Sen Warren and others see themselves as dragon slayers, righters of every wrong. The problem is they can’t see the actual problem.
Banning stock ownership may sound like a good idea, but is it? Isn’t the real problem integrity? The problem is not owning individual stocks, but the buying and selling of influence during and after serving in Congress.
Isn’t the real problem that over the centuries we have allowed Congress to become a career? A life- long job possibility with a pension no less! The very concept of a pension says long-time career. If there was ever a job where a defined contribution plan (like 401k) should replace a pension, Congress is it.
We have an 81-year old Speaker of the House in Congress over three decades. That type of longevity was never intended by the Founders.
Every part of the process encourages individuals to do what is possible to stay in office, to build their influence, to make promises to voters, to ignore cost and consequences.
Then we have the opposite extreme. The ignorance of the public such as expressed by the above post. Minimum wage? If we paid Congress a minimum wage or anything close to it, who could afford to serve? Members of Congress do buy their health plans on the marketplace. HOWEVER, members, like all federal employees, receive an employer contribution.
If voters won’t exercise prudent decision making when re-electing individuals time after time, we need:
- Term limits
- An age limit for members of Congress
- A new compensation package adequate to attract qualified individuals, but designed for short-term service, not longevity
- A personal financial solvency test for Congress and high level officials to minimize the temptation (need) to accept influence peddling. In other words, we don’t need people in Congress who don’t manage their own financial circumstances, including debt.