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house Bill H.R. 4512

Should Members of Congress Get Pay Cuts Each Year Until the Budget is Balanced?

Argument in favor

Congress has run up budget deficits for too long, and if we’re ever going to shrink the debt lawmakers first have to balance the budget. Cutting their pay if there’s a deficit is a great incentive for fiscal responsibility.

James 's Opinion
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12/26/2017
Substantial pay cuts every year, and all pay increases must be voted on by the public in a general election referendum or forum. These people live in a universe detached from reality. They are OUR employees and until they understand that perhaps they shouldn’t even be paid at all.
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12/26/2017
Absolutely. Let them be the first among the American people to feel the sting of their egregious spending. You siphon over TWO TRILLION DOLLARS out of the economy every single year through all your taxes and that STILL doesn't cover all the spending you want to do? Time for that to come out of your own pockets at that point, not out of my children's and grandchildren's. Not even I am allowed to steal from them. You sure as Hell aren't.
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DrRichSwier's Opinion
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12/26/2017
A perfect solution. I would add to this that they must cut their budgets each year until they get to zero.
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Argument opposed

Deficit spending is acceptable in moderation and needed during recessions — there shouldn’t be a financial incentive for lawmakers to keep the federal budget balanced at all costs during economic turbulence.

Katrhyme's Opinion
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12/26/2017
If we reduce their pay to get them to balance the budget, we play into the hands of the lobbyist donors. Currently, congress gets wealthy from those donations. Their government pay is pennies in comparison. A balanced budget is great for individuals but not necessary for the government. It doesn’t help the taxpayer because it ends up w slashed budgets for services we rely on, such as education, medical research and healthcare. What we need is to get well educated, rational, ethical women and men to run for Congress and for us to vote them in to power.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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12/26/2017
This wouldn't effect this congress and penalize congressional representatives coming in for former administration irresponsible actions. How about we enforce pay cuts for congressional reps with less than a 30% approval rating?
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Countryfirst's Opinion
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12/26/2017
My first thought is "hell yes", but it is a band aid fix the Repukicans are SO fond of doing..we need REAL solutions to obtain a balanced budget..DO NOT RIP SOCIAL SECURITY MEDICARE AND MEDICAID AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS THAT HELP TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM..TAKE THE TAX SCAM AND RIP IT APART AND THINGS WOULD BE FINE!
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Administration
      Committee on Oversight and Reform
    IntroducedDecember 1st, 2017
    Substantial pay cuts every year, and all pay increases must be voted on by the public in a general election referendum or forum. These people live in a universe detached from reality. They are OUR employees and until they understand that perhaps they shouldn’t even be paid at all.
    Like (359)
    Follow
    Share
    If we reduce their pay to get them to balance the budget, we play into the hands of the lobbyist donors. Currently, congress gets wealthy from those donations. Their government pay is pennies in comparison. A balanced budget is great for individuals but not necessary for the government. It doesn’t help the taxpayer because it ends up w slashed budgets for services we rely on, such as education, medical research and healthcare. What we need is to get well educated, rational, ethical women and men to run for Congress and for us to vote them in to power.
    Like (79)
    Follow
    Share
    Absolutely. Let them be the first among the American people to feel the sting of their egregious spending. You siphon over TWO TRILLION DOLLARS out of the economy every single year through all your taxes and that STILL doesn't cover all the spending you want to do? Time for that to come out of your own pockets at that point, not out of my children's and grandchildren's. Not even I am allowed to steal from them. You sure as Hell aren't.
    Like (99)
    Follow
    Share
    A perfect solution. I would add to this that they must cut their budgets each year until they get to zero.
    Like (47)
    Follow
    Share
    This wouldn't effect this congress and penalize congressional representatives coming in for former administration irresponsible actions. How about we enforce pay cuts for congressional reps with less than a 30% approval rating?
    Like (44)
    Follow
    Share
    My first thought is "hell yes", but it is a band aid fix the Repukicans are SO fond of doing..we need REAL solutions to obtain a balanced budget..DO NOT RIP SOCIAL SECURITY MEDICARE AND MEDICAID AND SOCIAL PROGRAMS THAT HELP TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM..TAKE THE TAX SCAM AND RIP IT APART AND THINGS WOULD BE FINE!
    Like (37)
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    By all means yes, if you can’t do your job then you’re pay must be cut by a certain percentage eg: 5%_10%. In most places of employment when you don’t do your job you’re counseled or terminated the same should apply to Congress (recall election) . Serving in government is about service to your constituents, state and nation, do your job!
