Nobody wants to be first in line.
So President Obama has volunteered his work force -- 2 million federal employees -- to live with a pay freeze for two years as a contribution to reducing the $1 trillion-plus federal debt.
That's a freeze Alaska will feel.
About 17,000 Alaskans drew a federal paycheck in 2009, according to the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development. When that large a group takes any kind of financial hit, it makes an impact.
The president will take shots from right and left for his proposal. From the right, he's hearing a federal pay freeze is long overdue and insufficient. From the left, a federal pay freeze is just another example of paying down the deficit on the backs of the middle class.
Let's skip the spin. The president's proposal isn't a whole program. It's a centrist recommendation that would put no one out of work but save the taxpayers' money at a time when U.S. debt is deep. And by asking 2 million public servants to sacrifice expected gains, Obama underscores his point that Americans need to share the load in working our way back to solvency and prosperity. Savings are modest compared to the debt -- $60 billion over 10 years. But all of it counts.
Congress should approve the president's recommendation. It won't be popular. But it makes sense, and it asks for sacrifice without asking for too much.
To read the complete editorial, visit www.adn.com.