With a new President coming in in just five days, I figured now is a good time to write this blog post which I've had brewing in my head for months.
Although millions may seem like nothing compared to our 20 trillion dollars in debt, you have to start somewhere. And so here, I will outline three ideas that would save our government over $100 million.
First of all, although this one may seem obvious, perhaps legislation should be passed that would lower salaries for our Representatives, Senators, Cabinet members, and President. Since Trump has refused his salary, he, of all people, would be more likely to pass this legislation. The current salary for Representatives is $174,000 a year. The Speaker of the House makes $223,500 a year. Senate and House Majority and Minority Leaders both make $193,400 a year. Although these numbers aren't at their peak when looking at how past figures relate to current dollars, it should be an honor to serve your country. Although I agree they deserve to make more than the average US Citizen, the average US citizen makes around $69,000 dollars a year. So, therefore, why is decreasing these salaries by $20,000 so unreasonable? If just members of congress each cut their salary by $20,000, the USA would save $10,700,000 a year.
A second idea would be cutting some funding to Amtrak. For those of you readers who do not know, Amtrak is the government-run train system. In my opinion, it is a monopoly, and therefore makes our government hypocritical. However, today's blog post is based in fact, not opinion; so I shall refrain. In FY 2016, the government gave about $1.4 billion to Amtrak. Just like the salaries of congressmen, this figure isn't at its peak. Now, I like trains as much as the next guy, and they are a now difficult and expensive mode of transportation to upkeep. However, the CEO of Amtrak has said himself that Amtrak has undergone a transformation, and is making more money. So, I propose we slowly cut spending to Amtrak, no more than $50 million a year, so that way it doesn't fail, but we still save money.
The third way I am proposing to save the government millions of dollars is to change the composition of the nickel. At first, it may seem crazy, but you have so many people who want to get rid of the penny, and so many others that want to keep it. The realization people need to make is that it only costs 1.7 cents to mint a penny, whereas it costs a whole 8 cents to mint a nickel. So, instead of getting rid of either coin, I propose changing the composition of the nickel from 75% copper and 25% nickel to almost entirely steel, with a coating of nickel to reduce rust. Although the math is tedious, my calculations tell me this would save the US government over $92 million a year. If you really want to see the math, contact me, and I'll post it later. Now, people have made the comment that this solution would be against small businesses, because of the costs they would have to pay to replace their vending machines that scan coins for metal content. However, these types of vending machines are quite expensive, and very few small businesses with only one location would spend that much for a vending machine, when you can make just as much, if not more, from a gum ball machine in the proper location.
In conclusion, I have outlined 3 simple ways that would save America almost $150 million in one year, with that number increasing every year. Although it may not seem like a whole lot of money compared to our debt, you always have to have a starting point.
If you want to see more ideas to save the government millions of dollars a year, or have an idea of your own, please contact me or leave a comment on this post, and if there is enough positive feedback, I will write another post.
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My Name is Eddie Schweikert. I am an animator, author, artist, and friend. You will hear about many of my latest ventures here.
Eddie Schweikert is a regionally recognized author, future educator, artist, and speaker.
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