Procrastination feeds deficits. Deficits feed debt. Debt feeds catastrophe.
Politicians avoid balancing budgets by saying they will do so not this year, but “sometime in the future.” Hence our looming debt crisis. This debt either must be paid, defaulted, or . . . “monetized.”
That last term is code for inflation.
Why not bring the need for cuts and inflation together? After all, the Federal Reserve still exists, so some inflation is inevitable. Inflation is what central banks like the Fed do.
So, barring a complete monetary reform, simply freeze all federal salaries, at least until the average level of compensation for federal jobs matches the average level of compensation for comparable private-sector jobs.
Currently, as James Sherk of the Heritage Foundation has uncovered, federal workers earn 22 percent more than private sector workers . . . and that’s just in terms of nominal pay. If our politicians turned heroic and cut these down to where they should be, immediately, we’d save $47 billion in taxpayer funds per year.
But it gets worse, as Chris Prandoni writes: “The average federal civilian employee earns on average $32,115 a year in non-cash compensation compared to a private sector employee who earns three times less, $9,882 annually.”
So freeze benefits, too. Defrost only when they match private sector levels.
Politicians could start the freeze right now, just to show a smidgen of discipline. More likely? They’ll go with what they know: Procrastination.
Responsibility? Wait for another freeze. Of hell’s shiny surface.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.