It has become pretty obvious to a lot of Americans that we are currently suffering through the worst, most inept set of Washington politicians in the history of our nation. Consider what this set of low performing Congressional and Presidential people have done to our economy and our freedom: |
•A national debt fast approaching $17 TRILLION, a personal debt load that is more than $54,000 for every man, woman, and child in this country.
•Unemployment that has been above 7% for a record number of consecutive months.
•Over 20 million Americans unemployed or under employed.
•A Federal government that secretly captures just about every form of electronic communications of just about every American without a warrant or just cause.
•A Federal government that is inefficient, ineffective, and whose programs are infested with criminal fraud, wasting hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars every year.
•A tax code that is long, confusing, and counterproductive to economic growth, managed by an IRS organization that publicly concedes that it fails to collect over $380 billion a year from tax evaders.
•A military/industrial complex that eats up over $600 billion of taxpayer wealth every year and intrudes into the affairs of nations around the world without ever any positive results.
•A failure to resolve any of the major issues of our times including a lost war on drugs, the continuing under educating of our kids relative to the rest of the world, the continuing lack of a coherent national energy strategy, and the lack of a plan to contain ever rising health care costs (no, Obama Care does nothing of the sort in this area.)
In the face of these massive failures, we are now being treated to the embarrassment of a government shutdown because 535 people in Congress and a few more in the White House cannot even come up with a simple budget, something that the Federal government has done, for better or worse, for over two hundred years. These current Washington clowns cannot even accomplish that basic government task.
Let us not forget that most of these people took a five week vacation in August without passing a budget, waiting until the last moment and then failing to avoid a government shutdown. Let us not forget that most of these people have been in office for decades and are not only part of this embarrassment but also part of the never ending failure to address and resolve the major issues of our time. Let us not forget that the most coherent words out of most of their mouths is nothing more than kindergarten, childhood insults and slurs that accomplish nothing except to divide the nation.
Thus, it is time that we take back the reins of government and enact the “Congressional Adult Behavior Act” or CABA. What we have seen from Washington over the past several years has been nothing close to adult behavior, both in words and actions. It is now time to put some straitjackets on these childish people and hold them accountable by the following tenets in the CABA:
1) CABA Provision Number 1 - For every day that a major Congressional budget deadline date is not met during the fiscal year, every member of Congress will pay a $500 fine each day until they have fulfilled their legally mandated budget requirements and deadlines.
Rationale: One of the few jobs a member of Congress has to do is to participate in developing and executing a budget process for the Federal government. Failure to do so results in sloppy government financial management, uncertainty in the market, and an embarrassment to the country.
In the real world, there are consequences for not meeting deadlines. There should also be consequences in Congress and the White House for not meeting budget deadlines. A $500 dollar a day fine would probably help these Washington politicians to focus on their legally mandated budget responsibilities.
2) CABA Provision Number 2 - If the government should ever shut down because the Congress and President are not able to close on a budget by the end of a fiscal year, not only will Congress and top members of the executive branch not get paid, they each would be fined $1,000 a day until the government was fully operational again.
Rationale: Same as for CABA Provision Number 1. Members of Congress and the executive branch are paid to keep the government up and running for the benefit of the citizenry. Failure to do so should have consequences.
3) CABA Provision Number 3 - All members of Congress sitting on Congressional committees will be held accountable for the area of government responsibilities of those committees and will be either fined or removed from those committees for dereliction of duty. The fine or removal decision will be based on a survey filed with each taxpayer’s tax return each year.
Rationale: Members of Congress usually serve on Congressional committees for as long as they want, regardless of how poorly those committees perform. Again, we are talking a complete lack of accountability of these politicians.
For example, if this CABA provision was in place, all of those members sitting on Congressional intelligence committees would have been fined and/or replaced on those committees back in 2001 for not protecting the country from the 9-11 terrorist attacks. The IRS readily admits that it fails to collect over $380 billion a year from tax evaders, causing honest, hard working Americans to pay more in taxes than if the IRS was doing its job. Under this CABA provision, all Congressional members on committees with IRS oversight responsibility would be either fined or removed from those committee posts for dereliction of duty.
Do your job and be rewarded with committee posts and maintain a high salary. Do not do your job and get removed from committee posts and lose money for poor performance. That is how life works outside of the Beltway.
4) CABA Provision Number 4 - This provision would repeal the current practice of automatically granting members of Congress annual pay raises and replace it with a merit based performance review that would also be part of a taxpayer’s annual income tax filing.
Rationale: Most people in the real world are rewarded, or not rewarded, based on how well their bosses like the quality and merit of their work. This process should also apply to our political class where every American citizen is the “boss” of elected officials in Washington.
Each taxpayer would have an opportunity to grade Congress and the executive branch on how well they did their job over the previous year, with cross political party cooperation and respect being a major component, with high grades rewarding sitting politicians with pay raises, bad grades resulting in pay cuts.
5) CABA Provision Number 5 - Prohibit any Senator, President, or Member of the House of Representatives with a net worth over $3 million from drawing a paycheck during their term of office or until their net worth falls below $3 million.
Rationale: Nancy Pelosi is estimated to be worth about $35 million. According to a “Sixty Minutes” report, she was allowed, under current Congressional rules, to participate in about ten IPOs while in office, making hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of this insider stock connection.
With a $17 TRILLION national debt and a personal wealth of $35 million, Ms. Pelosi and others like her do not need to draw a salary from the American taxpayer. Serving in Congress or the executive branch should be an honor, not a personal self enrichment crusade. If a sitting politician is wealthy beyond an average American’s dream, they would not draw a salary.
6) CABA Provision Number 6 - Childish and profane name calling directed towards a fellow politician, group of politicians, an individual American citizen, or a group of American citizens would be cause for a fine, as determined by an independent, impartial set of adults.
Rationale: Over the past few years, Washington politicians have called their political opponents sluts, whores, terrorists, racists, barbarians, knuckle dragging Neanderthals, a___h___s, and other equally childish, profane things. There is no place for such language in the leadership of America. It creates walls, extinguishes dialog, and inhibits compromise and progress.
These same Washington politicians have called American citizens terrorists, racists, and wished them a place in hell, all for having honest but opposite points of views on the issues. The fines for these childish and profane slurs and insults, aimed at ordinary American citizens, would be double the fine levels established for politicians calling each other names.
Just like with children, use bad language and be punished. Maybe if these fines can make the political dialog in Washington a little more civil and adult, the political class might actually get around to resolving problems rather than creating hatred and animosity towards each other and ordinary Americans.
7) CABA Provision Number 7 - Given the list of non-accomplishments listed above, the final provision of the CABA would be the establishment of term limits for all Federally elected politicians.
Rationale: Despite major failures across the board of the current Washington political class, they do know how to control the nation’s election processes and their crony capitalism ensures they will get a steady flow of campaign money for their perpetual reelection campaigns. We need a process in place that ensures a constant flow of new people and new ideas into the leadership posts of our government, replacing the childish and immature inhabitants of those posts today.
Seven simple rules that bring accountability and adult behavior back into our political processes. The time is well past due that we regain control of our country and revive the freedoms and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution and Bill Of Rights and in the process. We need to make government and the politicians that operate it more focused on resolving issues than on getting reelected.
Mark Twain said it best: “Suppose you are an idiot and a member of Congress… but I repeat myself.” Time to get rid of the idiots and get some real adults into position to fix what the current set of inept, childish politicians have broken.
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