Lets start with the States - Mississippi will be my example.
Mississippi Governor's Salary - $122,160 ; Mississippi Median Income - $37,818 (in 2008, 2010 may be $46,243 - my calculation based on data)
Yes, I think that is very wrong. $37k or $46k is not going to attract quality people to give up their day job and run the state though. So, a proposal to regulate the salaries of State Representatives :
Appointed positions should also be adjusted accordingly.
On the Federal level, Mississippi's six congresspersons each make $174,000 base salary and are allowed 18 well paid staff members. Tie that to 2.5 times the median income of the state they 'serve' and its an instant savings of $350,355 from Mississippi (they would get a salary of $115,607)! Do that with every member of congress and net Millions! Then, shave their staff down to 9 - what do they need all those people for anyway? A ton more savings - $1,051,065 from Mississippi House members alone. The Senate is unlimited staff, with a pool of money based on state population, so hard to find out details, but lets say the state is the lowest pool, cutting it in half would save $1,926,936! So that is a federal savings of almost Three Million dollars just from the Mississippi Congresspersons! Suppose that is the average and we're talking savings of close to $149 Million, right off the top!
Lets do all that before taking food from hungry children and letting old people freeze during the winter. Lets cut it from the top before we give millions in tax breaks to billionaires and big business and try to claw it out of hard working citizens. Lets get the top 10% to pay their fair share of taxes. Then maybe us mere citizens can relate to the "Share the Sacrifice" message a little bit more.
And - at risk of shooting this post's credibility with Fox Followers in the Foot, so to speak, please read this speech.