Viewpoint: Is salary give-back just symbolic?

President Obama famously plans to return five percent of his $400,000 salary to the treasury, in solidarity with government workers who may get squeezed by budget cuts, in the sequestration.

We say all politicians should follow the president's lead, and give back some of their pay too. If enough did it, and gave back enough, it could serve to be more than just symbolic, as Obama's gesture is.

The sequestration was supposed to be a poison pill that politicians would not take, but it happened anyway. It's hard not to see this deal as symbolism over substance, except for some things like Albany's air traffic tower.

But the practical effect is that the sequestration seems to be the only thing that's slowing Washington's spending frenzy.

And it's got to slow down somehow. We're spending way more money that we take in, and everybody from moms and dads to governors know you just can't keep doing that.

Unless you can print you own money, which Washington is doing.

And don't purge the term 'sequester' from your vocabulary. There's another one set to take effect in Uncle Sam's next fiscal year.