The Hill buries its own lede in a Tuesday piece titled “Sequester axe falls in Washington — but not on lawmaker salaries.” Here is the opener:
One small group is curiously immune from the sequester and the related furloughs that are about to become a fact of life in Washington: Congress.
Hundreds of thousands of federal employees will take a pay cut because of this year’s $85 billion in automatic spending cuts, including about 750,000 at the Pentagon alone.
Five paragraphs later, this little aside is noted: [emphasis added]
The Reagan-era law exempted some programs from the sequester, including elements of Social Security, interest on the debt and federal Pell grants. (The law also exempts the president’s pay, which is the reason President Obama’s pay won’t be hit by the sequester.)
If the law exempting lawmakers was passed in the eighties, a large majority of those in Congress had as little to do with the passing of that law as Barack Obama. So why single them out as exempt and deep-six the fact that the multi-millionaire Obama enjoys the same exemption?
Another important piece of reportorial context would be the First Family’s endless vacationing on the taxpayer’s dime — money that could be used to keep the White House tours open for those whose taxes pay for that house — not to mention the salary cuts experienced by those who are not multi-millionaires like the Obamas.
Regardless, it is good to know that everyone responsible for sequester is immune from their own failure as 149 airport control towers remain unmanned.
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