Whenever politicians talk about reducing the national debt, the words Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid saturate their rhetoric. These are referred to as entitlements, and those who receive them, takers. Odd. When I buy groceries or pay my utilities, I don't refer to these as entitlements.
I believe I have a better solution. Let's cut the benefits of legislators. Eric Cantor released the 2013 calendar for Congress. These people who "serve" us are working 126 days out of 365. I think they should be paid per diem. They will argue they work "at home," holding town hall meetings, etc. Why bother? They don't listen to us anyway. And because any fast-food restaurant would consider this part-time, their health benefits should be negated, and they will have to provide their own. As for expenses, they could be reimbursed a reasonable amount. For meals, a ceiling would be established and receipts required. Business must be discussed at these meals. They must provide their own transportation and receipts for gasoline.
I would venture this would save the country's debt by much, much more than robbing the low- to low-middle incomes. It is very evident to me that most of these folks have never had to rely on very little to cover very much. If they successfully have done so, please, please share your secret. It's the least you can do for their country.
CYNTHIA L. SPANNUTH
Upper St. Clair