Saturday, December 3, 2011

Message to Congress - Cut Your Own Pay

The most commonly used term to describe the U.S, Congress is "dysfunctional". Over at the The Fix, they posted a telling chart created by Senator Michael Bennet comparing Congress' 9 % approval rating to unpopular people, things and ideas. "U.S. going communist" received an 11 percent approval rating and a recent Gallup poll reported 11 percent of people found polygamy "morally acceptable."

The failure of the Super Committee made it crystal clear that Congress has no intention of doing anything about the budget deficit until after the 2012 elections. The deadlock over whether to extend the payroll tax cut makes it impossible for businesses to make plans to use this savings in ways that could expand the economy. Rather than dealing with the budget and jobs deficits, Congress simply kicks the can down the road and exacerbates the problems hurting the economy. Given the uncertainty about the future caused by the gridlock in Washington, is it really surprising that business owners are holding on to their cash and the economy is failing to grow despite trillion dollar annual budget deficit stimulus?

The weak economy has forced 1,000's of municipal workers and company employees to accept pay cuts, regardless of their level of job performance. Last month, over 20,000 government jobs were eliminated at the federal, state, and local level due to insufficient tax receipts being produced by the weak economy and 315,000 Americans gave up looking for work.

It seems only fair that Congress recognize that given how poorly they are performing that they also take a pay cut. It would represent at least one accomplishment in cutting the budget deficit. It would also be about the most popular action this intensely unpopular Congress could take.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords proposed legislation to cut the salaries of senators and representative by 5% before she was shot during a constituent event in January, 2011. "Members of Congress can't ask any American to cut back before we are willing to make some sacrifices of our own" stated Giffords. Not surprisingly, this proposal has not made much progress. You can express your support for this proposal by sending an email to Congresswoman Giffords via her House contact page

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