• Polito's Take: Penny wise, dollar foolish


    President Barack Obama is getting a haircut. He's returning 5-percent of his salary to the Treasury. He wants to show solidarity with thousands of federal workers who will be furloughed in light of automatic spending cuts from the sequestration. The president makes $400,000 per year. A 5-percent pay cut amounts to a little less than 1,700 per month.

    This is a classic case of penny wise and dollar foolish. It's not much of a contribution, $20,000 from a man who has virtually no living expenses. Here are some things he could do to show some solidarity with the rest of us who are smarting from his economy:

    Don't go golfing with Tiger Woods anymore, that weekend back in February cost us  $1 million. Over 300 federal workers would not have to take a furlough if you just gave up that one weekend of golf. As a matter of fact, try to stay home more often; it costs us nearly $180,000 per hour to fly you around in Air Force One. It burns through your $20,000 pay cut in less than seven minutes. That does not include the cost of the other planes flying with you, carrying your limousine, other equipment and people. Next, why not ask your daughters and wife to cut back on the vacations? The Obama girls had three vacations in March. They went to the Bahamas and Aspen with their mom. Then Malia had a weekend in NYC. We cover their travel costs and security. How about they set an example or maybe you could provide them with a teachable moment? Finally, stop the incessant campaigning on issues; use more social media if you want to reach out directly to the people. The sequester cut $85 billion from the budget. These suggestions won't cover that, but it's a good start.

    The weekend the president golfed with Tiger fell in the waning hours of the sequester battle. If the president had stayed in DC and worked with Congress, maybe there would not have been all these cuts. Even members of his own party say he does not have good relations with members of Congress and the Senate, in both parties.

    Mr. President, keep the money, it is your pay, but stay home and do your job.

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