Some members of Congress who know that budget cutting can be hazardous to their political health are wheezing over a fact sheet that shows the potential effect of President Reagan's proposed federal pay cut on their home districts and states.
The computer printout, worked up by Reps. Mike Barnes (D-Md.) and Vic Fazio (D-Calif.) is designed to show that the cut, which would cost the Washington area $2 million a day in wages, isn't limited to the politicians' favorite whipping boy, the Washington work force.
True, the biggest hit would be felt here, where there are 354,000 feds. But the proposed cuts also would hit the economies of hundreds of other communities, where the federal payroll buys a lot of Big Macs and accounts for a significant portion of local taxes.
Barnes and Fazio are into the act because they represent lots of feds -- a big chunk of Montgomery County and the McClellan Air Force Base portion of Sacramento. Together, they also head the congressional civil service caucus called the Federal Government Service Task Force. Its members come from districts where there are lots of civilian federal employes, retirees and military personnel.
According to the Barnes-Fazio damage assessment, the 5 percent pay cut would cost Virginia $208 million in wages a year; Maryland, $167 million; California, $431 million; Florida, $125 million; Georgia, $113 million; Massachusetts, $70 million; New Jersey, $94 million; New York, $197 million; Ohio, $167 million; Pennsylvania, $172 million; Texas, $235 million; and West Virginia, $19 million.
Even states such as Idaho, which rarely comes up in strategic planning, would lose $15 million a year, according to the Barnes and Fazio calculations. The two legislators have data designed to chill the hearts of politicians and local merchants in a number of cities around the country.
The Reagan administration estimates that the pay cut would save $1.1 billion the first year. But when that translates into a loss of $5.4 million for Syracuse, $36 million for Oklahoma City or $11.9 million for Omaha, Congress may consider another alternative.
Cynical feds believe that the proposed 5 percent pay cut is a straw man, however. After all the fussing and fighting, say the veterans of budget wars, the administration will "give up" and settle instead for a pay freeze next year. Either action, a pay cut or a freeze, would have to be approved by Congress.
But if Barnes and Fazio can get enough members to read and believe their numbers on the impact of the federal dollar in hometown U.S.A., the administration might even have a tough time selling a 1986 pay freeze.