From the "be careful what you wish for" file, comes a report out of D.C. that three prominent taxpayer advocacy groups are calling on the new Republican majority in the House to start their promised cost cutting very close to home.
Slashing the salaries of Representatives, say the organizations, would show voters the House GOP is going to lead by example.
Yeah, like that's ever going to happen.
But I applaud representatives of the National Taxpayers Union, the Brookings Institution and Citizens Against Government Waste for raising the touchy, at least on Capitol Hill, issue of Congressional pay.
What they're worth: Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) is slated to receive a $30,100 pay increase when he becomes Speaker of the House in the upcoming 112th Congress. His annual salary will be $223,500.
The base pay for House and Senate lawmakers is $174,000. Majority and minority leaders each make $193,400 per year.
The GOP's Pledge to America, a political document unveiled as the midterm elections wound down, does does call for cutting Congress' budget.
However, Boehner spokesman Michael Steel told The Hill newspaper that "no specific decisions have been made about how that will be done at this time."
A gesture we can relate to: Cutting pay, said National Taxpayers Union executive vice president Pete Sepp, would be "one of the best symbols, because unlike virtually anything else the federal government does, when Congress spends money on its own salaries and benefits, people can make a direct comparison to their own situation."
Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform, said he supports members taking a pay cut. But, according to The Hill, when Norquist spoke with Republican leadership aides recently, they were not quick to jump on the idea.
However, Norquist said, Republicans might want to unveil the pay cut in a ceremonial fashion and not have their limelight stolen.
Personally, with out without a formal limelight ceremony, I'll believe in smaller Congressional paychecks when I actually see 'em … or pigs flying down Pennsylvania Avenue.
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