Congress Needs Basic Reform

August 9, 2011

“We have not inherited the Earth from our ancestors, we are borrowing it from our children.” – Native American proverb

I am writing to you today to pass on some information that I came upon recently that I thought you at Oregon PeaceWorks might be interested in.  This is bipartisan in nature and is aimed at both Democrats and Republicans.  We should all seriously consider helping with the change suggested below.  This is something I will fight for, and I hope you will, too. This is short; so please read it all the way through.  You will be glad you did.

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, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.

Of  the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven took 1 year or less to become the law of the land… all because of public pressure.

I think it is time for America to reclaim its political identity – one based on hard work towards a common goal: to revitalize our nation.  In order to do so, there needs to be a complete overhaul of our legislative assemblies. Φ

David Michael Ball
Silverton, OR

Congressional Reform Act of  2011

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 1/1/12.  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.

Of course, the trick is getting the legislators to eliminate their own nest-eggs, but then again, I don’t think the idea of having greed being the driving force behind the making of laws is in the best interests of the American people.  Hopefully, since approval ratings are in the mid-teens for members of Congress, they will start getting the message that they exist to serve the people…not the other way around. Φ

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