The body we have voted into office to represent the people seems to be getting further and further away from the reality of your everyday working man or woman. They get benefits and pay raises when others do not. They operate in a kind of crystal tower and never have to worry where their next meal is going to come from. While many Americans live paycheck to paycheck, that is just a reality members of Congress do not have to consider.
Because the gap between the ultra-rich and poor continues to grow each day, a proposal has sprouted up on the internet via grassroots efforts. It is known as the Congressional Reform Act of 2013. This unofficial act takes aim at the unfair Congressional elitism that has developed. Here are the items up for debate:
- Members of Congress will receive no tenure and no pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary when they are in office and receive no pay when they’re out of office.
- 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.
- Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
- Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
- Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
- Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
- All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/31/13. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congressmen/women 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.
The items on the list take on even more relevance as the government shutdown lumbers on. It’s so frustrating to see our own elected officials fight amongst themselves since they have dug their heels so deeply along political lines that they have ignored the rest of the country. It’s just sad.
There is another side to this petition. There are many saying it is full of inaccuracies and lies. It’s worth checking out both sides of the Congressional elitism debate.
I’m sure there is a joke here from Mike Meyers of SNL’s Coffee Talk. It reminds me of one of the episodes where he would say, “I’ll give you a topic. The New Deal…neither new nor a deal. I’m all ‘verklempt.’ Talk amongst yourselves.” I’m not a clever as an SLN writer…but seriously guys…revive it and pick this one up.