Time to cut back
Federal pay is bloated. We get special locality pay substantially above our base pay. We get up to 5 percent matching contributions in our Thrift Savings Plan accounts. And as a kicker, we get bonuses.
And all the while Rome is burning or the Titanic is sinking — pick your euphemism.
Let the fiscal cliff come; let the axes fall where they may. Let us enter a year of governmental constriction so that we can weather the fiscal storm.
Here are a few suggestion to kick off discussion:
Defund and remove all permanent positions that have not been filled in more than a year. If these positions were that important, they should have been filled.
Move the date for employee bonuses (if they get any) to April 16, the day after Tax Day.
Eliminate locality cost-of-living allowances.
In these times of personal fiscal austerity, it is downright obscene to have the federal government spend without a plan (re: budget) and without impunity.
— James N. Phillips Jr., Grass Lake, Mich.
Dollars and cents
[Regarding “GAO: Shift to $1 coin would yield $4.4B,” Dec. 10 issue:]
Let’s take advantage of the latest push to expand the use of $1 coins to revamp all U.S. coins. Making the coin system simpler to understand will save immeasurable time, money and effort.
Here are some ideas:
Eliminate the penny in cash transactions, but continue to process electronic transactions to the penny.
Reduce the size of a nickel to the size of a dime with a reeded edge and copper color. Make the dime larger than the new nickel, with a smooth edge. The quarter remains unchanged.
Eliminate production of the half-dollar.
Replace the paper dollar with a coin dollar.
In this system, coin values progress as sizes increase. Alternating reeded and smooth edges will make it easier to distinguish coins when touch is to only way to identify them.
By selecting designs for new coins and sticking with them for 20 years, [the government will ensure] people more effectively learn and apply the new system.
Everyone uses coins. Let’s make U.S. coins simpler to understand and use in daily life.
— Marty Webler, Pittsburgh