Thursday, June 09, 2011

It's time to get serious about reforming Congress.

I received this email lately and I think it's a good springboard for discussion.

It is time. If you agree send it on. If you disagree, please delete it.

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.

This should, hopefully, reach more than 20 people.

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

This idea has been floated around for ages, and everyone supports it - yet somehow Congress never seems to get around to making it policy or law. Wonder why?

OK, we know why. They get wealth and influence from bribes from lobbyists and Corporate interests (overt and covert) while they're in office. None of them have enough character to give that up willingly.

2. No Tenure / No Pension.

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

Amen. A term in Congress should not qualify anyone for being a perpetual leech at the taxpayers expense.

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.

Right now, Congress has exempted themselves from having to participate in Social Security by making their own cushy retirement fund with terms so cushy that they would NEVER, EVER implement them for ordinary Social Security recipients. In this county, there is not supposed to be one law for the peons and a different law for the rulers.

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

One, Congress should not have a separate plan for the ruling elite that is different than those available for ordinary Americans. And two, nobody should be "retiring" from Congress in the first place, since they should have a "real job" and not be perpetual burdens on society.

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

Actually, I would say their pay raises must be pegged exactly to what percentage of increase they allot for Social Security cost of living increases each year. If those are the "real" figures, they should be good enough for Congress to live by, too.

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

This point particularly irks me - and it should anger you, too. Congress have enacted ONLY FOR THEMSELVES a fully publicly funded single-payer healthcare system. We are denied access to this system. It's only for the elite ruling class. And this sort of situation should cause immediate pitchforks and molotov cocktails to be rained down on Congress until either WE get the same healthcare they decided was perfect for themselves, or until they are subject to the same medicare/medicaid/for-profit healthcare insurance scams that we are forced to use.

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

A general proclamation of the above points of interest, this would make sure that Congress can't pass any other programs intended only for themselves as privileged elite and denied to the rest of us. Also, it would make ethics and bookkeeping and tax evasion laws that apply to the rest of us apply to congress, also. No de facto "diplomatic immunity" for them anymore.

8. 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.

Agreed. The American taxpayers have NO OBLIGATION to continue funding perks for Congress as if they were some kind of rarified elite class too good for the programs they stingily mete out for the rest of us.

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

You are one of my 20+. Please keep it going.

I would like to add in a few more suggestions.

One, if Congresspersons want special security details, they should have to pay for it themselves.

Two, Congresspersons should be required to send all their k-12 children to public schools.

Three, travel should be at their own expense. In this day of Skype, activist journalism by every sort of group and organization, and nearly unlimited online resources for doing "research" on various topics, nobody needs to travel to other countries for any "fact finding." The only time travel should be covered is if they are in an actual sign-on-the-dotted-line meeting with a foreign official who has authority to make such agreements. Otherwise, it's a glorified vacation and they should pay all the expenses themselves.

Four, a "zero tolerance" policy for scandals. Anyone caught in any immoral or unethical shenanigans should face automatic dismissal, period.

If all of these things were enacted, America would be a fair and equitable society as it was intended to be, instead of the obviously class-based system of perks and benefits that we have now. In this day and age, there is no place for a ruling class elitism that exempts itself from the laws passed for others. Right now, Congress is no different than Animal Farm - they are "more equal" than others and it needs to stop.

Any Congressperson who fails to vote for a Constitutional Amendment such as this one should automatically considered corrupt and voted out of office. This should be THE litmus test of the next elections - a pass/fail exam. Either they vote for this Amendment, or they're out.

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