Brilliant Idea

With a presidential election looming in the not-too-distant future, the news media is having a good ole time analyzing every aspect of the political landscape. As always, the Democrats and Republicans are at odds, each blaming the other for the faltering economy, the deficit, unemployment, and an assortment of other inequities.

As I see it, the core issue should not be trying to figure out who’s to blame. All 535 members of Congress are to blame. End of story. But the compelling question is this: how do we fix what seems like the unfixable?

A friend of mine sent me an e-mail the other day with a proposal that Warren Buffet supposedly made. I don’t know if he actually wrote this piece, but whoever did, hit the nail squarely on the head. Here’s a reprint of the proposal:

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes,” Buffett told CNBC. “You just pass a law that says that any time there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election. The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971 … before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land … all because of public pressure.
Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise. In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around. *Congressional Reform Act of 2011*
1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.”

I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer when it comes to politics, but I think Mr. Buffet is on to something here.

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Brilliant Idea

  1. JAC

    Warren Buffet is briiliant indeed. If only the citizens of the nation would heed his suggestions.

  2. Perhaps someday when we’re completely fed up, there will be a major revolution.

  3. You know I would totally vote for Warren Buffet for POTUS except for one thing. No one would listen to him, everyone would spend time trying to rip him to pieces and ultimately that would just distract from his charitable contributions and humanitarian work. Unfortunately, for better or for worse our political system has made it so some of the worst charlatans rise to the top instead of the best people.

  4. dmannechino

    You make some good points. But even if Buffet were electable, he’s 81 years old, so that’s a real issue. What voters need to do is #1, stick together. And #2, issue Congress an ultimatum. If Congress refuses to listen to voters and does not comply with our demands, we should vote out all 535 incumbents in November. It’s time for us to get tough.

  5. Well hmmmm…your idea is sound in theory but not in practice since I don’t think all of them are up for election at the same time. Not to mention if you think the problem is in Congress…take a look at the Senate. I don’t advocate violence or anarchy, but the idea that this problem is going to be resolved by some uniform peaceful movement. Well honestly it seems very utopic. Only exacerbated by the fact that rich have grown richer and more powerful and the disenfranchised angrier and less educated.

  6. You’re correct. Only half the members of Congress are up for re-election next year. But if we fire all of them, the ones that remain will have our undivided attention. In re-reading your comment, I think that you’re confusing Congress with the House of Representatives. Congress, I believe, is made up of 435 House Representatives and 100 Senators.

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