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Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sometimes Right Wingers Will Surprise You

...and not always in a bad way.

What follows below is a proposed 28th Amendment to the Constitution and it came from a very surprising source: Mrs. JP's right wing mother. She didn't write it, obviously, but she got it in her email inbox, it made sense to her and she passed it along to her daughter and several others.

It makes sense to me, too. In fact, if I was writing the language of this amendment, I'd also propose that no member of Congress register as a lobbyist ever instead of making them wait a year or so. No member of Congress ought to be able to capitalize on their political connections on K Street. I would also propose that Congressmen and Senators get docked a commensurate amount of their salaries for every vote they miss, including during election years. In the real world, we get docked if we don't show up for work. Why shouldn't they?

Pass this along to 20 people on your email list ( I will) and let's start snowballing some consensus.

Worth considering.

Subject: Fw: Congressional Reform Act of 2011

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, before e-mail, before 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.

I'm asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.

In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

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

2. No Tenure / No Pension.

A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

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, and Congress participates with the American people.

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

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

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

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

8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/11. (will have to pro-rate current plans since those currently serving may have no independent retirement plan-Norm) 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.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete.
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Blogger Barry said...
I like it.

Blogger Bill said...
Some of this is good, but relatively short term limits have led to inexperienced legislative bodies becoming dominated by corporate lobbyists, because the lobbyists are the only ones to have clue how to get things done.

Anonymous Carol said...
I like it. For Congressional pay, I would change CPI to C-CPI-W, or C-CPI-U. That's the chained CPI that the cat food commission recommended be used for Social Security colas. The C-CPI is about 2 years behind the rest of the cpis and of course is going to slow any increases in SS. This would be for current beneficiaries as well as future. I can see Obama agreeing to this so I say turn about fair play.

Blogger The Raven said...
Oh, ick, term limits. Cut their salaries and benefits so they're even more dependent on corporate contributions, and they pretty much have to be independently wealthy or corporate-funded to stand for election. Unh-hunh. Term limits haven't worked out as badly as feared, but they aren't a win for democracy, either. When I researched term limits, this is what I ended up with as conclusions: "The effects are not as dramatic as I had thought. Pols still stay pols, though their career paths now include planned job changes. Deep information on particular topics is less common. The executive sometimes becomes more powerful. Bottom line: term limits are not the transformative reform that term limit advocates hope for. Term limits don't do what their proponents hope, and do do some of what their opponents fear. In my view, pursuing term limits distracts from more effective changes." Link

Blogger jurassicpork said...
A reader of mine chimed in with a couple of clarifications: #1, abolishing pensions for Congress would endanger pensions for all federal employees.

#2, Congress does contribute toward Social Security, Snopes proved it.

Still, it's eminently logical what these proposals say. This would be a Tea Party platform I could get behind.

But the guns, threats, racism and hysterical screaming about government takeovers and Socialism... you can have it.

Blogger Nan said...
I second the qualms about term limits -- they've been disastrous for the states that have tried them (California and Michigan) so doubt they're a good idea nationally. You end up with lobbyists and staffers running the show, not the legislators.

And, as a person who participates in the same health plan Congress does -- the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan -- I have a problem with the phrasing on that issue. I don't know where people have gotten the idea Congress critters have some sort of gold-plated insurance plan, but they don't. The only thing that makes FEHBP different is you can pick from a variety of insurers, not just one, so it gives a little more flexibility than the typical employer provided health insurance.