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For Your Consideration

Posted Friday, October 21, 2011, at 8:35 AM

Which Is It?
I received the following email and at first read seems like something worth discussing so here ya go...


Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:

"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "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

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, e-mail, cell phones, etc.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.

Perhaps this is one idea that really should be passed around quickly.

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.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

I want to know... IS THIS IS HOW WE FIX CONGRESS????

If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, lets hear why. Seems pretty reasonable to me since nobody seems interested in limiting the terms of elected officials... this seems like it would do it very effectively if/when they over spend.

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I would be willing to give this a shot.


-- Posted by wallismarsh on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 8:38 PM

Navyblue wrote, 'When a person is running for election, first time up, we need consider their promises on what they will do".

Well! in the words of Mearle Haggard, When a President goes through the White House door, An' does what he says he'll do.

We'll all be drinkin' free bubble-up, Eatin' that rainbow stew.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Wed, Oct 26, 2011, at 7:52 PM

When a person is running for election, first time up, we need consider their promises on what they will do. OK, First time, Only Time!! From that point, on, we vote based on what they did, that they said they would do. If they didn't, we don't, re-elect.

If, 'We the People' would only do that, eventually we would be trying to keep people in office, rather than them retiring, because only the Good-Guy could survive our vote. But, sadly, we don't do our job, and that emboldens our elected officials to not feel the need to do theirs.

I am finding fault, but I'm looking in the mirror at the worst of the lot, me thinks. Try it, you'll hate it. (Pun). (^8

There is only one person, I know of, too old and wimpy, to do anything about the problem, ME. So I leave it to the rest of you, to save ME, first, then yourselves. How American is that??

My solution would be to restrict spending to 90% of revenue (which includes debt eradication), and invest the remaining 10% into an acceptable reserve, for catastrophic events. No more debt!! How impossible is that??

Oh, and Regulate the Stock Market, in a way, no one can sell a company stock that they have purchased any stock in, for six months. Thus, knocking out the money ""Game,"" which has a crippling affect on the economy, daily.

I'm done.

-- Posted by Navyblue on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 1:20 PM

I have always wondered if a term limit is warranted for the Presidency, why is it not also warranted for congress? I am one of those dummies who think term limits might have a positive effect on government. Staggered limits of course, not everyone every election cycle.

-- Posted by doodle bug on Tue, Oct 25, 2011, at 10:26 AM


You do make a good point. However, I think if there is at least one thing everyone can agree on (even on this board!) it's that our government is doing a pretty poor job governing and has been for some time. The how's and why's may be irrevocably lost in the maw of talking points and partisanship, but if there is anything you might get a bunch of Americans to agree on, a way to replace all of congress at once (without M-4's) may be one.


I am persuaded by behavioral economists who argue that people respond to incentives. This point surely isn't lost on Warren Buffet who has (arguably of course) the best working knowledge of the market on Earth. This idea is simply a way to incentivize the lowering of the deficit.

No reason to think it wouldn't work. Given, as Doodle points out, you can muster the man/woman power to give it the teeth of a constitutional amendment.

-- Posted by Benevolus on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 10:46 PM

I guess we Americans are apathetic, lazy, and will get what we deserve. Makes me sick. Couldn't have said it any better myself. Sorry Brian, didn't intend to sound like such a pessimist. Get the ball rolling, let me know how that works out for you in five years.

-- Posted by Keda46 on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 8:19 PM

Sounds like a great idea, Brian.

I saw an idea proposed that we reduce Congressional pay by the percent they spend in excess of revenues! Like this year, they overspend our revenues by 40% so their salary is cut by 40%.

Corporations have had performance based pay for years. But they don't get to set their own pay.

-- Posted by Boomer62 on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 4:59 PM

and congress has a less than 20% approval rating, but we keep sending the same (another expletive) to Washington. I am of the opinion they are only interested in re-election, not what is correct for the country. And I do vote! lol

-- Posted by doodle bug on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 12:37 PM

Too bad you don't think it would work Keda46 and DB. I just read a survey that 57% of those surveyed in an AP poll say the government needs changing... seems like the time for something like this is now.

It's amazing to me that the political bloggers at the Gazette get hundreds of comments on their opinions seldom offering anything other than finger pointing at their "opponents", and all the response this blog gets is two folks saying it will not work because people are lazy.

I guess we Americans are apathetic, lazy, and will get what we deserve. Makes me sick!

-- Posted by Brian Hoag on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 11:11 AM

wont work because you cant get enough people to stand together. everyone elses congressman is a (insert whatever perjorative), but my congressman does a great job. Let us not forget the pork (ooooops, I mean "earmark").

-- Posted by doodle bug on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 4:24 PM

I have had numerous emails that made sense, however it is easy to bitch and complane about things, and then hit the return key to send it on to all our constituents . This will not work, you have to take it to the streets and be heard by hundreds of thousands. Lets face it, we are either to busy with our everyday life or we can't do it because we work, or we are just sheep. My opinion

-- Posted by Keda46 on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 3:15 PM

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