Hundreds of representatives and senators have pledged to forgo their salaries for the duration of the federal government shutdown.
"I'm here and ready to work until we re-open the federal government, reduce our unsustainable debt and get America moving again," Rep. Scott Perry, R-4th, wrote in a recent op-ed. "And I won't take another paycheck until we get that job done."
Members of Congress certainly don't deserve a dime of their $174,000 annual pay.
In fact, a good many of them should be fired for the way they've mismanaged our country.
If there was a way to have them return everything they've "earned" up to now, we'd be for that, as well.
But there isn't.
Just as there's no way for a member of Congress to "refuse" his or her pay. It's in the Constitution. Those checks will be cut no matter what.
What they decide to do with it is another matter.
Some members say they'll donate it to charity, while others say they'll write a check back to the Treasury Department.
Either way, they want to show they're "sharing the pain" with the hundreds of thousands of furloughed federal workers, not to mention the millions of Americans inconvenienced by this shutdown.
At least members of Congress have a choice in the matter.
The same can't be said of the federal workers idled by the shutdown.
Oh, sure they'll get their back pay when Congress gets around to re-opening the government.
That doesn't help, though, if they're living paycheck to paycheck.
We're fairly certain those politicians "refusing" their pay won't be missing any meals during this shutdown -- not when members of Congress have a median estimated net worth of about nearly $1 million, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
This supposed show of "solidarity" might make good headlines, but it means nothing to average Americans whose median net worth is about $67,000, according to the U.S. Census.
What will mean something is next year's mid-term election -- when voters will decide if members of Congress deserve to be paid.