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    Instead of incentivizing the politicians, how about making them actually use the disastrous healthcare they put into legislation, pay for their living wages without reimbursement. You cannot tell legislatures to balance a book for the government without getting handouts from the government. Freeze their pay until there is a surplus and then still freeze their pay. I understand the hours and long negotiations that are dealt to politicians, but you don’t need to be paid and get raises every time you pass a one month legislation for funding the government.
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    It’s how a business works, it’s how a household works... it should be how the government works.
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    The American people should have the right to vote on salaries and benefits of government workers. Period.
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    I’m inclined to support this bill, however, since the House is almost divided equally, nothing good may happen even under this pay cut threat. And if the cut should happen, make it a hefty cut which cannot be revised for two years and only in small increments. Then repeat the same cut plus 10 %. Make it painful. Might even consider the barbershop, banking, cafeteria and cleaning staff.
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    Sure. Maybe it would give them some incentive to do their job.
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    Yes please. Why do we pay you again? You already take money from corporations.. stop taking from me.
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    What exactly would Congress be incentivized to cut to bring the budget to balance? Especially with Republicans in control they would cut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security which would be disaster! Plus, this legislation ignores the fact that the government is not a business or a household and should not be run like one. The U.S. government is not constrained by budget deficits because its owns its own currency so the government could keep spending money and is only limited by inflation.
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    Remember the title “Public Servant”. It is a known fact that there is too much corruption in our government. Things need to change. A natural consequence to Congress not doing their job, would be a paycut
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    No for several reasons with one overarching theme: a US federal government debt is not a per se bad thing and is typically a good thing. I will explain. First, the US continuously repays its debts; it only borrows new money after the fact. Plus, debt repayment is still less than 6.6% of the federal budget and less than 1.4% of GDP. If I spent only 6.6% of my income on a mortgage, I would save several months of mortgage payments each year. If I only spent 1.4% of my income on a mortgage, I'd be able to afford a multimillion dollar mansion. Therefore, the debt isn't nearly as big an issue as typically claimed. However, suppose it was. Then what? In that case, the federal government cannot get in over its head because the congress defines what counts as a "dollar" and repaying debts is easy when one gets to decide what and how much is used for repayment. Suppose, however, those debts must be paid in dollars as we know them today. The deficit and accumulated debt would still not be an issue because much of the debt is owed to various federal agencies. In other words, the federal government has borrowed the money from itself. What if those debts were repaid? Would there be an issue with the remaining debt? No. As Alexander Hamilton noted in the earliest days of the republic, a government debt, if not excessive, gives creditors a vested interest in the economic health and well-being of the nation. Which means other countries buying US debt is an inherently good thing for us because those countries then want to protect us and help us grow and thrive. Without that foreign debt, countries would have less incentive to be helpful and peaceful with us and likely lead to increased wars and lower incomes all around. But what about that word "excessive"? What happens when it gets excessive? Fortunately, we have never gotten to that point and probably never can because, as a debt starts to become excessive, interest rates would jump up and act as a metaphorical "brake" on borrowing, preventing that excess. So, since the deficit and debt are not real issues and at best the policy equivalent of invisible intangible dragons breathing room temperature fire, the idea of "cut salaries until we balance the budget" is a solution in search of a problem and would actually cause problems instead.
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    Why not?
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    This idea reinforces the stranglehold corporations have on the plutocrats working to destroy all who are not wealthy “white” males. No.
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    When you take a job you are promised a salary by your boss who is in theory the voters. In every job I’ve worked there has been a performance review which determines a rate hike, not the group deciding. In that scenario it is always yes. Were the Senators and reps required to go through a state performance review to determine pay increases or Decreases based on their performance according to their constituents most of our problems would disappear and lobbyists opinions would not count so much. You answer to your constituents or your performance review determines your future.
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    This is just another excuse to cut government services, and will hurt working people, rather than strengthen them. Austerity politics don't work.
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