Skip to comments.Boehner Must Champion Congressional Pay Cuts
Posted on 03/20/2011 12:18:38 PM PDT by Kaslin
You cant say theyve been slow to act.
Since the 112th Congress first convened on January 3rd of this year, the U.S. House of Representatives has been aggressively pursuing an agenda of cutting government spending. With the passage of bills that repeal Obamacare, de-fund NPR, and discontinue federal subsidies for special interest group Planned Parenthood (just to name a few), the House has demonstrated that it got the message in last years election.
And now its time for Speaker of the House John Boehner, the man who has led this frenetic charge, to take direct aim at the most obvious form of political self interest. It is time for Speaker Boehner to move forward on cutting the salaries of elected members of Congress.
Boehners leadership in the U.S. House has been front-and-center in a much larger story that has emerged nationwide. Led by state Governors Chris Christie of New Jersey, John Kasich of Ohio, Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Rick Snyder of Michigan, and C.L. Butch Otter of Idaho, elected Republicans around the country have been getting back to doing what Republicans should have been doing for the entire last decade cutting government spending, and reducing government intrusion in private sector business matters. As such, the Republican Party has initiated a very healthy and necessary debate about the proper role of government in society, and has also provided an attractive and distinct alternative to President Obamas the state above all else vision.
And now, as he goes about the peoples business day-to-day in the national spotlight, Speaker Boehner can add a new level of depth and richness to this national debate, and demonstrate that real statesmanship is capable of real self-restraint and real self-sacrifice. If he would champion the idea of congressional pay cuts and make it a legislative priority, he would likely find that the idea has broad bipartisan support among the American electorate, would create lots of good will on behalf of the Republican Party, and most importantly would move the federal government further in the correct fiscal direction.
To be clear, there has been chatter on Capitol Hill about congressional pay cuts for quite some time. Last year for example, Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Arizona) proposed the idea, but with her own party in charge in Washington the idea went nowhere. However, Kirkpatrick also pushed the Obamacare agenda on a less-than-agreeable Arizona electorate, while at the same time she pledged to forego the lavish healthcare plan afforded to her as a member of congress and agreed to instead participate in the Presidents government-run health plan herself. While cuts in congressional salary and benefits were certainly noble ideas, Ms. Kirkpatrick nonetheless managed to get herself un-elected last November as she became one of the infamous one-termer Democratic freshmen who rode the Obama wave to victory in 2008, only to crash with him two years later.
But at the start of this year another Arizonan -and a much more moderate Democrat - Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords took up the mantle. Introducing the congressional pay cut act on January 6th, Ms. Giffords attracted co-sponsorship of her legislation from such diverse House members as the big-spending Rep. Jim Costa (D-California), and the always-looking-for-leaner-government Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). The Giffords bill calls for a meager 5% decrease in congressional pay, yet seems to be stalled for the time being as Ms. Giffords herself continues her miraculous recovery from her own horrific shooting that occurred two days later.
And herein lies the opportunity for Mr. Boehner. If the Speaker of the House would take the baton and move forward while at the same time making cuts in both congressional pay and benefits even steeper, he could demonstrate that American statesmanship is capable of self-sacrifice, and truly operating in the interests of the common good.
And imagine the impact that Speaker Boehner could have on Republican leaders at the state level. If, for example, Governors across the country were inspired to self-impose their own salary and benefits reduction, it could go a long way to demonstrate that teachers and law enforcement officers are not the only government employees that are being asked to do more with less.
Owing to the reality that the U.S. Senate is still controlled by the Obama Democrats, many of Boehners legislative achievements have been dismissed as merely symbolic (the Senate, for example, will never agree to de-funding National Public Radio). To this, the House Majority has rightly offered a very succinct response: give us more Republicans in the Senate, and well make our spending cuts a reality.
But Speaker Boehner has the power, right now, to demonstrate that recipients of some of the most lavish salaries and benefits in the world (all of which are funded with our tax dollars) are capable of self-sacrifice. Mr. Boehner, this is your time -are you ready?
He needs to stop crying and man up first.
Pish. Congressional salaries are *nothing*. Congressional lifetime pensions and health benefits should be addressed, as a symbolic gesture ... but it shouldn’t be a distraction from cutting real spending, such as the Departments of Education, Housing, Energy, etc.
>> If the Speaker of the House would take the baton and move forward while at the same time making cuts in both congressional pay and benefits even steeper
I see it just the opposite.
Give every congressman a ten million dollar bonus — IF and ONLY IF they accomplish a series of goals:
1) reduce the deficit to zero THIS TAX YEAR with NO increase in tax rates
2) FIX the entitlement mess so it is guaranteed solvent within five years
3) Institute a revenue-neutral or (better yet) a revenue-negative flat tax system
3a) Repeal the death tax
4) Any of them having served over 6 years retires at the end of their next term.
That should get their attention, and they are just self-serving enough to accomplish it if there is something in it for THEM.
What’s that funny language in your tagline??
Anyway, yah. Cut off their pensions.
I received this via email today. Feel free to pass it along!
This is what we need:
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.
I’m asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1. Term Limits.
12 years only, one of the possible options below.
A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms
2. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.
4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
THIS WOULD BE A GOOD START!
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.
You cannot use Congressman and self sacrifice in the same sentence. Dream on.
Who cares? Congressional salaries are a drop in the bucket of the $1.6t national deficit. This is cheap populist grandstanding. I bear no grudge to a congressman making a living, in fact there’s good arguments for increasing their salaries - by large margins. Maybe if congressional pay was commensurate with what highly skilled individuals could get in the private sector we could finally get rid of some of the brain dead morons infesting select congressional seats.
No more per Diem and make them fly commercial not Gulfstream.
Make their job miserable so they have higher aspirations elsewhere.
Personally, I think if they cut everything else they can keep their bloated salaries.
Unlike Pelosi, Boehner is flying commercial as far as I know
Boehner has FAR more important things to do right now than spend time on this stuff. Certainly, this could be something to play with down the road, but if he doesn’t concentrate on the big picture cuts, our country is going to fail.
Now, here is a better way to cut those salaries. Seek “justice”. Blow the corruption in DC into a thousand pieces. Investigate, Indite and Imprison.
Go through DC like a crazy man with a meat clever. If we don’t eviscerate the political corruption and scare the hell out of anyone tempted to get so involved, most other changes will be temporary at best.
If it were not for corruption, most of our problems wouldn’t exist.
Problem with Boehner is that he is a Republicand, and not a Conservative.
Regardless of party...the Congress critters will not cut their own salaries. And, really, no one seems to care. If it was a low paid government street sweeper in Wisconsin, there would be protests. No one says anything when it is politicians
ANYONE in Congress who is flying commercial without special privileges is sincerely active in making a major change of the TSA security requirements at the airport.
“You cant say theyve been slow to act.”
You can’t? All I’ve seen is a LOT of talk and very little action!
“With the passage of bills that repeal Obamacare, de-fund NPR, and discontinue federal subsidies for special interest group Planned Parenthood (just to name a few), the House has demonstrated that it got the message in last years election.”
In each case, they voted against these things before they voted for them.
There was no message gotten.
I think Austin Hill is in charge of the GOP Ministry of Information and Doublespeak.
Plus having all those in government be on Social Security and Medicare like the rest of us. No special programs for those in public office. As matter of fact they should be penalized for being so corrupt and destroying America.
Reduce their pay by 20 percent for evey year they don’t balance the budget.
And we wonder why there are so many career politicians.
Give them nothing but expenses to and from Congress, house them in barracks. Serve a term, go home.