Practical Solutions Government Equal Pay for Equal Work

About a practical proposal to pay members of Congress the same amount that the average American makes.



Equal Pay for Equal Work

There is obviously a simple solution to the recession, inflation, and deficit spending problems we enjoy today.

I would propose a bill to limit the income of senators and representatives to that of the average American. In short, total salary for any politician would be adjusted yearly to the national average income! In all fairness, standard business deductions would be allowed. However, since we are a democracy, such adjuncts to the privileged class as subsidized restaurants, barber shops and beauty shops, office-expense allowances, automobiles, transportation, staff salaries, and mail privileges would either be eliminated or made available to the general public on an equal basis.

I would, however, make some concessions to our legislators. While in Washington, they would be eligible to live in federal housing units, as provided for the poor and elderly. Overseas transportation would be provided on standard military aircraft, and food and lodgings overseas would be supplied by quarters in enlisted men's barracks and mess halls.

The total chain impact of such a bill must be realized. Shortly, all federal salaries would be reduced to this level, and the limitations would filter down to state and local employees. Within a few months inflation would become deflation. For the first time in years we would have a surplus of funds rather than a deficit... and best of all, massive government waste programs would be dropped, foreign aid would be put on a C.O.D. basis.

While I do not have a sponsor for my proposal, I would be happy to communicate with any legislator who is sincerely interested in returning the government of our country to the people, rather than the parties and special-interest lobbyists. I do not anticipate having to replace my mailbox with a larger one!

Lyle S. Wall

Metairie, La.

Source: Reprinted from Harper's Weekly (May 30, 1975).

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