Skip to comments.Citizen Representatives and Senators
Posted on 04/11/2009 1:05:19 PM PDT by dvan
I know this is a radical idea that certainly won't be accepted by our present government. As conservatives one of our core principles is Limited Government. The less the better. This was a principle that was accepted during the earliest years of our Republic. Sending legislators to Washington, D.C. fulltime apparently hasn't worked for either political party. Today we find ourselves 'dominated and governed' rather than represented. Term limits haven't succeeded either. they simply overturn them ignore them or declare them 'unconstituional' while they sponsor 'pork barrel' earmarks that guarantee that they are re-elected by their special interests.
We need citizen representatives that go to Washignton and serve the people not themselves. That do not receive federal retirement benefits or vote themselves huge salary increases while inflating their fulltime staffs.
I would like to hear comments regarding this. If it rings true let's start a grassroot movement to get the point across to our parties.
The longer they remain in office it seems the more problems they create.
“That do not receive federal retirement benefits”
Just playing devil’s advocate, but that is one of the things that drew me to my current job, rather my 401(k). I would at least match them dollar for dollar up to 6% on a 401(k).
Comments regarding what? Sorry, but I can't quite tell what your idea is other than some of us go visit DC. What then? and in what capacity?
You may want to expand on your idea a bit if you're interested in comments.
I have long thought that our elected representitives had addiction problems and needed som way of dealing with them before they could be fully functional.
I came up with a plan for them to deal with these issues
Twelve Steps To save the United States
To be required of all elected officials in the United States — Particularly of members of the Senate and Congress of the United States
1. I have admitted I am powerless over arrogance, corruption and liberalismthat my elective office has become wholly contrary to what it was intended to be
I further admit that government is wholly incapable of solving any societal ill without causing or worsening another ill. That the only way to limit this is to limit the scope of government and limit its and my own power.
2. I hold fast to the truth that only the Creator can justly exercise authority over the individual and that justice can only come from Him. Power used in other than His will is corrupt, wrong and utterly insane.
3. I believe fully and without question that neither government nor the components thereof is God that only God is God and therefore no agency, organization, group, or program can take His place
4. I have completely examined all functions of government and the consequences thereof including those individual mechanisms and individual officeholders responsible for those functions and have concluded that anything that expands the cause of personal freedom is right and to be encouraged and anything that is a threat to personal freedom is evil and to be abolished
5. I have admitted to God, to myself, and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs. By using state power to remove elements of fortune from one individual and using this to enslave others by creating dependency I admit to have transgressed the intent of the founders, I have participated in tyranny and have thus become repugnant
6. I acknowledge my wrongdoing in this and admit that I am defective in myself and my individual character and am powerless in myself to cease doing these things.
7. I humbly ask God to purge me of this and other failings of character and restore to me the honor, courage and strength I have refused for so long
8. I will use the citizenship and tax rolls of the United States as an accounting or a list of those I have harmed and, where I can, will seek to undo the harm I have done
9. I pledge to make direct amends to these people wherever possible by dismantling the political machinery that has been used to harm them
Specifically I will do what is outlined in the following appendix.
10 I will continue to evaluate what I do and what I have done and will eliminate government mechanisms that do harm to the concept of liberty
11 I will keep before me, constantly, the fact that God is God and we, (the elected) individually or collectively are not and can never be God.
12. I will live my life of service according to a simple rule and one to which Ihave sworn before God. To uphold and defend the constitution of the United States
Appendix of Reparations
*Abolish the federal reserve bank and put monetary policy back under the control of representatives who must face the voters (at least once in a while) Reference 2
*Restore the gold standard (Or gold and silver standard) to back our currency with hard assets that have intrinsic value. Reference 1
*Abolish the national endowment for anything. If these artists and eggheads cant sell their produce in the free market then it doesnt deserve to be sold. Reference 4
*Abolish the personal income tax and disband the IRS. Institute the fair tax instead. Let people keep their own money and watch how much better they can put it to use than the government can. Reference 2
*Abolish the corporate income tax. Ours is the highest in the world why would anyone want to invest in a business here. Reference 2,
*Abolish the Department of Education. It costs billions and hasnt educated anyone. In fact, judging by the morons I meet everyday it has actually diseducated most victims of their policies. Actually Abolish any federal bureaucracy that isnt enumerated in the constitution. Its time to stop enabling the spendaholics. Reference 5
*Eliminate senseless regulations (OSHA, EPA, EEOC) on businesses so that business can grow unshackled and the invisible hand spoken of by Adam Smith can work its magic on the marketplace.
