Monday, December 26, 2011

Time to Hold US Congress Accountable

When I was starting out in my career, one of my bosses had a favorite saying," Your next pay increase becomes effective when you are." I think it's time we hold our Congress accountable using this logic.

One of the viral email that I received gave me the idea for this blog. According to this email, Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers his solution to the debt ceiling: "I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

Let's call it the Congressional Reform Act of 2012:

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

2. 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, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

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

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

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. 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, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

Whether Mr. Buffett actually voiced the ideas above doesn't matter to me. The ideas stated in this email have merit in their own right irrespective of who gets credit for originating them. I have already seen an op-ed in a major daily that essentially presented the same view (without acknowledging possible role by Buffett).

We need to hold Congress accountable and if there is enough ground swell in favor of such a movement, we may then begin to institute some real change.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"The root problem of America's political landscape today may go back to firstly
the doing away of the Glass-Seagal Act which separated commerical banking
from investment banking, then the law that allows corporations to make political
donations on which politicans depend on to be elected. Congress has become an
interest group not for serving the people but for fattening of themselves. Money
and greed have become the name of the game.

What to do?"