There has been a chain letter circulating through the internet for years now. It presents itself as an idea from Warren Buffet, but the truth is the only part of it that came from him was a simple quote. Although the contents are not his, the ideas in the letter continue to raise questions, inspire discussion...and motivate people into thinking positive about where we are as a country, and where we want to be. Obviously, something this inspirationally viral and full of ideas simply must be discussed on this site, dedicated to the advent of idea.
“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. 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.” This was the quote that sparked a firestorm. It was meant as a joke...but takes a serious poke at a large part of the country’s economic problem...Congress! With members of Congress coming to the table with the agendas of those that line their pockets and fund re-election campaigns, instead of the best interests of the country...it’s no mystery why nothing substantial gets done for the benefit of everyone. They are too busy pushing benefits for the selected few.
The following points should be viewed carefully...
1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Member of Congress collects a salary while in office
and receives no pay when they are out of office.
Now you’ve got to wonder who would still do the job...if it really wasn’t a job, but a paid privilege to serve. People are making careers out of being in Congress, but does that path really serve the interests of the people...or are those on that path too busy trying to maintain their own personal design for their life choice?
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.
It seems to me any issues with Social Security would get fixed real fast if this were ever the case.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans
Putting those that make the decisions that effect you and I on an even keel means they make decisions that also effect themselves (and I don’t mean like point number 4). There is a lot of debate in Congress about a great many things...and I’m eager to see how that debate changes when they are no longer talking about abstracts that effect other people, but specifics that affect them along with everyone else.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay
will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
Yeah...it must be nice to just vote yourself a raise whenever you feel the need...or whim. Things getting a little tight in the pocket...? Take a vote, get a raise. Probably the only time a unanimous decision is made in Congress. I’m in favor of bottling this genie by capping it at 3% and tying it into the Consumer Price Index.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the
same health care system as the American people.
Now this is hot potato! Health care has been at the center of the ideological debate between the Demon-crats and Rethuglicans (yes, I’m an independent thinker). Want to see both parties come to a consensus on health care? Put them in the same system as the rest of America and they’ll stop yelling at each other, and start talking with each other. They will either settle for the less we have...or upgrade all of us to where they have comfort. Take a guess which it will be...?
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American
Well...this one sounds good, but I think that human nature will prevail here, at least a little bit. I can see high profile situation being enforced to the letter as it would with everyone else....but it’s the small stuff that will still get lost in translation. Think of it as the perks an officer of the law has...just because they’re the police, like parking under a “No Parking” sign. Could we live with these small acts of elitism? We do now already...but you have to wonder if that is how it all started in the first place, for things to get to where they are now
7. All contracts with past and present Members of Congress are void effective 1/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Members of Congress. Legislators 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.
So the “effective” date would need to be modified, since it already passed...or not, since it casts a net over everyone that has, is, and will be...in Congress. I’ve mentioned before how we need less politicians and more statesmen. The need for political straight talk has never been greater...and if our Legislators are unwilling or incapable of doing this, then perhaps it’s time we, the people, used our considerable power to make some changes that will actually make a positive difference.
The original chain letter said “THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS”...can anyone honestly read the above ideas, and disagree that this would be a start? Well...of course someone can (and probably will), but that would just be an example of being part of the problem...instead of working toward a workable solution.