Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How To Reform Congress

With the start of the new year, we are reminded very quickly of what lies ahead. We must make our choice for the presidential race. There are other elections as well and we must carefully consider who would do the best job in leading our country forward.  I was impressed by what Mitt Romney said last week: “We are not just electing a president of the United States we are saving the soul of our country.”  I firmly believe we need to find a way, as citizens, to get back to our constitutional roots and trash those unconstitutional laws which take our freedoms away.

In a message from a group of concerned citizens, we read what could be a great way to get our Congress back on track in working towards saving the soul of our country. It’s called The Congressional Reform Act of 2011 and although it was not taken seriously by our Congress last year, we should seriously consider these six points for 2012.

1. No Tenure / No Pension.  A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and would receive no pay when they're out of office. A term of service should not be paid after the job is done.  This would help cut our national budget for the future.

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. There should be no special treatment for those who work as legislators as this is a great honor and should not be compensated after they have gone home.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3% just as the rest of us are given. It is ridiculous to think that anyone who works for the people of the United States should reward themselves with their own pay raise.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people. Again, this would be a great help to our sagging budget.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people. As American citizens, we are required to abide by the law.  No one is above the law no matter what his or her position. This is how we discipline ourselves to be a society.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, who serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.  As Thomas Jefferson said:The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.”  These political reforms are the will of the people.

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