Leonard Pitts Jr.
Okay, so my regular readers (all four of them) will attest that I don’t often find reason to praise my local newspaper, the Portland Oregonian, especially this last year, during the “Obama boot-licking marathon” of the editorial staff.
In fact, overlooking the comics, crosswords, and Margie Boule’s articles, most of my opinions on Oregonian’s content hasn’t included a great deal of re-printable language.
So, it is with great enthusiasm that I find myself able to recommend another writer in this paper: Leonard Pitts Jr. (a Miami Herald columnist whose syndicated work runs regularly in The Oregonian.)
In my public opinion poll of one, I’ve found myself nodding to his articles about 80 percent of the time, and cursing his name the remaining 20 percent. Ask any writer who isn’t interested in racking up a sycophant mailing list, and they’ll tell you that a pretty darn good average.
(Pitt’s essays are to be found in the “commentary” section.)
Read Pitt’s essays. Unlike most of the drivel out there, this guy can not only write stuff that makes you think, he can write stuff that can change your mind. We NEED more writers like that!
Pitt’s isn’t afraid to tackle tough issues, and has been willing to voice his own opinion even when it doesn’t mesh with the liberal brown-nosing that seems to steer the rest of the ship. Today’s article, “Why George Bush deserves a pay raise” is a great example.
I found his ideas on this to be revolutionary, and wonder what kind of leadership we would garner if the president’s salary was based on his (or her) approval ratings.
I mean, after all, the job of the president it to do the will of the people, right? So, what better way to evaluate this than approval ratings?
Pitts recommends that the presidential salary is one million dollars per year (which, as he points out, is a fraction of what US industry leaders make) but I say, let’s go a step further…let’s say that the “base” salary is $500,000 but that the figure doubles with every ten percentage points of public approval over 70 percent. IE:
70% Approval rating = $500,000 annual salary.
80% Approval rating = $1,000,000 annual salary.
90% Approval rating = $2,000,000 annual salary.
100% Approval rating = $4,000,000 annual salary
Now, that said…let’s add a little safety net for the American people…
The President’s salary will be paid, in full, at the end of their term (be it four or eight years) based on the AVERAGE approval rating of their administration. None of these people are living on food-stamps, they can wait for the pay-off! (This keeps them from saying “screw ‘em” in month 49.)
I mean, C’mon, even at four million a year, the President is still deep in the shadows of our pill-popping Hollywood heroes, but we get ourselves a leader that is doing what WE want (and that’s his/her job, right?)
Personally, I would be a lot less interested in what party my president came from if I could look back after four (or eight) years and say, “Man, they did everything they said they would do!”
PS – Here’s a scary addition…what if any president that could garner a 98% average approval rating over eight years could continue to be president for as long as they could maintain that average???
PPS – Anything less that 50% and they get ‘nuthin???