Governmental Reform is a subject that always comes up. In fact that was the number one issue in the latest election. It seemed that people were fed up with the way things were and wanted to give someone else a chance to do something about it. There are lots of people talking about what should be done to fix things in Washington. In fact Warren Buffett, a well know businessman, said, “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.
Another interesting idea is to make the members of Congress regular people who have to abide by the rules that they impose on the citizens. I found the following Congressional Reform Act template while researching on this topic
*Congressional Reform Act of 20**
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/xxxx. 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.
It is my belief that the people who serve in the Congress should be accountable to the citizens and should have to live in the same world that they have legislated on us. Maybe it is time for a new way of thinking and to enact some new reforms.