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.
You suggest: 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.
I suggest amending the Emoluments clause, Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8, which today says: “… No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
To: Federal government officeholders and employees are prohibited from receiving any gift, payment, or other thing of value from a foreign state or its rulers, officers, or representatives, and must place in a blind trust or fully divest all property as well as that of a spouse and any lineal ascendant and/or descendant, that would be favorably impacted by any legislation or regulation introduced, approved or implemented while serving in office; failure to place in a blind trust or to divest is punishable by a fine equal to the property plus an amount equal to two times the gain.
Limit the year round campaigning, including super PACs, and force them to do the jobs they were voted into.
Need to restrict super PACs the same way as individuals are restricted in campaign contributions. Money is talking more than individual voters.
I was a big fan of term limits until I watched a Tim Pool podcast with Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene. (She isn’t as crazy as the mainstream media wants you to believe). She stated that term limits won’t work because the congressional staff never changes. Some may even switch parties to serve a new master in Washington as long as they have a job after their prior representative or senator leaves office. It is the staffers who read the bills, have the connections in DC, and know how to work the government bureaucracy. She also said that some bills pass on voice votes with as little as 10 people in the chamber, not even a quorum being present. She found a procedural requirement and started requesting that the vote be “on the record” which she has only seconds to make that request after the call for a voice vote. It has upset her colleagues because they must leave their offices and their meetings and go to the chamber to vote. Most don’t want to be on the record either because it might come back and haunt them during the next election. I believe she also said that representatives should be required to read the whole bill before voting. Sometimes, a 1000 page bill gets voted on that nobody has had a chance to read.
I don’t know what to believe about her politics since I don’t live in her state but her insight into how congress operates was eye opening.
As Warren says, the system is rigged, she is just talking about the wrong system.