February 19, 2009 8:26am CST
OK I just have to pass this on and I am hoping I have it in the right place. But it does make alot of since if they would just do it! and then we wouldnt have to do any bail out! When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is, they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers need to find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well. Wall street, and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision", and his board of directors gives him a big bonus. Why Should Our government be immune from similar risks? Therefore: Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members and Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State). Also reduce remaining staff by 25%. Accomplish this over the next 8 years. (two steps / two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting. Some Yearly Monetary Gains Include: $44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay / member / yr.) $97,175,000 for elimination of the above people's staff. (estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year) $240,294 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%. $7,500,000,000 reduction in pork barrel ear-marks each year. (those members whose jobs are gone. Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion / yr) The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and would need to improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country? Yes work more for the country more than theirselves! We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well. It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing. Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few) Note: Congress did not hesitate to head home when it was a holiday, when the nation needed a real fix to the economic problems. Also, we have 3 senators that have not been doing their jobs for the past 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all have been accepting full pay. I just dont know how they can accept full pay when they arent there. These facts alone support a reduction in senators & congress. Summary of opportunity: $ 44,108,400 reduction of congress members. $282,100, 000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff. $150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff. $59,675,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members. $37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members. $7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members. $8,073,383,400 per year, estimated total savings. (that's 8-BILLION just to start!) Big business does these types of cuts all the time. If Congresspersons were required to serve 20, 25 or 30 years (like everyone else) in order to collect retirement benefits there is no telling how much we would save. Now they get full retirement after serving only ONE term. and I also think this need to change they shouldnt be retired with pay after just one term!!!!! IF you are happy how the Congress spends our taxes, then just delete this message. IF you are NOT at all happy, then I assume you know what to do. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- See how Windows connects the people, information, and fun that are part of your life. See Now
2 people like this
• United States
19 Feb 09
Hello Lakota, Great discussion! I always applaud when people sincerely put their thinking caps on. Though, as I see it, this proposal is riddled with very serious problems. First, the U.S. Constitution defines the levels of representation. So, Constitutional Amendments would have to be passed to alter the representation formula. Not critical, though certainly difficult and unwise, as I see it. I address the reasons below. Second, to propose reducing the effective level of representation as the country's population grows risks seeing the representative surrender to the impossibility of being all things to all people. I contend that the fewer reps would simply ignore the whims and fancies of even the most reasonable of the constituencies. Third, contrary to popular opinion, a great many Congressional Staffers are still interns. No real savings of salaries there! Fourth, reducing the level of representation and their staff will likely increase the probability that the remaining rep's will be that much more dependent on lobbyists -- since they won't have time to do their own research! I'm sure that there are many other reasons to seek out a more effective course of restructure. For instance: 1. No double-dipping. I.e. no Senate runs while a serving member of Congress. No Presidential runs while a serving member of Congress or a paid State office. 2. No international 'fact-finding' missions. Otherwise known as tax-payer funded junkets and jaunts. 'Voice over Internet Protocol' telephony (VOIP) and the internet are adequate 4th dimensional tools for the day! Our reps should be accessing video conferencing rather than jet-setting on the taxpayer dime, in all but the most critical circumstances. Although, those critical circumstances are supposed to be handled by the State Department, not our elected elite!!! 3. No permanent D.C. offices. Congress should be in their districts 90% - 95% of the calendar year. As it is, they typically work a three day week, with Mon & Fri as travel days. This change alone will result in enormous savings, and will dramatically cut into the 'culture of corruption'. If lobbyists have to work the reps in their home states, then the economic challenges will dramatically change the way our politics work! Our Founding Fathers envisioned the role of our Congress as a part-time commitment inside of the Nation's Capitol. If our reps didn't waste so much time on votes about nonsense like 'what should the national insect be designated as?' or [i]'what color easter egg should be the official egg of 2010?[/i], then the business of the nation could easily be conducted from the home state. Especially in light of our 21st century technological and travel conveniences. 4. When physical malady renders a rep unable to perform their duties, they need to be replaced - immediately. No more carrying the load of reps in comas! We can all say prayers for them, but the hard cold reality is that we need Congressional reps who are willng AND ABLE to do the job. 5. Term limits across the board. Professional politicians are the bane of our nation. 6. No more leadership from among the party ranks. A non-voting, highly scrutinized, highly paid, highly qualified, permanent, parliamentary administrator to administer the conduct of the business of the nation. Yup, that's right, no more Speaker of the House, or Senate President Pro Tempore. These roles as currently defined allow party politics to consistently supercede the responsible business of the nation. Wayyy too much power consolidated into these rolls. Granted a Constitutional amendment would have to be drafted and passed to affect this change. Though, until this unbelievable amount of consolidated power is addressed, our government cannot help but be corrupt!!! 6. A fourth branch of government known as Citizens Oversight. This would be an 18 month, rotating, publicly blacked-out, confidential position drawn from public nomination, and where the new replacements would serve a 3 month trial period and then be either accepted or voted out by the outgoing and current Citizens Oversight Council, based on their non-binding vote and attendance/conduct record. In order to protect the integrity and confidential nature of the conduct of the post, this group would have no reason to physically convene. All issues would be addressed privately in the home state. I propose that this group would have budget oversight, including the line-item veto. As well as exclusive oversight of corruption allegations and ethics violations among the Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches. This group would have the ability to call for special elections at the state level to replace any rep found guilty of abusing The People's Trust, or their positions of authority. I propose that the existing Electoral College 'by county' representational formula be used in defining the number of reps to comprise the council, as the 'by county' formula is in fact the most fair in our nations history. There are many other alternative suggestions, including many related to the Primary election process, though I think that I've blathered on long enough here. There have been many terrific ideas put forth to cure any of the many ails of our nation. However, reducing the level of effective representation is anything but democratic in nature. I don't see a real need to undo the vision of the Founding Fathers. Instead, I do acknowledge the need to grow the vision while adhering to its original spirit. Does that make sense, Lakota?
