This is a modification of an article I wrote earlier. There are just so many things I would like to see changed. Not change we didn't ask for, but change to reduce the size of the government and their ever increasing control over our lives.What would I do differently if I were elected to congress?
I am going to answer that in the next couple of columns, but I must put up a disclaimer.
1) I know that I alone cannot accomplish everything I want to do by myself. I need other like minded citizens in congress.
2) I wouldn’t stay more than one or two terms at the most. Damn the seniority rule. Full speed ahead.
3) I would try to be the role model for the Congress I would like to see. It’s sort of like Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. The theme of the campaign would be freedom., which we slowly lose daily.
Lets start with Terms of Office
Sessions of Congress should only be conducted 6 months out of the year. Three months in session, then three months in your home district. Another three months in session and another three months at home. There is no law that is so important that it's debate cannot be continued till the next session. Congress and/or their staff are the ONLY people allowed to write the bill. If a bill is so important, it can be voted on electronically at his home office.
During their time at home, they will be required to get out and meet real people, not lobbyists and not other politicians. They will have to visit offices, factories, bowling alleys, truck stops and hospitals including military hospitals to talk to veterans. No set up of one sided rallies.
They will be required to read EVERY bill they are to debate and we the citizens have the right to know who actually wrote it. Bills must contain only one subject. There would be no adds or amendments to a bill that is not germain to the main concept of the bill.
Congressional salaries will be frozen at the current rate and stay that way until an increase is voted on every election by the voting citizens. Stop paying lawmakers their full salary after serving just one term. We only get about 40 to 50% of our salary after working for 40 years!
Come to think of it, no CEO is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. If they want to make that much, let them get a percentage of the profits. If there are no profits, they don't get paid. I would vote against all bailouts and "so called" stimulus plans. Let companies fail. Someone else will pick up the gauntlet in a free enterprise system.
Any bill they pass, Congress must live under that law. NO exceptions or exemptions for Congress.
I also think that any legal citizen who wants to run for the Senate or Congress, including State Offices, must pass a test on the Constitution. In the early 1800's, our children had to pass a test from a document called the Catechism on the U.S. Constitution. There were 332 questions. To make sure the test is administered honestly, the candidates would be quizzed orally by high school seniors in their congressional district. If they can't get a passing score, then they have no business running for office. Besides, wouldn't that be a great learning experience for the students?
How about this? I would try to pass a proposal that would allow Congress to spend an entire session of Congress REPEALING unConstitutional laws! Every Congressman would have the opportunity to submit 10 laws that they felt were unConstitutional. They would be debated and than repealed if it did not meet Constitutional requirements of the original Constitution. In order to keep it as law, it has to be justified.
The Supreme Court is supposed to judge whether or not a law is valid. Congress can also repeal any law they created and this would be a great learning experience for Congress. They would learn more about the Constitution than they ever have before.
Let congress work in their home offices 75% of the time. With high tech today, they can vote online and have plenty of time for their constituents.
Kill the healthcare debate. It is unconstitutional. Come to think of it, where in the Constitution is the authority to take over an auto company and fire the CEO?
Look at the money we would save and the freedom we would restore to the citizens of our Republic.
Any comments or things you'd like to add?