EXCLUSIVE–Sequester Solution: Reduce All Federal Pay by 2%

EXCLUSIVE–Sequester Solution: Reduce All Federal Pay by 2%

In the last month, we have been subjected to propaganda from the White House warning the American public that practically everything the federal government does will be shut down because of the impending 2.4% sequestration cuts. 

President Obama has threatened the cuts will lead to: “long lines” at the airport, shutting down national parks and veterans centers, stopping vaccinations, increased deaths from AIDS, and sending pre-school children out in the street by closing their schools. The President all but said our military will overnight become second rate and the world could erupt in (even more) civil wars and chaos. 

Let’s look at the facts: Even with $85.4 billion in cuts, the federal government will spend over $3.6 trillion this year. This is an astronomical sum. If President Obama can’t run our federal government on $3.6 trillion this year, I will gladly accept his immediate resignation on behalf of the American taxpayer. 

Keep in mind, in FY 2011 the federal government spent $3.63 trillion and $3.72 trillion in FY 2010. Does anyone seriously believe our federal government was underfunded last year and the year before?

The reason for the fear mongering is that if the world does not end after these cuts take place, fiscal conservatives will be proven right, and the endless braying over the need for more spending and higher taxes will be proven empty.

Every year the President talks about bipartisanship. But when push comes to shove, he refuses to work with fiscal conservatives. The sequester was a 2011 compromise that he proposed. The Budget Control Act (BCA), which I voted for, increased the debt ceiling in exchange for $2.4 trillion dollars in cuts over the next 10 years. 

The sequester is $1.5 trillion of those cuts. If there is one thing I hear from my constituents everywhere I go, it is that federal spending is too much and we need to cut. I promised to cut. Consider the BCA the first down payment on this promise.

The decision to “put the hurt” on Americans is Obama’s Chicago style plan. The BCA has been the law for over a year. It is irresponsible that the Administration hasn’t been planning to cut wasteful programs and implement meaningful reforms in order to comply with the law until now. 

I serve with Rep. Darryl Issa on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee. For two years, I have seen evidence of dozens of wasteful federal programs squandering billions. Yet President Obama does nothing to address this waste. Further, according to the Office of Personnel Management, he has exempted senior federal officials and all presidential appointees from any budget cuts.

The President also fails to tell you that vulnerable Americans are not touched by these cuts. No budget cuts will occur to: Social Security benefits and Tier 1 Railroad Retirement benefits; all programs administered by the VA; special benefits for certain World War II veterans; or low income programs, including but not limited to CHIP, child nutrition programs, TANF, Medicaid, SNAP, SSI, Medicare Part D low-income premium and cost-sharing subsidies, Medicare Part D catastrophic subsidy payments, and Qualified Individual (QI) premiums. 

Despite this fact, the President implies that all the people receiving these services will starve or be thrown in the streets.

If we believe the President, the 2.4% being cut funds most of the federal government. It makes us question what we need the other 98% for. This 2% runs the military, the parks, the highways, the schools, medical research, and apparently everything else in government. 

The federal government is addicted to spending. This 2% solution is just what the doctor ordered. Every hard working American got a 2% pay cut in January. Why? Because Congress allowed reasonable tax cuts to expire, thereby raising your payroll taxes by 2%. 

I did not vote for this. If the President thinks that hard working Americans can take a 2% cut, how in the world does he expect us not to believe overpaid federal bureaucrats can’t take a 2% cut? 

That is the real solution in this situation. A real leader would simply cut federal wages and benefits by 2.4%. Last January, the Congressional Budget Office concluded: “Overall, the federal government paid 2 percent more in total wages than it would have if average wages had been comparable with those in the private sector.” Therein lies our 2% solution.

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