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Elected leaders should be first to sacrifice

I have read multiple articles on both sides of the sequester issue ("Sequester debates hides the cold facts of our budget crisis," March 5). I have read how the American people who have made their fortunes here need to tighten their belts and give up some things for the good of the country. I have read how working people need to tighten their belts to help those who are (or may not be) less fortunate.

What I have not read in any article so far is what are the politicians giving up?

What about having them put money away in their own 401(k) or other type of retirement fund, receive benefits like the rest of us working schmucks and get rid of their pension benefits? Would that be enough? I don't know. Where are the numbers to show what the current cost is?

What about the "extras" that they receive like tickets to sporting events, trips around the world, dinners out at fancy restaurants, and the list goes on. We keep hearing about "transparency," but maybe the ones who are making the rules should have to live by the rules they create. I don't care if you are a Democrat or a Republican, if our government is supposed to be "by the people and for the people," then they cannot place themselves above the people that they serve.

Our elected officials work for us. That is their job so yes, they should be paid for it — but at the same prevailing rate that the public gets paid. Allowing themselves special privileges gives the appearance of an aristocracy as opposed to a democracy. They are no better and no more special than any one of us, and should be compensated, but fairly.

So my only question to our political leaders is this: What's in your pockets?

Wendy Sevier, Parkton

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