Dear Congressman-Elect Guinta

Congratulations on winning your new job representing the citizens of New Hampshire Congressional District One. As a blogger, I have mixed feelings about Carol Shea-Porter's defeat: sure, she was irritating, dangerous to the Constitution, and prosperity-killing. On the other hand, she did inspire a lot of irate blog posts here.

Never mind that, though. Water under the bridge.

Here's something that's been getting a little bit of press lately: the notion that Congressional pay needs to be cut.

Soon-to-be Speaker John Boehner (Ohio) is being pressed by taxpayer groups to slash the salaries of House lawmakers.
I am not a taxpayer group; just a taxpayer. And I'm not impressed. As far as I'm concerned, you can keep your salary where it is, provided you earn it.

First, this table has been making the rounds; it purports to show how a typical taxpayer's bill might be itemized:

[What You Pay For]

See that bottom line? Cutting Congressional pay and benefits to zippo would save this poor schmuck $0.19 on his $5400 tax bill. Any mere "cut" would be a few pennies saved at most. Why bother?

[Disclaimer: this table was from a group called "Third Way", which bills itself as "the leading moderate think-tank of the progressive movement." As far as I know, the numbers are accurate, though.]

Jim Harper at Cato notes the language in the pay-cut article referenced above:

[…] some themes recur: "gesture", "symbols", "symbolic gestures", "symbolic moves", "symbolic things", "the right message", "signals and symbols", "symbol to the public".
Ironically, I also came across this (copied) Union Leader article from when you announced your candidacy back in 2009. Headline:
Guinta says Congress avoids tough decisions
I hope you still think that's a problem. If the first item on Congress's plate this January is really a Congressional pay cut, I hope you'll note loudly that nothing's changed.

Last Modified 2012-09-30 9:29 AM EST