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A good first step would be to freeze federal salaries and benefits under the auspices of shared sacrifice. How can federal workers continue to get such salaries and benefits in the face of the financial austerity forced on the rest of the citizens? Why should federal employees be the only class insulated from the recession? Who could make the case for shutting down the government to save pay raises for bureaucrats?

The time to begin is now. Conservatives can and must veto the veto.

Gordon J. Wysong, who has run four manufacturing businesses, served as a commissioner in Cobb County, Ga., during the 1990s when the county achieved the highest credit rating of any local government in America.