Monday, November 25, 2013

Wouldn't it Be Nice?

This proposed piece of legislation limiting the ability of congresspersons to feed at the public trough is the brain-child, supposedly, of Warren Buffet. I don't know if he's actually the author of the idea or not, but no matter. It's a fine proposal whose desirability, unfortunately, is inversely proportional to its likelihood of ever being enacted:
1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're 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/women are void effective 12/31/13. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congressmen/women made all these contracts for themselves.
Our representatives and senators, despite their pious demurrals, do not see themselves as public servants who consider it a privilege to serve the people. Rather, too many of them see public office as a way to feed their gluttonous egos while fattening their bank accounts. It would be a wonderful boost to our democracy to pass legislation like this, but since it's the Congress which would have to pass the legislation to curtail their own benefits, it doesn't have a prayer of ever being voted on, much less passed.