In The Bulletin on March 1, an article on the sequester highlighted the fact that if the voting citizens of the U.S. choose to elect goofballs to Washington, D.C., offices (president, Senate, House), then all they can expect is goofball results. Take the sequester as an example. The way that Congress put this together and the focus from Washington that everyone is now receiving is just how painful the cost reductions will be for the American public.

Well, Congress put us there, so obviously, Congress can change it if it is so inclined. Obviously, Congress is not so inclined. Even so, here’s one very easy way to make $85 billion in expenditure cuts without causing undue pain to the citizenry. It’s overly simplistic but still effective. Take the $85 billion in cuts from all expenditures — no exceptions and do so not on any “straight line across the board” basis but from anywhere.

And oh yes, do take, as a minimum, a flat 5 percent cost reduction from all of the salaries/benefits/perks of all of those elected officials in Washington. Applying the above application, the $85 billion in expenditure cuts — out of a total expenditure of $3.5 trillion — amounts to a reduction of 2.5 percent overall. To put that into perspective, a person who takes home $1,000 a week would have to cut down their expenses by $24.60 in order to achieve that target. Hmm, that doesn’t appear to me to be a very painful burden.

John D. Phillips