EDITORIAL: Hold president’s pay? Buschon makes valid point

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Budgets are important, especially now during a time when the American economy is slowly attempting to pick itself up. Families, business owners and individuals know how important it is to spend their money wisely. We would hope our elected government officials would share the same mentality, as it is a basic principle in handling money.

But the reality of the situation is, for a few years now at least, politicians in Washington have postponed getting their budgets in on time. They have a multitude of excuses for this; their favorite being pointing the fingers at each other.

On Feb. 4, President Obama signed the “No Budget No Pay Act,” a bill – led by the House of Representatives – that requires Congress to pass a federal budget by April 15. If they do not meet this deadline, members will forfeit their pay until they pass a budget. The ironic part we find is that this bill was passed on the day the president was required to submit his own budget plan. He has not submitted one as of yet.

In light of this, Indiana Rep. Larry Buchson, who represents Perry County in the 8th District, has proposed a bill similar to the one the president signed Feb. 4. According the Evansville Courier & Press, with the “President’s Salary Suspended Unless Budget Measure Is On Time Act,” Buchson suggests that the president’s pay “be placed in escrow from the date his budget blueprint is due until the day he actually submits it” beginning next year.

A statement he released addressing the bill added, “American families and small businesses have to budget their resources and they deserve a budget on time from their president. The president should be held to the same standard as the American people and Congress, and this bill sends that message.”

Considering White House officials state Obama will not likely submit a blueprint until the week of April 8 and for three consecutive years now, he’s been late, we can see where Buschon is going with such a bill. If Congress can be held liable for the lack of a budget, the president should be as well. One of the biggest criticisms of our current federal government is the lack of bipartisanship and their need to “stick to their guns” rather than reach a compromise for the betterment of our country.

On the whole, do we believe suspending the pay of these governmental officials will hurt them financially and be the driving force that pushes them to act? No. Are these bills probably more blame-game tactics? Quite possibly.

But we can certainly agree with the ideas behind both the NBNP and SUBMIT acts. We think it is time for our president and our Congress to stop pointing fingers, stop the blame game and waiting for “fiscal cliffs” and “sequesters.” If budgets are, by law, required to be presented by certain dates, then they need to be filed by those deadlines. There should be no excuses.

We understand as individuals, families and businesses that we must have our budgets planned and our taxes paid and filed, and the majority of us comply with this. Politicians in Washington D.C. should not be above these deadlines. We need to hold them accountable for not doing their jobs.

We urge our government to stop beating around the bush, to sit down and have discussions that are needed and map out a budget that works for our country.

Our view: Editorials reflect the opinions of the newspaper.

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