Ten Step Program to Fix Congress
By: Jim Byrd
Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. – Mark Twain
America. The country where anyone can be what they aspire to be. A perfectly good example is Congressional Individual Nancy Pelosi–or Speaker of the House Pelosi. Here is a divine woman who has overcome the most debilitating obstacles to become the first woman Speaker of the House. Speaker Pelosi is afflicted with not one, but two, infirmities that would generally preclude one with her afflictions from even considering a run for office, much less the coveted Speaker of the House. Speaker Pelosi suffers from Cerebral Deficiency Syndrome (CDS), which actually affects many members of Congress, but not to the magnitude of her debilitation. In layman’s terms, her cognitive capacity is that of a salamander. But she has overcome and rose the the rank of Speaker of the House of Representatives. Her second affliction is being devoid of even a basal set of morals–she also suffers from Moral Deficiency Syndrome (MDS). As do most members of Congress, and again not to the extent of her suffering. Harry Reid, leader of the Senate, suffers from both CDS and MDS, at almost the same level as Pelosi. The Center for Disease Control is reporting that there may have been a pandemic of CDS and MDS on November 4th, but that is another story for another time.
With that said, and on the record, there are very simple methods to fix the very Congress that has been proliferated by people with the afflictions Pelosi and Reid. I will present ten fail-proof resolutions, that, if enacted, will bring Congress to the heights it was created to achieve. The ten fixes are as follows:
1. The slogan during the formative years of these United States by the 13 colonies was the phrase, “No Taxation without Representation”. Meaning that they wanted some representation in Parliament before taxes were to be levied on them. They wanted a vote on the subject of taxation. I present a more contemporary battle cry: No Representation without Taxation. If, after the smoke clears, on April 15th, you pay zero taxes, you lose your right to vote until you are a tax paying citizen and contributing to society. Since the majority of taxes are paid by a very small percentage of taxpayers, this would give the taxpayer more control over how Congress spends their money. This would break the cycle of “if you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can always count on Paul’s vote.” It would also eliminate the majority of sitting Congress Individuals who spend ambitious people’s money on less ambitious people like drunken sailors. It would bring in a whole new class of Congressional Individuals.
2. On all bills that have additional pork spending added to them, the author of the pork must pay 1% of the total of their pork expenditure from their personal money. They cannot use campaign money. This would eliminate most of the wasteful spending from Congress.
3. No bill that leaves Congress for the President’s signature can be longer than 2 pages of double space prose. No cheating and writing on the back. This would eliminate the current bills of such girth and breadth, that they become incomprehensible to even the originator of the bill. Keep in mind that this is purposed for dealing with a Congress that, without spell check, would spell cat with a k–and they are writing 1000 page bills that affect the entire country.
4. All members of Congress will be paid according to the status of the Federal Budget. If there is a deficit in the budget, then no member of Congress shall receive their pay, benefits, nor can they receive campaign contributions as long as there is a deficit. It would almost make being a member of Congress appear to be a service to their country, or something heinous like that. No balanced budget, no pay–the way it works for the rest of America. A very practical method of balancing the budget and controlling spending.
5. All Congress Individuals will be limited to three terms in the House of Representatives and one term for Senators. This would not be a compulsory mandate to step down, but rather a consequence of extending tenure. I propose one month in Federal Prison for every year over the term limits a Congress Individual wishes to serve. The logic is that they may not have been caught doing something wrong that would warrant prison, but more than six years in the Congress insures that somewhere, somehow, something loathsome and repugnant was committed against these United States by the Congress Individual.
6. All laws must have a sunset clause. While this may seem ridiculously burdensome, that is the point. If Congress can spend the majority of their time in office rehashing the merits of past laws that are expiring, then it should, theoretically, buffer any new damage they can do by keeping them distracted. It also gives them an opportunity to let bad laws expire.
7. Before speaking to a crowd of more than ten people, all Congress Individuals must be sworn in to tell the truth, just as if they were taking the stand in a trial–the consequence being prosecution for perjury. All Congress Individuals must be accompanied by a certified court reporter to record the speech. Then the transcript will be fed into a computer with an extensive data base and searched for lies. If a lie is detected, then they shall be prosecuted by the “preponderance of evidence”, rather than the standard “beyond a reasonable doubt”, then justice will be complete. Just a little help in training them to tell the truth.
8. All Congress Individuals must be, when seated in Congress, connected to a state of the art lie detector which in turn is connected to a 10,000 volt stun gun apparatus. It sends a friendly reminder to speak the truth when in session. This could also be used as an income generating source for the federal government. Who wouldn’t pay $50 a ticket to watch a Senator or Representative squeal and thrash about the floor of Congress when asked a question as opposed to just listening to them answering with a lie?
9. All campaign contributions must go into one general fund and be spread among the members of each party evenly. As Obama stated, …”help the ones behind you.” This will also keep the office of a Congress Individual or President from being bought and it just seems downright fair.
10. Since all Congress Individuals and the President take an oath of office, and the primary part of the oath commands them to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, it would make sense that before someone can obtain a voter’s registration card, they should be able to have a simple working knowledge of the Constitution–for discernment’s sake. Even basic macro-economics should be added to the mix just to keep them from being bamboozled by the faux economic fantasies presented to them during a campaign. The primary reason being that the elected officials generally do not, and will not, adhere to the Constitution, so an educated voter is the answer for a cleaner and greener representation. Before obtaining a voter’s registration card, a prospective voter will have to pass a fifty question test. Twenty-five questions on the Constitution, and twenty-five questions on Macroeconomics. These would be general, unbiased questions authored by me–only to keep it fair, of course. Just the studying of the study guide I would author would give pause to most voters as to the qualifications of a Congress Individual or President campaigning for office.
*** This is a bonus step: All race based caucuses to be eliminated from Congress. These Congressional buildings should be representative of the American people, and not used for the divisive benefit of any one group, race, or otherwise.
Before the election, Rasmussen did a poll and reported that 59% of Americans would throw out all senators and representatives to elect a new Congress. Only 17% said they would keep the current legislature. So, as usual, nearly all the incumbents were voted back into office. What does this say? As Churchill stated, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” So after this past election, it is obvious that the average voter does need protection from themselves, and that is what my plan will afford–sounds eerily like a Democratic plan, though.
Jim Byrd's website is A Skewed View.