Jan 11, 2009

Republican Leading by Example

Often House Representatives try to set examples. They vote a certain way, play the political speech game, and generally show that they are one of the “good guys” or “good gals” there in Washington to make a difference. All of them seem to want to promote “change” as the old key word. I say “old key word” because contrary to current, popular beliefs, Obama was not the first person to promise change in Washington. At least one new member of the house is instituting change in his life that reflects the cutbacks many Americans are forced to make. Naturally, several other representatives were quick to add they had been doing the same thing for years, but it seems odd that CNN would focus on a freshman representative.

Jason Chaffetz come from Utah and is a new member of the House of Representatives. He was born in 1967, has a wife and three kids, holds a B.A. from Brigham Young, and has worked and built a business prior to being elected to the HouseAbout Chaffetz. He knows what tightening the belt is all about and making ends meet. His big stir so far in the House, he doesn’t rent an apartment in Washington. He doesn’t own a second home in Washington. He doesn’t have a fancy condo in Washington. He has an office there. It’s that simple, he has an office and he stays at his office. His office serves as his Washington headquarters, but more importantly it serves as his home. When the article hit CNN.com (article link), several other representatives quickly stated that Chaffetz was not the first person to do this. I’m sure he’s not; he’s just the one that CNN.com decided to write an article about.

Chaffetz seems like a normal person and the article goes on to note that he has three kids to raise, car payments, and a mortgage to pay, so he is trying to save money. The article goes on to quote Chaffetz as giving larger meaning to his office / living space when he says, “We are now $10 trillion in debt. $10 trillion. Those are expenses that have to be paid at some point.” I’d like to commend Jason Chaffetz for taking the initiative to set an example of simple cutting back. Maybe he can convince other members of the House that large salaries and other perks they enjoy could be reduced to help with that $10 trillion also. So far, Chaffetz has started his freshmen term setting a good example; let’s see what else this young Republican from Utah can do for America in the coming years.