Deficit Debate Hitting Real Close to Home

Apparently, the best person to take responsibility for cutting the deficit is... me.

Well, me and every civilian employee of the Federal government. President Obama has proposed freezing our salaries next year and denying us the 1.4 percent cost of living increase we were due.

This will supposedly save the government $2 billion over the next year and $28 billion over the next five. But with many Federal employees living here in Washington, which Forbes called the 10th most expensive city in America, you can imagine it's become a polarizing issue.

The problem is that ideas on how to cut the deficit - which now stands at $1.4 trillion - are in short supply.

Some ideas include making double-sided copies on Capitol Hill as well as cutting funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. America could probably live with a little less Prairie Home Companion, but does Cookie Monster’s salary really cost taxpayers that much? The list goes on and on.

Perhaps we can charge people who visit the Smithsonian – the nation’s preeminent FREE museum chain in DC, also known as America's Attic. How much are you willing to pay to see Seinfeld’s puffy shirt and Abraham Lincoln’s top hat (both of which are housed in the American History Museum)? Some feel that particular privilege should cost you around $7.50.

If you have ideas House Majority Leader-elect, Eric Cantor, has a website where you can submit your own ideas for cutting the budget and vote on them. The most popular choice each week will be introduced to Congress for an up or down vote.

This week, freezing my pay was the most popular choice.

In the meantime, perhaps those kids graduating from college who were contemplating an entry level position in the government will rethink that strategy. The entry level salary as a Fed is $34,000 annually, while the average overall salary for recent graduates with a bachelor's degree is around $48,000.

Since federal employees are apparently paid too much, perhaps more will follow in the footsteps of Sarah Palin and return to their hunter-gatherer roots in Alaska. All you need are some hooks, a fishing line and a big club.