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 09
lol NP in that I just kept reading! and you have put alot of thought into this and I do agree with most. Specially about the elctorial vote I think that should be thrown out and just count the votes that are made in each state to get the dession made . Way back when my fatehter started voting Electorial vote were not heard of. and it all worked out great. I didnt viote for along time cause of them I figured me vote wouldnt count and not sure it did this time. I think they really need to get back to the basics that or forefathers put in and get the lazt good for nothings out of office and get some laws lassed that would really help the country not just the People in DC! and yup working from home state woul be better and save lots of money! Only a 3 day work week! Just dont get it in my book every one else have to work 5 day week and sometimes all 7 days and still dont make a good living! thanks for your responce!
• United States
20 Feb 09
Hello Lakota, I hope that I'm not raining on your parade with this, but I believe that honesty is key. So, at the risk of disparaging your choice for mine as BR (Thank you by the way) I submit this clarification: I do not now, nor have I ever supported the abolition of the Electoral College. The Electoral College representational formula using county breakdown, rather than Congressional district is far and away the fairest forumula to the nation as a whole. The Electoral College was designed and defined by our Founding Fathers in the United State Constitution (Article II Section I). It has guided our Presidential elections since our founding. It is the only safeguard that protects each of the 50 states from being ramrodded by the minority largest states. It is also the only measure of protection to prevent a filthy rich knucklehead from essentially buying the office of the presidency. Without the Electoral College any really rich rock star, movie star, or mogul could commit their wealth to paying their way to a victory in our elections, and there would be nothing to stop them. Imagine Michael Jackson, Snoopy Dog, Britney Spears or a whacko pop sensation like Octo-Mom buying our elections??? Ewwww too scary! Below is a link to a historical overview of our Electoral College System. http://www.ask.com/bar?q=electoral+college+provisions+of+the+constitution&page=1&qsrc=0&zoom=&ab=6&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eac.gov%2Fclearinghouse%2Fu-s-federal-election-system
19 Feb 09
that is a very interesting point you bring up here, but I am of the mind that cutting down staff is only effect when there are too many people working in the company in the first place, cut down staff to save money but work the workers so much that they quit or get sick because they are now doing the job of two and sometimes three people is not productive as far as I am concerned. instead always going to staff as the only solution see what you are doing wrong, like let's start at the top with the ceo getting a half of million dollars a year, for what? he workings are getting 8 dollars an hour.
• United States
19 Feb 09
Okay, the first problem you would run into here is a little document known as the constitution. Although you may be able to reduce the number of representatives, the constitution clearly states that there are to be two senators for state. Also, the terms of office for both chambers of congress are specified in Article 1 Section 1 of the constitution. The only way you could change things would be to amend the constitution and that would be a drawn out process. Hopefully, we will have the financial situation under control by then. Frankly, I'm not comfortable with asking congress (or anybody else) to work without pay. I know there is a feeling out there that they are all rich enough and don't need to be paid but I don't believe it's true. In spite of some wealthy men like Kennedy, Kerry and Edwards, I think most of the congress are working blokes with mortgages and expenses like everybody else. I checked the three representatives in my immediate area. The guy who represents my district is probably the best off of the three because he is a retired navy admiral and has his navy pension. But he is certainly not rich and the other two are freshmen congressmen with only their congressional pay checks. They all have young familys and maintain residences in Pennsylvania and in Washington. I truly don't know how much staff they require but I do know that one recent Pennsylvania congressmen (Joe Hoefel, now out of office)returned the money he did not use for staff to the government. Apparently, he budgeted wisely and was able to cut some corners. I think it would be nice if more of them did that.
• United States
20 Feb 09
yes it would be nice if we had more honest people in off ice I just dont think they need a raise . as more and more people aregetting layed off. and I also think they need to serve more than a term to get a pension! If they are only in there I think it is 6 years they do need to look for work just like any one else that has only worked at one job for 6 years. My Hubby had to work 25 yers and and really didnt get much of a pention nd I get even less of it since he passed awy and its not enough to live on!