Monday, November 14, 2016

Fixing Congress: The Buffett Solution

Pontificating Warren Buffett
The following is making the rounds of Facebook, and Warren Buffet, the richest liberal in the country, says it can lead to a constitutional amendment quickly if we pressure Congress by telling members this is what we favor.

I am skeptical of that and have seen these proposals before, but I'll pass it on because it's a good idea. A better idea would be to get the money out of politics completely, setting up an equal position for office holders and challengers and providing minimal amounts of government money for campaigns, while requiring the nation's media to give equal time and space to them.

Anyhow, here's Buffet's proposal:

The Way It Is Now
 
Salary of retired US Presidents .. . . . .. . . . . .. . ..........$180,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of retired House/Senate members .. . . . .. . . . $174,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of retired Speaker of the House .. . . . .. . . . . . .$223,500 FOR LIFE
Salary of retired Majority / Minority Leaders . . .. . . . $193,400 FOR LIFE
Average Salary of a teacher . . .. . . . .. . . . . .. .. . . . . . .$40,065
Average Salary of a deployed Soldier . . .. . . .. . . . . . . $38,000

Buffett said recently,  "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election."
 
Congressional Reform Act of 2017
 
1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when out of office.
 
2. Congress participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately.
 
3. Congress can purchase its own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
 
4. Congress will no longer vote itself a pay raise. Raises are the lower of CPI or 3%.
 
5. Congress loses its current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
 
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws it requires of the American people.
 
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 3/1/17. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and go back to work.

Let me say I'm skeptical, but it's worth a try. I don't expect anything at all from the current Congress, though, especially anything that would be beneficial to the American people. Those who voted for Trump will see that soon enough when their jobs start disappearing.

(Photo: http://vintagevalueinvesting.com)

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