*Public unions should be made illegal. Their work needs to be worth what the market will pay for it not what the union itself assigns to it.
*Abolish Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and The community reinvestment act. Let the lenders decide who is qualified to borrow their money. The amount of risk each lender wants to take should be up to them NOT up to the government. Reference 3
*English will be officially installed as our national language and our borders will be sealed. If we stop making the illegals a protected minority slave class they will stop sucking the teat of the American people and either seek citizenship or fix their own hell hole of a country.
1 I sincerely believe that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principles of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale
~ Thomas Jefferson
2 It is not by augmenting the capital of the country, but by rendering a greater part of that capital active and productive than would otherwise be so, that the most judicious operations of banking can increase the industry of the country ~ Adam Smith
3 The modern banking system manufactures money out of nothing. The process is perhaps the most astounding piece of sleight-of-hand that was ever invented. Banking was conceived in inequity and born in sin... But if you want to continue to be slaves of the bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, then let the bankers continue to create money and control credit . ~ Josiah Charles Stamp (English Economist President of the Bank of England in the 1920’s and the 2nd richest man in Great Britain, 1880-1941)
4 The problem with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.” - Margaret Thatcher
5 We must always ask: Is government working to liberate and empower the individual? Is it creating incentives for people to produce, save, invest, and profit from legitimate risks an honest toil? Is it encouraging us to reach for the stars? Or does it seek to compel, command, and coerce people into submission and dependence? Ask these questions, because no matter where you look today, you will see that development depends on economic freedom
Ronald Reagan ~ 10-15-1981
It wasn't easy when our ancestors met at Philadelphia to set up our government.
A law needs to be passed that makes them turn over any money left after an election to the IRS.
That way when they ran the nest time any money they used would have to be collected anew, just like their opponent has to do.
These people build their huge war chests and a new opponent faces a candidate with free franking privileges, millions to fight them with and the opponent has to start from scratch.
Its bad enough that the incumbent has lobbyists buying his vote with campaign contributions without having millions in the bank to fight an opponent.
Good idea. I think there are many sound ideas that can be fleshed out. We just need some guidance as to how to go about it. Electing our ‘representatives’ to go to Washington rather than remain at their homes where the poeple elected them live might also be a sound idea. When they move into the Washington area they suddenly seem to lose touch with what the people at home that elected them.
When serving in D.C. as needed they should have living quarters. but living there most of the time? With the internet and telephone much business could be conducted within their home districts.
I read once that one of the Scandinavian nations has a president who is elected to serve 6 months. The President lives in a government furnished apartment and must use public transportation to the office each day. A bit of a security problem? How ‘bout Pelosi traveling to Kalifornia frequently in a military aircraft?
I doubt if our nation’s founders would recognize much of what they set up today.
For starters, all salary and benefits such as insurance should be approved by the voters. Congress should be in session no more than four months out of the year. ALL legislation should have a termination date. If it is good legislation, it can be renewed.
Since all legislation is restrictive, gridlock is good. Encourage more of it.
In my opening post I mentioned that this would not be a popular idea in many quarters. Here is a list of Congessional Benefits:
CONGRESSMEN WHO LIVE FRUGALLY are an endangered species. There is always plenty of money for traveling the world in high style while living a life of luxury and their pockets bulge.
The $165,200 salary is just the beginning. Only Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) returns an unused portion of his expense money to the federal treasury.
Perks range from the glamorous to the mundane. They have free parking at Washington Reagan National Airportjust steps from their favorite terminal. The average Joe takes the subway or a cab to the airport.
Parking even at the far-off spaces served by shuttle buses costs more than a cab unless you take a cab for many miles to fly out of Washington. Average Joe has to reserve just one flight and be there two hours in advance and may still be bumped because airlines overbook. Your congressman can book three flights and take the one that best suits his convenience.
