If you lost your job tomorrow, how long could you and your family survive? Take a moment and figure out how you'd live without your income, the way federal workers have to during this government shutdown. Most of us would be done for.

The current salary for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year, unlike most federal workers, who live paycheck-to-paycheck. The fact is 40 percent of the lawmakers are millionaires.

Since the government shutdown on December 22, at least 58 House members and 13 U.S. Senators have refused their pay until the shutdown is resolved. They most likely can afford to forego their pay, unlike everyday workers for the government.

The most basic job of Congress is to protect us from enemies who want to harm us and to pass a budget that funds the workings of the government. Since lawmakers are unable to perform their fiduciary responsibilities, they shouldn't be paid.

In fact, I believe it's unethical for lawmakers to collect a paycheck during a government shutdown.

Money can do many things, but it can't buy rising to the occasion and delivering on one's mission.

Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at phil@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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