed to be a part-time thing, not a lifetime job? 

The president earns $400,000 per year.  Cut his salary to $40,000.  That is about the same as the income of most Americans. 

Senators and Representatives earn $174,000 per year.  Cut that down to $35,000.  Reduce the pay of Congressional leadership positions to $37,500 from nearly $200,000. 

Sounds drastic, but hey, Benjamin Franklin didn’t think they should get paid at all.

These cuts won’t do a whole lot to reduce the deficit or the debt, but will go a long way to making our reps a bit less arrogant and more tuned to the reality we mere mortals face. 

While struggling to live within their more modest means, perhaps they will finally understand the need for less government and lower taxes. 

One can hope.

Why stop with just Congress and the president?  Cut the pay of SCOTUS and all Federal judges to $30,000.  Cut cabinet members and Czars to $25,000, as well as the myriad of federal department heads. 

While we’re at it, let’s peg every other federal employee’s pay (except the military) to $10 per hour.  That’s 38 per cent more than the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. 

The lowest rank in the military should receive a minimum of $40,000 per year for putting his or herself in harm’s way.

Like rats fleeing from a burning building, government employees will run screaming back to the private sector.  As a result, the government will shrink through attrition. 

Now THAT is change I can live with.


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©2012 Alden L. Benton/Independence Creek Enterprises

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One response to “Government Pay Cuts — What a Concept!

  1. The pay cuts for the top officials sound reasonable, given the Founders’ idea of citizen government — people giving their time and energy to serve the public.
    The whole idea, for the legislative bunch anyway, was that they would meet occasionally (rarely) to handle essential business, then … wait for it … go home and continue their normal lives! That means run their own business or otherwise make a living as they would otherwise. That way, they would automatically remain “in touch” with their constituents, who would continue to be their neighbors — not elite strangers hundreds or thousands of miles away from real people. Thus, all us regular folks would be in basically direct, easy contact with our representatives, thus making “lobbying” a citizen matter (as it is meant to be, per the Constitution, rather than an institution of power-centered, money-serving, government-backscratching cronies. Talk about out of touch with the public, not to mention principles and ethics. (Seems like left-wingers would like this arrangement as much as conservatives. But maybe not.)
    One other essential matter in the mix: make big cuts in the bureaucracy — not the least of which is all those overblown staffs. Without their congressional staffs to do most or all of their work for them, those part-time legislators would be forced to use their time wisely — and have no choice but to read every bill that came their way! Maybe then they’d even be inclined to just not bother with a lot of self-aggrandizing, useless, irresponsible, behemoth bills. What a refreshing way way to run a government that would be!

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