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« Reason

Downsize Congress

By Tyler S. Clark (Contact)


Published June 8, 2009

As long as we're looking for budget cuts, a curious proposal that's floating around suggests we take a second look at the size of Congress. Do we need 435 members?

Each representative gets $174,000, not including the salaries paid to their staffers. One estimate puts the total staff salaries per representative at $1.3 Million. Say we just arbitrarily reduced the number by 50%. This move alone would save $320 Million. This is before including the billions in earmarks arranged by them that would also be saved.

This proposal also suggests halving the Senate, though I would have a bit more reluctance about that, given its potential for bipartisan representation of the states in a two-party system.

What proposals would you put forth for cutting the federal budget? 


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