Once again I am in my living room late at night watching the reports on the government shut down caused by our Congressional Representatives and Senators. The television shots of Representatives and Senators standing and talking, and acting like they have no care in the world, elicits feelings of both dismay and anger.
As of right now, 11:23 PM West Coast time, the Senate has reached an agreement on a bill to extend the government until March 23rd. They are excited that this will result in keeping the government open and avoid an extended shut down, the second in less than a month. The reporters state the House members have been called in so they can vote on the Senate bill. They report some of the members will not get there until early morning. They are hoping for a vote around 6 AM East Coast time.
It is clear to me that we need to change the expectations we, the people, have for our elected representatives who we send to Washington to run our government. Here is my list of what should be done in order to have these elected political leaders do their job.
No Annual Budget Approved…No Pay: They lose a month of pay for each month in which there is no passage of an annual budget. If they do a stop gap bill to keep it open for a short time they still lose that months pay. If the government shuts down for one or two days they still lose a whole months pay and benefits.
No Annual Budget Approved…All Benefits Stop: They lose their health,dental, as well as their office travel and expense budgets. They also lose all money to pay their office staffs and all benefits for their staffs also stop.
Termed Out…They Cannot Run For Re-Election: If the government is shut down for more than 14 days in any given fiscal year they are termed out of office. In other words they cannot run for re-election when their term is up. That goes for all of them… no matter who they are or what post they hold.
Lets Look At Rules They Voted On For All Of Us….Social Security Limits: These guys had no problem setting up limits on our senior and disabled citizens regarding Social Security Benefits. If a person is receiving Social Security Benefits and is able, and or needs, to work they limit how much can be earned in a single month. If you go over that amount then you lose your entire Social Security Check for the month you went over the set limit.
When they say “go over” they mean if you go over it by as little as ten dollars you lose your entire benefit check. Now keep in mind the average Social Security Check is about $850.00 dollars and most seniors and disabled people need every dime of it to make ends meet. A simple error of going over the limit, which is generally between $800.00 to $1,000.00 dollars extra each month, will result in their canceling the Social Security for that month.
What is happening here? These elected Representatives can shut down the entire government over their petty power plays knowing they will still get all their pay and benefits to include their expense accounts. Meanwhile the average senior citizen or disabled person gets slammed for working too hard and making more than a set limit. These politicians have no guilt at all in passing these kinds of rules for the rest of us. They do not lose sleep over a person being limited to how much extra they can earn once drawing their benefits.
Don’t you all think it is about time we stop acting like their servants…. and start acting like their bosses? I for one am tired of the incompetence of the people serving in our Congress and the Senate. The problem is there are too many are career politicians, and far too many lawyers for any kind of practical work to get done.
Lets send some real business minded experts up there, what do you say? I say it is time to vote them all out of office. If they can spend four, six, ten, twenty and more years working in Washington and they still have not figured out how to avoid government shut downs or how to develop a workable budget process why do we re-elect them?
Wake Up I Say….Wake Up!