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Friday, July 29, 2016

Hey, Congress, donate your pay!

Posted Friday, December 14, 2012, at 9:03 PM

Whether Congress finally addresses the fiscal cliff or not, there have been too many failures in Washington over the past number of years to be excused. Bobby Knight set an example that members of the House and Senate should follow when, in 2003, he returned his $250,000 salary to Texas Tech because, as he told the Dallas Morning News with the season ending and the Red Raiders at 6-10 in the Big 12, "I'm not satisfied at all with what transpired in terms of our fundamental execution and I don't think it's anybody's fault but mine." He was right. If you didn't do what you agreed to by accepting the job, you should give back the money.

My friend Ralph Pokorny thinks members of Congress cannot legally refund their $174,000 salaries to the government; however, they should each donate that much to the Salvation Army or another charity and do it every year they fail to accomplish the tasks they were sent to perform. Those who can afford it should do so retroactively for every year they've been in Congress. That would not reverse all the damages, but it would reclaim some of the honor that should have been guiding them. I think Knight did it in part because had coached at West Point, which lives by the motto: "Duty, Honor, Country."

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James R. Campbell
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