Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hypocrites Caught

In the midst of a new health bill being pushed, and the 51-vote "nuclear option" being threatened in the Senate, we have this video of hypocrites in action, via

Thoughts on Violence

Robb has some good thoughts about a school shooting:

. . . Luckily there was someone who was able to overpower him with violence and it behooves us as a society to understand the difference between protective and predatory violence and to embrace the former as a means to stop the latter, even if it means allowing certain tools to be used to implement it.

Monday, February 22, 2010

One Way to Reduce Debt

It has been a while since I've posted, but I've had a lot on my plate and mind. Been trying to do more reading and learning than talking.

Now, I've known for a while that our Congress-critters are an over-paid bunch. However, I did not know that they are over-paid to the tune of $174,000 per year, plus benefits.
Just discovered that yesterday while reading a book. So, with that knowledge, I was able to more fully develop my thoughts on that.

First off, that puts them making more than 95% of the people they supposedly represent. You cannot truly represent someone in their circumstances if the only way you identify with them is geography. Plus, that means that you have people who are making, relatively, nothing, paying for the extravagant salary of someone who only works half as much.

Now, I'm a capitalist. I run my own business part-time. I believe in the free-enterprise system. I do not believe that someone's paycheck should be decided by themselves to be six times larger than mine, when they are taking it from me. If they want to make more, that's fine, but I shouldn't be forced under penalty of law to subsidize their extravagant lifestyles.

That being said, I ended up on this page for information, as it's the only place I could find usable info without searching forever. As it's cited, I'll say it's accurate enough for my contemplations. So, here begin my thoughts relating to the title of this post.

In 2005, the average worker over age 25 made $32,140. Let's even adjust that up a little bit for current conditions (though I'd guess I'm being generous) and say 2010 will be $35,000. That puts a member of Congress making $139,000 more than the average American. Part-time. Plus a nice benefits package. So, that comes out to about five times as much, not counting benefits.

My proposal is this; cut the pay of members of Congress to match the average income of their constituents. Let's say that we then apply that $139,000 per person to the reduction of debt. That comes out to $74,365,000 (yes, that's 74 MILLION) per YEAR. Yes, a drop in the bucket considering our huge national debt, but take that by 10 years, and we have about 3/4 of a BILLION Dollars. Still a relatively small amount, but consider also that by reducing their pay, we have reduced an expense while eliminating debt, which in effect more than doubles the effect when interest is taken into account to more than 1.5 billion.

Now, let's expand our area of interest to other things, while keeping an eye on and putting into perspective the national debt.

If our budget was not balanced (and it isn't), and the pay cut was replicated across all of government 667 times, we could, in theory, at least, reduce our expenses by 1 TRILLION dollars over 10 years. So, if that's the way it was, we would only have our current debt paid off in 130 years, not counting the new debt being racked up.
If our budget was balanced, that still leaves us at 130 years, not counting interest.
Now, imagine if we cut out the entitlement programs and balanced the budget to put us well into the black until the debt was paid, and did away with social security, I would guess that it could surely be done more than twice as fast. I would venture to say that if we started now, we could be debt-free in 50-70 years.

Okay, I'll readily admit that I'm no economist or accountant. I could very well be wrong, but I don't think that I'm too far off base. I firmly believe that the only way to get back to where we need to be in this country, powerful, free, and debt-free, is to start at the top, putting the politicians in their place as far as power and money. Putting them back in a place where they can truly identify with the people whom they work for.

Do I really think it will be that easy? No. I am still hoping and praying that we can make America great again without fighting. It's a long road, a hard road, but the sooner we start, the easier it will be. Elections are coming up - let's get ready . . .