If Democrats in Congress fail to prevent across-the-board spending cuts (AKA ‘the sequester’) their own $174,000 salary gets trimmed too, and Rep. Nancy Pelosi is offended by the notion.
“I don’t think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do,” Pelosi told reporters in the Capitol. “I think it’s necessary for us to have the dignity of the job that we have rewarded.”
I’m confident we can work out a compromise so that Mrs. Pelosi and colleagues aren’t summarily stripped of their dignity. In fact, as representatives of the people, members of Congress ought to share in the blessings of the economic conditions they have fostered.
So, here are two suggestions:
1) Peg Congressional pay changes to changes in the median household income — down about 8.24% since 2007 — putting their pay at about $159,663. Of course, if they really wanted to identify with the people, we could set their pay AT the median household level, a cut of roughly $110,000. Members who serve inner-city districts could have their’s set to local rates.
2) If the first option also seems below their dignity, they could be rewarded according to their abilities, by putting them on straight commission, so their income increases with every dime they cut from the federal debt. It’s a ground-floor opportunity, and the sky’s the limit (actually, at $16.5 trillion in debt, the limit stretches above the sky).
In any case, I’m sure all Americans share Pelosi’s alarm at this clear and present threat to her dignity, and will proffer even better suggestions for preserving it inviolate.