• Just when I thought I had heard everything, along comes a congressman with this gem: Offering pay raises for bilingual federal workers.

    California Democrat Michael Honda says they're worth the proposed five percent boost. They help immigrants facing all these challenges communicating in English. Fine. Here's what isn't: Having taxpayers subsidize multilingual government.

    Don't get me wrong: I'm all for folks learning other languages. I'd just prefer rewarding them for other skills; skills like — I don't know — math.

    Because I'd put much greater stock in a government worker understanding what goes into making a budget than simply screaming, "Ay Dios mio!" at this budget.

    I'm not even talking advanced math — basic math will do. The one that teaches you how to add and subtract, and the one that shows it is always better to have more money coming in than going out. The one that covers only spending what you have. You know, the same math we use at home.

    That'd be worth a raise to the first federal worker who gets that, and worth doubling that raise to the first congressman who does that.

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