With all this talk about deficit reduction these day from both sides of the Congressional aisle, I was interested to learn this morning that there is actually a mechanism for members of Congress to return part of their salary ($174,000 per year for non-leadership positions) to be used toward reducing the deficit. Sure, it would be a token effort; symbolic, if you will. But it’s an important symbol these days, one could argue.
It should come as no surprise that Democrats give back OVER FIVE TIMES as much as Republicans.
Let me rephrase that: the one Democrat that participates in this program gave over five times as much as the single Republican that participates. Together, they gave a grand total of $2,610.39 in Q4 of 2010. As the Washington Post describes it, that’s “how much the debt grows every five one-hundredths of a second.”
Seriously, only two of the over four hundred members of Congress participate. Why don’t some of these deficit hawks put their money where their big mouths are? As Republican Rep. Henry Cuellar from Texas puts it, “We need real solutions, not gimmicks.”
Gimmicks like eliminating earmarks that account for only a tiny miniscule fraction of a percentage of an iota of the federal deficit, you mean?
Or gimmicks like preserving deficit-creating tax cuts for the uber-wealthy in order to give an extension of unemployment benefits to unemployed Americans?
Here’s a fun fact: The average amount of the Bush tax cut for one person making $100,000 is about $2,000, just about the amount contributed to deficit reduction in Q4 2010 by the two participating Congressmen! Fun!
But, you know, at the end of the day, at least these two Congressmen are stepping up to the plate and representin’ for the House. And, look at it this way: the two of them both individually paid more to the US government last year to offset the deficit than General Electric did through its tax bill. That’s something, right?
I’m just sayin’…