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How to cut the federal deficit:

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Always fun when the image includes "Pass it on"... :)

Those aren't accurate "FOR LIFE" salary figures. (They look about right for salary in office, but the pensions, while generous, are not at full salary.)

You could zero out all elected-politician salaries and pensions and it would not noticeably change the deficit.

If they were doing a better job, I'd be happy paying the elected officials more. (People with similar responsibility but more accountability in the private sector make more.) For example, what if passing a balanced budget (and that still looked balanced 5 years later, after any false assumptions or accounting tricks have come to light) earned a legislator a $1 million bonus? That's cheap, and would help outweigh all the interests (including those offering lucrative post-officeholding employment) that encourage reckless spending.

We've tried all sorts of arbitrary rules, triggers, formulas, and rhetoric. Perhaps it's time to try actual performance incentives.

Performance incentives make a lot of sense.

I wonder why they've never been tried.