Obama’s recession plan: more bureaucrats (Rep. McMorris Rodgers)

Since the recession began in December 2007, the U.S. economy has been
shedding jobs at its worst rate since the Great Depression. But you
would never know it if you worked “inside the Beltway.” When the
economy turned south two years ago, the Department of Defense had 1,868
employees earning $150,000 or more. Today, there are 10,100 employees
at the Pentagon taking home that salary. At the start of the economic
slump, the Department of Transportation had only a single career
employee earning more than $170,000. Today, there are more than 1,600
career federal workers at the DOT making that amount. Obama has
recommended an additional 2 percent pay raise for 2010. That’s
unconscionable.

The time has come for Washington to live within its means. If most
Americans are coping with a weak economy by tightening their belts, our
public servants can to do the same. That’s why I am calling for a
salary freeze on all federal salaries above $120,000 until unemployment
is under 7 percent, which should be in the next two or three years.
Those who are earning three times as much as their peers in the private
sector can make do until we reach that benchmark.

The only way we can rebuild our economy is to spur job growth in the
private sector. It is the private sector – not government – that is the
engine of our prosperity. After all, every single government job must
be paid for through tax revenues – and those revenues come from the
private sector. Increasing employment in the federal government is no
solution at all. Indeed, by raising the price of government at a time
when tax revenues are plunging at the fastest rate in 80 years, we are
plunging our nation into its greatest debt crisis in history.

According to the president’s own budget, we will add $9 trillion in
government debt over the next decade, bringing the total national debt
to $21 trillion. That doesn’t even include the Democrats’ health care
bill which – if passed – will cost at least hundreds of billions more.
That is the economic equivalent of medical malpractice, and it must
stop.

If we freeze the pay of the highest-paid federal employees – including
members of Congress – it won’t eliminate our deficit overnight. But it
will send a powerful message to the folks in Washington that they work
for the taxpayers; not the other way around.

The bureaucrats might complain if the freeze drags on year after year.
But my response is simple: If you want a raise, help the private sector
start hiring people again. If you want more money, do something about
unemployment.

This is an issue where conservatives will naturally take the lead, but
we invite Democrats and independents to join us, as well. All Americans
can rally around this common-sense issue which is about establishing
fairness, accountability, and restoring fiscal sanity to the federal
government.

Now is the time for action.

Crossposted from Newsmax.com

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