Sometimes politics inspires frustration because so often it seems like the most obvious solutions are not taken seriously. This is especially true when it comes to Congress' increasingly bitter feuds over major issues including whether the superrich should pay more taxes, whether assault rifles should be banned, whether undocumented workers should be imprisoned and whether everyone in the country should have health insurance.
With the current sequester shutting down veterans' services, senior meal programs and Medicare, among other things – and no end in sight – everyday people are paying the price for Congressional bumbling.
In that spirit The Skanner News is reprinting an old email chestnut said to come from Warren Buffett – but the urban folktale debunker Snopes.com has long since shown that the financial genius really only inspired this laundry list of how to reform Congress. Nobody really knows who wrote it.
Also, it is ironic that this email criticizes Internet "slacktivism" – where millions of people change a picture on their Facebook page to promote a political goal, for example -- even at the same time it is promoting it
Nevertheless, we find these ideas worth looking at and talking about. Perhaps, as the old email says, you should forward this to 20 people even if just to start a conversation. What do you think?
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3 percent 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 percent.
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.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.