Wednesday, March 09, 2011
cutting the budget
How about these for ideas?
All politicians (city, county, state, federal) take an immediate 25% pay cut.
All politicians give up 10% of their current staff (fire them lay them off, whatever) until the budget is balanced.
All politicians give up any retirement benfits package they have and contribute to Social Security, like the rest of us have to.
All politicians give up any "funded" health insurance package and pay for their own health insurance - through the same HMO that other local, state, federal workers get through their employeer.
All politicians give up "perks" like private cars and drivers, and learn to fly on commercial airlines instead of "comping" rides in Lear Jets with high priced influence peadelers.
Then there are the other things that should be considered.
Have you realized that by the current system most city/county firemen get paid a full salary even when they are sleeping? Yeah they do 48 hours on and then get 48 hours off. So they spend time in the firestation. When not fighting fires what do they do? I asked friends nationwide. Here's the answers I was given:
they wash firetrucks and maintain equipment, then they wash their own vehicles.
they play basketball
they watch TV
they play board games
they play video games
they do things of a personal nature on a computer
they work out and lift weights
Now it seems to me that we pay taxes for firefighters to fight fires. So why pay them when they aren't? Why pay a premium per hour wage when it's not what they are doing?
OK, they are technically "on call" but when they are not fighting fires I think they should be paid only minimum wage for hanging around waiting to do the job we expect them to do - respond to a fire alarm and put out fires. Can you think of how much money that would save?
Everyone thinks firemen are essential. Well so do I. I think they are at least as essential as teachers, yet when budget cuts are proposed does anyone cut firemen's salaries? They may lay off a few people, but they don't propose to cut their salaries like they do to teachers.
So, now let's get this straight. If politicians are serious about reducing spending then do it, do the stuff that people haven't thought of yet.
Think outside the box. Pay on a tier system where you only get a "base" salary for being there, and you get paid the "premium" salary when you actually do the work you were hired for.
Sounds fair to me.
That means politicians should be collecting far less than they are now because no one knows how much or how littel they actually work.