Monday, August 13, 2012

Congressional Reform

Warren Buffett is a rich dude who remembers and appreciates what it is to be less than rich and struggling to make ends meet. He has proposed "The Congressional Reform Act of 2012," and upon reading it both Diane and I signed the petition. It seems unlikely that such a sweeping reform, reigning in Congress's self-indulgence, will make it beyond petition, but if enough American voters do sign it the numbers cannot be ignored. So we encourage you all to read the petition, and sign it, and pass it on. The link is, or just key into your search engine the phrase Congressional Reform Act of 2012 and grab the first link, /Petition2Congress. The other links will give you more information, so feel free to explore.

Remember that curiosity is our greatest asset.

I often talk about the disconnect between Washington and the rest of America. This petition suggests a way to level the playing field somewhat. It won't bring average citizens into the halls of Congress. That still seems to be a province for the wealthy or at least very well off and certainly well connected. Without election reform designed to level the playing field even further, it is going to be the candidate who can raise the most money who will run. Roseanne Barr and Roy Blokker don't stand a chance against a Romney or an Obama, just on money alone.

The least we can do is to make our elected officials buy into their own retirement plans and health insurance, and Medicare and Social Security, just like the rest of us. And no work, no pay, after accumulated leave time is exhausted.

Another thing I often write about is the Citizen Congress, although I never called it that. It is the Congress that the founding fathers envisioned. I have suggested strongly that we dump EVERY Congressman in office today and start over, asking primarily those who do not want the job to serve. And serve is the operative word. It is a privilege to serve in Congress, not a right and not a career, and the incumbents to a man and woman have lost sight of that. Or so it seems. They live in a bubble of their own creation, one that excludes them from the realities that plague the majority of their constituents. Unemployment and underemployment, foreclosures, lost income and rising prices are things these people know about only on an intellectual level.

And, sorry to say, intellectual is a word I no longer associate with a Senator or Representative.

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