To work on U.S. income inequality problem: start by slashing salaries in Washington
Singapore has a 2 percent unemployment and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong gave his solution for fixing income gap problems in his country: slashing salaries of Cabinet and legislators.
Speaking on CNN Fareed Zakaria's Global Public Square (GPS) on Sunday, the Prime Minister agreed the world had a serious inequality problem which needs addressing. One way he tried to do so was cutting the salaries of politicians, including his own, by a third.
What a brilliant idea. Legislators in Washington, especially the Republicans, are clamoring for debt reduction, less spending and budget cuts. What better way to start this new fiscal responsibility than a pay-cut of their own salaries. Show the country they mean business and can walk their talk. Set the example for the rest of the country they are asking to sacrifice.
Moreover, this will help adjust the serious income inequality that exist. Then they can call on the super rich to finally pay their fair share--show a little of that patriotism they love to talk about.
Desperate times call for big and bold measures and this would be as bold as it gets. Republican candidate Mitt Romney can help redeem himself in the eyes of the 95 percent he says is his main concern and may even get the support of the poor he says he's not really worrying about.
President Obama can move his favorable meter up several notches if he proposes such a bold move. Start by cutting his own, then work his way down the Senate and House floor, on to his Cabinet.
As for the gridlock that is the norm on Capitol Hill, a pay cut will certainly be motivation to get their act in line--fast.