October 27, 2011

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

I make no qualms over the fact that several things that I post are not directly my words. There are too many excellent articles out there which are difficult, if not impossible, to improve upon. What I do try to do is to simplify some of the language and delete extraneous information to make the information more readable. The following article, parsed and paraphrased, is from Minyanville:

Over the course of the last two years, our government has repeatedly rewarded irresponsible behavior. Banks that leveraged worthless assets were bailed out, while exorbitant bonuses remained intact. Homeowners that financed houses they couldn't afford have been able to re-finance and stay in their underwater homes. Moral hazard has been the problem underlying the entire crisis.

Ban lobbyists that pad the politicians' pockets, or set contribution limits. They have too much power, and the big corporate interests they serve supersede those of the constituents.

Warren Buffet recently talked to CNBC about his plan to stop deficit spending. "I could end the deficit in five minutes," he said. "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."

In an email being circulated regarding Buffet's comments, a hypothetical bill is being presented to correct some of the glaring hypocrisy from our elected officials.

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

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 1/1/12.

- The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

- Congressmen/women 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.

Now THIS is an Act that I could get behind!


Stonecarver said...

Me too! I believe Warren is saying many of the same things that are behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, only Warren is more articulate. Why hasn't this gotten more press? I have seen it through emails, seen it posted on Facebook, and your blog, have not seen it reported in any paper or newscast.

Dave K. said...

OWS has been a disjointed group from the start and they are becoming a real-life Orwellian Animal Farm as the organizers are now not liking the fact that homeless people (the bottom 1%) have been coming into the OWS camps to get some free food.

When not Orwellian, the OWS people have become a gathering place for ex-60's hippies yearning for their glory days to return. If it's not too painful, check-out this YouTube of Congressman John Lewis trying to speak to the OWS group in Atlanta to express his solidarity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3QZlp3eGMNI&noredirect=1 (hint: it doesn't happen as it appears the group has consumed way too much LSD).

But I digress. The dinosaur media (the "DM") is interested in conflict, hyperbole, and sensationalism and printing their own predispositions masquerading as inevitable truths, if only the great unwashed would be as enlightened as they are. But fear not, the DM is just that - a dinosaur. They are still oblivious to the fact that more people get their information on the internet where the readers as individuals are the ultimate arbiters of truth and what constitutes news.

We saw an inkling of people disdaining the DM in the 2010 elections. Traditional politicians were discarded and look for much more of this in the 2012 elections. What I find ironic is that the message is still lost on several politicians. They think that people are wanting more compromise among politicians. No! We would like politicians who have clear core positions. Compromise is what saddles the U.S. with thousands of earmarks in every budget.

The U.S, absolutely needs to reign in the special benefits given to its politicians, and their enablers. It's happening now. Hopefully, we can get some changes enacted before it's too late, but I'm not holding my breath. It's human nature to wait to act until after the catastrophe.

One more thing - Warren Buffett may be one of the largest hypocrites on economic matters that there is. He says to "raise his income tax rates", but has already sheltered billions in trusts. When one reads about him making "an investment" in a company, it is most often a deal extremely tilted in his favor and one which the average investor could never receive. His companies employ hundreds of lobbyists that persuade politicians to include tax-favorable legislation for those same companies. Warren is like the Hollywood-elites that are in the OWS groups hoping that no one realizes that they are the top 1% being railed against.