No Chucklin’ Matter

Recently, many Pentagon employees have been furloughed, meaning they have to take a temporary unpaid leave. This is due to the fact that the Pentagon is falling short on operating funds and they plan to furlough employees for 22 days in order to save around $4 billion. On Tuesday in Washington, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel decided to pledge a return of part of his salary to the Treasury for each day Pentagon employees are out of work.

Interestingly, this has started a trend among politicians. The day after, President Obama decided to return 5 percent of his $400,000 annual salary to the Treasury and on Thursday, “Cabinet secretaries practically tripped over themselves to hand over parts of their paycheck”. Of course, politicians can afford to do this, some of them are millionaires and all cabinet members earn at least $200,000 annually. While it looks good symbolically, these petty donations to the Treasury will not really help the $85 billion in budget cuts. However, according to fitting words of  Thomas E. Mann, a scholar of Congress at the Brookings Institution, “It’s all symbolism, but symbolism is often important.”

Written by Kevin Zhang


Peters, Jeremy W. “As Federal Furloughs Loom, Administration and Congressional Officials Take Pay Cuts.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 05 Apr. 2013. Web. 05 Apr. 2013. <;.


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