It’s a man-bites-dog story. It’s about the world upside-down. It’s about the most unexpected surprise ever. Like a lottery. It’s about an American politician giving money back to the government!
It’s U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who said he is setting an example for a federal government teetering on the edge of mandatory budget cuts.
He is giving money back – a lot of it. Well, a lot for most Americans.
The Courier-Journal out of Louisville reports the U.S. senator is returning $600,000 to the U.S. Treasury for this year. It was money that had been allocated to him to run his Senate office.
But the paper says he saved the money by watching the expenses for his office needs. For two years, Paul said, the amount returned totals $1.1 million.
“It’s the only budget I control,” he told a news conference in Louisville. “It’s not enough, but it’s a start.”
According to the Courier-Journal, Paul said, “We are frugal from top to bottom.”
He said he and his staff watch every purchase, and keep close track of expenses on travel, and also on “computers, paper, ink cartridges. Everything we buy.”
The reported added that Paul believes he is being true to a campaign pledge to cut federal spending.
“It’s not an enormous savings,” he said. But he said it would add up if the federal government watched expenses as closely.
He also said he’s introduce legislation to create bonuses for federal civil service employees based on what funds they save in their allocations.
Hey Ricky, when was the last time a Democrat did this?
"Hey Ricky, when was the last time a Democrat did this?"
Same time as Rand Paul. Every Senator does this. Rand Paul just decided to hold a press conference about it. The two biggest savers this year (by percent of budget returned) were Richard Shelby (R-AL) & Daniel Akaka (D-HI). The two lowest were Moran (R-KS) & Begich (D-AK). Don't mistake Paul's media hype for substance.
The budget bonus idea is something that's worked well in several states but it has drawbacks. After all, the Dept. of the Interior, for instance, could just stop fighting fires to save money and get a bonus. I'd rather see some measure of effectiveness and efficiency (similar to creating profits) result in bonuses than simply not spending. (This latter, btw, is what Gore's Reinventing Government began to accomplish, along the lines of some of Thatcher's reforms in the UK). In the meantime, though, I think there's room for this simpler idea to have some benefit.
BTW, the difference between winholder's perspective on Senate Office Budget savings and my perspective is the difference between the conservative media and the legitimate media. I read this story on Politico about a week ago, and it covered the full story. Winholder is watching Greta Van Sustern on Fox and he's dumber for it.