Saturday, March 27, 2010

An Idea For Congressional Reform

"The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite." ~ Thomas Jefferson

One of my friends on Facebook recently sent me this:

My friend and neighbor wants to promote a "Congressional Reform Act of 2010". It would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be strongly endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

I know many of you will say, "this is impossible". Let me remind you, Congress has the lowest approval of any entity in Government, now is the time when Americans will join together to reform Congress - the entity that represents us.

We need to get a Senator to introduce this bill in the US Senate and a Representative to introduce a similar bill in the US House. These people will become American heroes.

Congressional Reform Act of 2010


1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below:

A. Two Six year Senate terms
B. Six Two year House terms
C. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

2 No Tenure / No Pension:
A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security:

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system. Congress participates with the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.

The American people did not make this contract with congressmen, congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators; serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

This is about as sensible approach to solving the problems caused by our current representatives as I've seen.

Whatever happens, we need to do some serious house cleaning in November or nothing of significance will change.

5 comments:

Pamela D. Hart said...

Mark: That is EXCELLENT! Where do I sign!

Benjamin Franklin warned about the greed of those seeking polical office for money. He said high salaries would attract scoundrels and drive away men who possessed true merit and virtue.


Just look who we have in the halls of our Capitol Building! Scoundrels! The lot of them!

Marshall Art said...

We already have term limits. It's called "the voting booth". I don't want term limits. I want fellow Americans to take responsibility. I expect and demand it. What I don't want is to have my right to vote for the best because "it's someone else's turn". If one serving chooses to term limit himself to one or two terms, that's his choice. But I don't want to lose the services of a good man, doing a good job, (especially during an ongoing crisis) if that man is willing to continue serving. Some people understand the idea of service. Term limits is the lazy way of dealing with poor politicians. The reason we have jerks in power now is due to the lack of participation by the people of the nation in the political process. We're supposed to be a self-governing nation.

The founders might have envisioned citizen leaders eventually going home, but they conspicuously left out making term limits the law of the land. I expect there's a reason for that and it has to do with the reasons I'm against term limits being made law.

I pretty much agree with everything else in the proposal. However, service to the nation does deserve some recognition. I would favor a much smaller pension, but one tied to length of service. If someone is a one term guy, he gets nothing. One term pretty much suggests the guy sucked, so he gets nothing. From then on, a token pension based on numbers of terms served. If a politician has been convicted of abusing his position for his own gain, or committed any other crime while in office, that pension would be taken away. The fact that they are serving, and often when they could be earning more in the private sector, does entitle them, IMO, to some consideration.

Health care definitely should be no different than what the rest of the country is doing.

Definitely no voting themselves pay raises.

OK, so I disagree with a lot of it. But not the spirit of it!

Krystal said...

I say that the PEOPLE force this into the Constitution as an ammendment!!!

Always On Watch said...

I've all for Point 6!

Z said...

"serious" house cleaning....and COMPLETE!