Look at that poor fellow. Obviously, he is in desperate need of help. What is one of the conventional solutions? Let’s make the politicians pay for their excessive spending by cutting their salaries and perks. It is counterintuitive I suppose, but cutting the salaries and the perks of politicians is generally a bad idea. Here is the reason. The honest ones need the money. The dishonest ones don’t.
At the Federal level, our senators and congressmen make pretty good money (see Salaries and Benefits of US Congress Members). However, these people are in charge of a four trillion-dollar budget, making the cost of their salaries relatively miniscule. Rather than lower salaries, we want others competing for their jobs. At election time don’t we want a choice?
At the state and local level, our elected officials generally earn far less (For Virginia, see So far, Virginia lawmakers’ pay immune from budget cuts). Before you jump to any conclusions about salary cuts, please check out what you are paying them. Then consider how many honest men and women could afford to take that job. Not many? Then the best answer might be to threaten the incumbents with a salary increase. After all, at election time don’t we want a choice?