Is the Tail Wagging the Dog?
written by Laramie:
Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Laramie at
To paraphrase Patrick Henry, the man who said "Give me liberty or give me death", it is not the government's job to restrain the people, it is the people's job to restrain the government. Maybe it's time for some serious restraint. Consider the following ideas, some I received as an e-mail, and see which you agree with. Maybe they should be called the "Congressional Reform Act."
- Serving in the Congress of the United States of America is an honor, not to be treated as a career, and should be limited in the number of terms served.
- Congressmen should collect salary only while in office, and only while they are doing the business they were elected to do.
- Congress should participate in Social Security benefits, purchasing their own retirement plan and health care plan. Common sense would require that they suffer or rejoice over the same good times or bad times that other Americans do.
- The Congressional retirement fund should be moved into the Social Security system fund.
- The Social Security fund should only be used for Social Security payments.
- Congress should not be able to vote themselves a pay raise. They could receive a once a year cost of living raise in pay.
- Congress must abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
- Congressmen should provide for their own transportation. Unlimited free fuel allowances and car expense accounts should not be allowed.
- Congress should enforce illegal immigration laws, and not offer illegal immigrants, or any other law breakers, welfare, free health care, the right to work without paying taxes, or free educational benefits.
- Congress should not decide what a legal marriage is, what justifies capital punishment, what should be taught in public schools, or who can get abortions.
- Congress should not accept money or merchandise in exchange for votes on pending legislation. This should be grounds for impeachment.
- Congress should have a limit on foreign aid, the amounts and recipients being determined by an independent, politically diverse agency, whose job it is to see that money is spent on domestic aid first.
Members of Congress get more time off and more and better benefits, by far, than most working Americans. And still, most of the time they don't get their job done in a timely, professional way. Isn't it time to hold them accountable, not to themselves, but to the people? The bottom line is, Congressmen are not special, they are not better than every other citizen, so why should they be treated like they are entitled to the high salary, retirement pay guarantees, total health benefits for life, unlimited car and gasoline allowances, free postage, and other probably more ridiculous advantages? I can just hear both sides of the aisle now. "Oh well, the dollar amount of those items are such a minute fraction of the total budget, they wouldn't make any difference in the overall picture." Wake up America! Should we just sit idly by and watch? They do make a difference!
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