Fwd: THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS

Subject: Fwd: THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS






THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!!
A friend sent this along to me. I can't think of a reason to disagree.

I am sending this to virtually everybody on my e-mail list and that includes conservatives, liberals, and everybody in between. Even though we disagree on a number of issues, I count all of you as friends. My friend and neighbor wants to promote a "Congressional Reform Act of 2009". 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 hero's..

Thanks,

A Fellow American

***********************************



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 moves 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, server 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 looses 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.





If you agree with the above, pass it on to all in your address list. If not, just delete.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't disagree with all of it; that's a step up for RWFs.

But am I misreading it, or are they suggesting that it should only take effect for two years, until the next election's over? Or that the current (oddly, Democratic) Congress should all be removed from office just after the election?

The health care comments are a little off-base, since the rich aren't going to be negatively affected by the new bills, and Congress's plans are from private insurers anyway (or they're old enough to be on Medicare). The sad truth: having plenty of money is the only way to get good care in the U.S.

Term limits are always a suggestion I'm curious about. We see many politicians currently taking dirty, amoral positions because they are amazingly well-bribed by various lobbies. Term limits would seem to encourage that behavior by forcing Congressmen to constantly campaign (and spend money). As soon as you're well known enough in your home state to campaign on your reputation, you're out the door. It always comes up in American politics, since we are based on a distrust of government, but I'm not sure term limits would help.

ferschitz said...

I have mixed emotions about term limits. They sound good in theory but are a mixed bag in practice. We have term limits in the CA legislature, and it's not the great solution or panacea that it seems "on paper."

CA State Reps/Senators end up all being fairly new (even if they jump from one house to the other). Hence, there's always a sense of catch up going on. There is some value to having pols in office for a number of years to gain experience & to continue long-term plans. With term limits, everything's on a rushed schedule, which isn't always a great idea.

And then what happens is that the staffers, bureaucrats for life, end up running more stuff. Although they're not supposed to get paid off by lobbyists (and they might not, but who knows??), they are around for years and can be influenced in various ways. Plus citizens have little say over the staffers, who work behind the scenes.

At least with the politicians, you can see mostly what you get, and you have the opportunity to primary the cruddie ones.

I agree with some of this, but some of it probably won't work as well in practice as they think. Still it's worth discussing. So: good one, Republics. Pleas keep thinking more along these lines, which are about searching for real solutions.

Anonymous said...

There are two issues here: the term limits thing and everything else in this email.

In regards to term limits, ferschitz is correct that they are no silver bullet. Simply changing WHO is in office will do nothing if we don't change what can influence people in office (ie, get some real campaign finance reform). I fear that things would get even worse, since people who are not seeking reelection and have little experience are even more likely to turn into hired voices for big corporate donors, even more than they are now.

Another interesting point here is the Constitution and the intent of the framers, something which conservatives are always claiming to hold above all else. The founders specifically did not include term limits in the constitution, because they reasoned that it limited choice for the voters. If the voters think that Congressman X is the best possible person to speak for their interests, then they should be allowed to elect him. Darn that pesky democracy!

As for the rest of this email, it appears that someone is working with some seriously wrong information. This is sad, since it would be so easy to do 10 minutes of research and discover how wrong your assumptions are.

Congress ALREADY pays into SS.
Congress ALREADY can't vote itself pay raises (in the same term).
Congress ALREADY has to follow the same laws as everyone else. They don't get diplomatic immunity or anything like that.
Congress ALREADY has a normal health care plan, the same as every other federal employee. Its a good plan, but no different than the plan that the janitors who mop the halls get.

And I'm not sure what the contracts thing is about. Are we saying that we shouldn't honor contracts anymore? Why?

almoderate said...

Only serious problem I had was with #7, since that's already true.

You guys make some great points about term limits, though. Perhaps public funded campaigns (and only allowing that to be used) might be the proper ticket, but then we have to find a way to deal with lobbyists running attack ads.

Tootseye said...

All good points. Term limits is not the "big answer" that it might seem. Campaign finance reform is what is really needed, but my quick skim of this doesn't indicate that thy discuss this option, which is interesting.

As some have stated, some of the suggestions are downright stupid because they show a glaring lack of understanding of what is happening already.

A good start at considering options, I suppose, but the most useful suggestion has been left out: campaign finance reform (not that I expect it to happen any time soon or ever).

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