While checking my facebook this evening I ran across a status update that sparked my attention.
Salary of the US President. ..$400,000
Salary of retired US Presidents …$180,000
Salary of House/Senate…$174,000
Salary of Speaker of the House.. .$223,500
Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders… $193,400
Average Salary of MARINE DEPLOYED IN AFGHANISTAN $38,000
I think we found where the cuts should be made! If you agree…repost
I guess the anticipated response to this is something along the lines of “Heck yeah!! Greedy *!#%@*” In fact one comment was: ” I think these congressman should make zero until they cut all this spending. Including the man at the top.”
My reaction was quite different. A colleague and I have been discussing the national debt (I know, who hasn’t right?) a lot recently. We happen to be on practically opposite sides when it comes to political views. We do however agree a lot when it comes to this issue. I sat in my recliner thinking about this particular status for a while. The longer I thought, the more upset I got. Why are we so focused on what they make? Why are their salaries important? In fact, if they were to cut their own salaries I think it would actually be a really stupid move.
Bare with me. If they were to cut their salaries, how would they pay off their own debt? Granted, a lot of them make more money then what their job salaries denote. But is it crazy to think that some of them wouldn’t be able to pay at least some bills? How many of us budget for our income and not what our income might become? Considering the National Personal debt is over $54 trillion (source), I would have to say most of us. So, reducing their income would actually be adding to the total national debt, yes?
How much of a difference would it make if we were to go so far as cutting their entire salaries for a year? From what I can calculate, $93,617,100. Wow, that seems like a crazy amount of money right? Except we are accruing debt (interest and new debt) at a speed of around 2 million per minute (source). So that almost $94 million is eaten up in less than an hour.
ONE HOUR! Did anyone else feel their heart stop for a moment?! So what does need to be done? Honestly, the first step I think would be to stop attacking individuals, especially those that are in our Congress. We elected these people, and they need our support while making these difficult decisions. They need prayers and they need to not be criticized for everything they do. Personally, I can’t imagine that they are sitting on Capitol Hill oblivious to the horror that is this situation like they are portrayed. They are human after all.
Then, we all need to get over this bi-partisan bull crap. The stubborn “my way is the only way” mentality is making this situation worse on everyone. I’m tired of hearing about ‘tea-baggers’ and ‘libatards’ and how each are destroying the nation. Seriously? Since when did we go back to kindergarten and start name calling again?
We are past having the liberty to waste time with such pettiness. We need to re-unite as a country and stand behind those that we have put in power. Granted, we may not agree with all of them and expressing your respectful opinion is a constitutional right. (The respectful part is just common courtesy of course.) In order to make it through this we need to start acting like we actually want to get through it intact.
“Will not the good people respond to a united, and earnest appeal from us? We can succeed only by concert. It is not “can any of us imagine better?” but, “can we all do better?” The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise — with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.”
— Abraham Lincoln’s concluding remarks to Congress December 1, 1862