Proposition: Better policies would follow if officials had to live by their own actions.
AS THE FEDERAL government shutdown continues, this rubs salt into the wounds for the hundreds of thousands of workers furloughed involuntarily without paychecks.
Members of Congress are still getting paid.
Base pay for an elected member is $174,000. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is paid $223,500. The majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate are paid $193,400. There are 535 elected members. The most recent count we could find showed about 70 members had declined their pay or were donating it to charity during the shutdown, which means roughly 460 or so are still pocketing the cash.
In the executive branch pay continues for President Trump, Vice President Pence and top Cabinet officials.
THE U.S. CONSTITUTION states that members of Congress, along with the executive, are to be compensated. It's doubtful, though, the Founders had government shutdowns in mind when those provisions in Article I and Article II were written.
In our view, it is deplorable that the very people who created a shutdown do not suffer the same hardships as other government employees.
Despite the relatively vague reference regarding compensation in the Constitution, presidents and members of Congress could change this, if they wanted.
But like in so many other ways, the politicians instead choose to insulate themselves from the pain they cause for people. That, in a word, is despicable.