Rich Galen

What the Congress did was punt by passing legislation appointing a Base Relocation and Closing Commission (BRAC) which would present to the Congress a full slate of which bases should close, which should stay, and which should be expanded which the Congress could accept or reject in total.

I'm not at all certain about the Constitutionality of this extra-Congressional activity, but its been going on since 1988 and no one has raised the issue.

The 2010 version of the U.S. Congress cannot bring itself to cut any amount from any program whether that program makes sense or not and so they are allowing Barack Obama to appoint people to do it for them.

Here's my suggestion. For every year that the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform is in business, every Member of the U.S. House, U.S. Senate; every staff member and every employee of, and contractor to, the Legislative Branch should have their pay reduced by 15 percent.

If that $4.6 billion is correct that will save taxpayers a touch under $700 million a year. Ever year. In an era of multi-trillion-dollar budgets that might be a drop in the bucket; but it will be coming out of the buckets of the people who are supposed to be making the tough decisions, but who aren't tough enough to make them.

If Members of the House and Senate won't do the job we're paying them to do, we'll pay them less to do the job they are doing.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at