Making Hard Budget Choices: Every Little Bit Counts

I was happy to see that presumptive incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner has announced that he plans on continuing to fly commercial when he commutes between Washington, D.C. and his district in Ohio.  His approach is in contrast to that of current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has flown on an Air Force jet on her trips to and from San Francisco and who has a reputation for high living on the taxpayers’ dime.

I recognize that the costs of paying for the congressional travel, to say nothing of the cost of travel of the Speaker of the House specifically, is a proverbial drop in the enormous, full-to-the-rim-and-slopping-over bucket of our federal deficit.  Nevertheless, I applaud Representative Boehner’s decision, and I hope it will presage some much-needed penny-pinching on the part of Congress.  As my grandmother used to say, if we pay attention to the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves.

I can only hope that Representative Boehner’s sensitivities are shared by other Members of the incoming Congress.  If they scrimp on their own emoluments, maybe they will hold the rest of the federal government to better account.  In an era where we are racking up ludicrous deficits, any savings — no matter how small — are welcome.

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