“The Abusive, Self-Serving Congress vs. The American People , You Want Reform, Then Let’s Have a Go At it and Start with Congress!” — Bruce WD Barren
Yes, the America people want reform. Well, here is is what our President Donald J Trump believes and as an American, I am totally in line with him.
The real question in my opinion starts with why should a Congressperson have all of the extra financial benefits when we are fighting to keep our jobs and provide for our Families?
Perhaps, they together should enter the World of Reality and get rid of their special, self-anointed privileges and by a law that would eliminate their special perks.
They want the respective of the American people.
Well, here is their chance!
Let’s clean out the pork barrel and have their “enjoyments” become that of an ordinary citizen – Ouch, will that hurt!
1. First and Foremost – Adopt the procedure that No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary only while in office and should not receive pay when they are out of office. Plus, eliminate the perks go with them.
2. Cause Congress (past, present, & future) to participate in Social Security and transfer All funds in the Congressional retirement fund to the Social Security system immediately. All of their future funds should flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Force Congress to purchase their own retirement plan, just as ALL Americans do.
4. Disallow Congress to vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Take away Congress’ current health care system and make them participate in the same health care system as the American people. Perhaps then we can start to stop all of the “extra” pharmaceutical pricing as was just enacted under a Presidential Order.
6. Make Congress to equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people (i.e. NO MORE INSIDER TRADING or Pre-Investing in Government Projects, especially Real Estate).
7. Void All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congress made all these contracts by and for themselves.
8. Prevent Congressmen/ women from engaging in any activities with the US Government when they leave out for a defined period of time, to avoid any conflicts of interests.Serving in Congress should be an honor and privilege – NOT a career where financial benefit follows them back when they become once again a Private Citizen.
The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work, not get all kinds of freebies.
Let us all of us start to really drain The DC Swamp. It is about time to forget partisan differences!
9. Congressmen/ women should not be allowed to keep excess campaign contributions for their own benefit once their campaigns are over. They should not be able to enhance their own wealth and should be remitted to the Government for the benefit of public use within their District or State; and
10. No Congressperson or staff member should be allowed the extra/special perks of their office that grant them privileges denied in most other workplaces, for instance:
- Taxpayer-paid settlements in sexual-harassment cases.
- Members get annual allowances (averaging $1.27 million in the House and $3.3 million in the Senate) to staff and manage their offices almost entirely as they see fit, as well as for travel and other expenses.
- The House has averaged 138 legislative days each year since 2001, and the Senate 162. The job requires long days, and members are often active in their districts when not in session, but how many jobs give their employees over 6 months to plan and schedule entirely as they see fit?
- While members of Congress are required to purchase insurance via an Affordable Care Act exchange, they receive a federal subsidy amounting to 72% of their premiums (Democrats say it is a stand-in for the employer contribution most workers get.) They are also potentially eligible for lifetime health insurance under the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program upon retirement.
- Depending on age and length of service, members can receive a lifelong pension of 80% which, given today’s congressional salary of $174,000, equals out to $139,200 in annual taxpayer-funded retirement benefits.
- Upon the death of a member of Congress in office, their family will receive a payout equal to a year’s salary ($174,000), per Congressional Institute. The one-time death gratuity for families of military personnel killed in action is $100,000.
- Members of Congress have access to free, reserved parking spots at DC-area airports, a dedicated congressional call desk with major airlines and the ability to reserve seats on multiple flights but only pay for the flight boarded.
- Our nation’s legislators get a slew of lifetime benefits even after leaving office, including a taxpayer-funded gym at the Capitol, access to the House and Senate floors, parking in House lots, and the ability to dine in the House and Senate dining rooms.
- Think about it: Lifetime access to an exclusive circle means you are likely to remain in that circle, further removing former members of Congress from the experiences of everyday Americans
Again, let us all of us start to really drain The DC Swamp. It is about time to forget partisan differences!
By Bruce WD Barren, Economist
Paul Ebeling, Editor
Have a healthy day, Keep the Faith!