Pay Cuts

Posted 5:12 am

From time to time those people we elect to represent us government get together to discuss money, particularly how much the government is responsible for collecting from the population it governs and how it will then spend that money once collected. It seems that during this times, at least as of late, a lot of discussion revolves around the specific topics of tax cuts and social security benefits. Now, I don’t really want to talk about that specifically. I’m not an economist and I can barely balance the budget of my own household let alone that of an entire nation. Instead I’ve like to take a moment to focus on some of the reactions I see others having to them.

One such reaction I keep seeing, over and over again, is the suggestion the whole of congress should take a massive pay cut. The reason for this is that it should, somehow, enable government to simultaneously not raise taxes while continuing to fund programs such as Social Security. In fact, I’ve seem some suggest that a pay cut to members of Congress would make up the difference of savings that would be made if we cut the pay of our military personnel.

I’m a little confused about this. How many members of Congress to these people think we have? How much do these people think they’re getting paid? Let’s look at some numbers. There are currently some 535 members of Congress. A rough estimate of their annual pay is $100 million. Wow, sounds like a lot, right? Well, how many military personal are there? Currently, about 1.5 million (active duty). That works out to something like an extra $60 per year, per soldier. Wow. And that’s not taking into account the 1.5 million in reserve duty. Does it still sound like a lot of money? Look at it this way, if we upped and gave every member of our military (active and reserve) a pay cut of $30 a year (would anyone even notice?), we could buy a back up Congress. That’s how little we pay our government. We can practically buy another one with the spare change we find in couches.

So where could we get some more money? I vote taxes. I love taxes. I always pay my taxes. Taxes are awesome! Taxes pay for the police to protect me (debatable, but maybe if we paid them more), for the fire department to rescue me, for the state to educate me (again, debatable, but again, maybe if we paid them more). Taxes bring us parks and stadiums and public works and roads and the fix the city should something really, really bad happen). Hell, if we all paid more taxes, think of all the other cool stuff we could get! Health care, public transportation, housing.

Sure, sounds like socialism, but I like economic competition. I propose we all pay so much in taxes that everything we need is provided for us. Food, clothing, shelter, medical care and the ability to get to point A to point B if you don’t mind standing in line first. Then, anything you get paid from having a job (that’s left after paying taxes) can be spent on upgrades. Want a better house, or better food? Get a better job! Simple and fair and still (kinda) capitalism. The difference is the the have-nots still have something. Of course we’d have to make poverty illegal to make sure everyone works. If you don’t get a job, the government will lock you up in a prison/factory. This would rid us of illegal immigrants stealing the jobs we won’t do anyway because prison labor will be cheaper.

So no more talk about saving money by not paying our government! Or something… I may have missed my own point somewhere.

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