No More Imperial Congress

The level, tone, and quality of political “discourse” in this country are embarrassingly low.

The Republicrats and Demublicans—with few differences other than the rate (fast or not quite as fast) at which they wish to expand the American Empire—have overspent, overtaxed, overregulated, and micromanaged a once-fairly-free nation into near-serfdom.

Just recently, a major supporter of nationalized health care stated unequivocally that such government health programs as Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA system have a combined fraud and waste cost of at least 30%. Others place the figure much higher, but accepting even the lowest estimate means hundreds of billions of dollars stolen, misappropriated, defrauded, wasted, and/or lost ever year. One would think that the uncontroversial goal of eliminating this waste and fraud should precede any trillion-dollar takeover of health care. Yet this is not to be. The entire subject just evaporated in the heat of the race to pass an unread and completely speculative “reform” bill.

Personally, I am trying to reduce the amount of time I spend contending with all of this nonsense, and number of issues involved. I believe I will work back to first principles, namely, the elected officials that are concocting these legislative monstrosities. Let’s reform Congress before it reforms anything, especially our economy. Therefore, I propose:

  • Mandatory, random drug tests for all members of Congress, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Supreme Court and federal judges, and White House staff.
  • A “Goose and Gander” policy, to wit, Congress needs to live under, not above, the same laws the rest of us do. Congress exempts itself from OSHA, EPA, labor department regulations, and anything else it doesn’t like. I propose simple-English legislation making Congress subject to the laws they inflict on the rest of us.
  • It costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $4 million to support each Representative, and $10 million to support each Senator. The entire bill for the legislative branch under JFK in the early 1960s was $192 million. Some 40 years later, the cost is nearing $5 billion. Time to make them subject to Social Security, like the rest of us, instead of having their own, blue-chip retirement program. Time for them to lose that elite health plan, too. No more freebies, and no more raises. In fact, their salaries should be in line with other, private-sector jobs, and every member should be means-tested. John Kerry is married to Teresa Heinz, who’s worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Why should he, and other millionaires in both parties, get anything more than reasonable expenses paid? No government pay for the rich. And no private jets for any of them. (Now maybe bragging about “public service” will mean something.)
  • A simple, non-partisan election slogan for 2014: “All Incumbents Out: Make Congress Clean in 2014!” Although some would still be elected, a huge, one-note-song campaign against incumbency in Congress and the state legislatures (re-election percentages run in the high 90s) just might catch on. Some might complain that, without the “old hands” around, things may be less organized, less productive, less efficient. That, of course, is the point.
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