"Let's All Take a Cut"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Saturday, April 2, 2011

Added tensions around the world seem to be sending our leaders into a state of confusion. Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke changes his mind daily. One day the Fed discusses cutting budgets, the next they increase spending. Am I really the only person who fails to understand how both moves can be accomplished at the same time?

As I see it, no one is willing to take a cut in pay, yet we all expect the deficit to be reduced. Those politicians recently elected that took a stand and promised reductions in their budgets to help reduce our national deficit are in poor standing with constituents.

The not in my backyard way of thinking is showing up everywhere. It appears those that voted for cuts are now not willing to take them. It’s their belief someone else should receive cuts and they vehemently express, “Leave my pay rate alone.” Perhaps everyone receiving a paycheck should take a cut in pay and be grateful they have a job. If their cost of living exceeds their income, they need to cut their budgets to correct the problem.

CEOs and presidents of boards of big companies deserve greater pay rates for jobs they perform — compared to wages paid for those same jobs overseas, but they too need to accept cuts. They should also be paying their fair share of taxes to support their country. Consider this, if it weren’t for the people at the lower pay scale doing their jobs, big pay checks would disappear. Along with cuts in pay, reductions in the cost of doing business by large companies should be required by those invested in them.

I’m certainly no financial wizard but we the people wanted our government to cut its spending. It did so by freezing retirees’ social security payments for two years. It was announced, “The freeze was put on because the seniors have experienced no cost of living increases.” How much has the deficit been reduced as a result of this action? Cuts in Medicare and Social Security continue to be the rallying call of where to begin to reduce government spending, yet the cuts have been declared not necessary by many financial experts.

Currently, I contribute to over half a dozen publications, plus many websites. I offered to take a cut in pay with some of my publishers. I had to accept pay cuts from others and I have to provide more to remain competitive. My reasoning is I want to continue a long-standing dialogue with my readers and gather some income to offset THE INCREASE IN COST OF LIVING I have experienced that escaped the governments notice.

Overlooked in the logic regarding no cost of living increases occurring for retired Social Security recipients is the constant increases in the “cost of government.” Officials elected to make changes to reduce the budget deficit forgot to discuss what the costs would be to make those reductions

Elected officials have staffs of employees who assist them with their work so they can attend meetings, dinners, social events and make appearances at proceedings where they smile and shake hands with taxpayers — at taxpayers’ expense. If elected officials we see on TV daily, from one government agency or another, were to spend more time in their offices doing the work constituents’ have asked them to do, they could reduce their budgets and thus produce some of the cuts in government spending.

Why do governors, mayors and congressmen need limousines and drivers? Don’t they have driver’s licenses or is it because they are expected to socialize on our time. I admit some elected officials need to attend functions at taxpayers’ expense but those functions and expenses should be specifically approved, just as expense accounts are in private sector businesses, and limited. Why do they need multiple homes and most importantly, who pays for them?

As I see it, some items that need cutting by all of us are; personal expenses for homes that exceed reasonable needs, cars that number in excess of the people in the dwelling they are parked in front of. Excess toys such as jet skis, snowmobiles, four-wheel, off-road vehicles, motor bikes and cycles, boats — all items that require excess petroleum to operate. Electronic toys such as Wii games, video games (teaching our youngsters how to kill!) iPhones, iPods, MP3 players and “wearable video cameras,” the list is endless. Many of these electronics are powered by electricity, often produced by petroleum.

Our country and its inhabitants are spoiled. We think the other guy should get the cuts — why? Can’t we all cut a little? Why did we expect our elders, most of whom worked hard all their lives, to take the first and largest cuts while everyone else stayed on the spending wagon? I’ve heard young wage earners say, “I don’t want my payroll deductions for Social Security to cover the cost of the seniors.” Whom do they think carried them before they became those wage earners?

Let’s try this; all workers be happy to get paid on a basis of pay per worth! If a CEO or auto worker and all those in between are paid on a fair merit system, perhaps products and services would improve and our country could continue to compete.


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