He doesnt have to bother canceling the other two reservations, although he has a highly paid staff to handle such petty details for him. If he arrives seconds before take-off, average Joe gets bumped and the congressman gets seated.
Congress gives itself the finest medical care, financed by taxpayers. When the congressman has a bellyache (instead of giving one to taxpayers) he goes to Walter Reed for the finest care available. He enjoys huge retirement benefits in addition to Social Securityif he hangs around long enough, he can get a $200,000 pension.
But dont expect him to struggle living within his $165,200 salarytheres money everywhere. He can transfer $75,000 from his allotment for office staff to expenses. Despite allegedly new House travel restrictions drawn up to calm voter outrage, lawmakers accepted free trips worth nearly $1.9 million in the first eight months of 2007more than all of 2006, records show. U.S. ambassadors abroad are provided funds to entertain visiting congressmen.
Theres a realization that these trips and meals are getting extra scrutiny, Meredith McGehee of the nonpartisan Campaign Legal Center, told USA Today.
That will last for awhile, but we know it wont last forever. The ethos of politics is, what can we get away with?
Of course I can think of over 700 reasons why this idea will not fly. Most are in the U.S. House of Representatives, The Senate, Executive Branch and the Supreme Court.
Are you asking if Congress our US National Legislature should be “Part-time” or “Full-Time”..if so I answer enthousiastically that they should be “limited to no more than three months out of a fiscal year, baring national emergencies called by the President of the United States”..lets make this a Constitutional Amendment, it would also keep them in the district most of the year ‘near their constituents’!
This is the kind of comment we need. The rest can be fleshed out. Granted this is going to be unpopular with the politicos you feel a sense of entitlement. How do we get the ball rolling? we must have some people on the forum with political savvy.
Maybe we can setup an “ad Hoc” organization on a website and garner some support? The website with the organization name and the organization’s goals. Also setup a blog on the website as well to have people to sign up with contact information. This would allow grassroots participation in every state and district to duplicate the effort. The Tea Parties were a start. We need to take back our Nation. It is less than 2 years till the next Congressional Election.
It would be great if we could get some organization that already exists and is set up to go in with us. Although it is unlikely such an organization would accept the goal to limit terms and duties. Let’s continue the discussion via Freepmail to generate ideas and recruit interested Freepers. Thanks for your comments!
Realistically we know that people like Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will fight to the death using every means that they have to retain their power. This is going to be true of any political party. But do we have a choice? This is a life-death struggle for the preservation of our Republic, our Freedom and our Independence.
During the Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin considered proposing that elected government officials not be paid for their service. Other Founding Fathers, however, decided otherwise. http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa031200a.htm
That is a pretty hefty salary plus all the other benefits. Does their past performance indicate that they deserve this amount? If their session in Washington was limited to 3 months how much could be saved? Housing and staff expenses. The benefits? Getting them home near their constituents so they don't forget who they are 'serving and representing'.
The legislature meets in regular session on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year. The Texas Constitution limits the regular session to 140 calendar days. The Lieutenant Governor, elected statewide separate from the Governor, presides over the Senate, while the Speaker of the House is elected from that body by its members. Both have wide latitude in choosing committee membership in their respective houses and have a large impact on lawmaking in the state.
Only the Governor may call the Legislature into special sessions (the legislature may not call itself into session, as is the case in some other states), and the governor may call as many sessions as he wishes. For example, Governor Rick Perry called three consecutive sessions in 2003 to address congressional redistricting. The Texas Constitution limits the duration of each special session to 30 days; lawmakers may consider only those issues designated by the Governor in his "call," or proclamation convening the special session (though other issues may be added by the Governor during a session).
Both houses of the Legislature are officially organized on a bipartisan basis, with members of both parties serving in leadership positions such as committee chairmanships. Currently (2009), a majority of the members of each chamber are members of the Republican Party.
The two houses convene within the Florida State Capitol complex in Tallahassee.
The Florida Legislature is a part-time body, meeting in 60 day regular sessions annually with the possibility of special sessions as needed.
I’d be willing to help (part-time), I am not web savy, so I can’t design a website, and blog, but maybe you can (or others). I would be willing to help organize though (and possibly set up a PAC)!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.