A reader sent the following to me to share with others. I realize that this wisdom has been around the Internet for a while but, in case you haven’t seen it, I think it is worth a few moments of your time. This text approximates Warren Buffet's suggestions for our government’s reform. We are the richest country in the world yet we have more debt than any other country. How does this compute exactly?
The following numbers apply for just one term of service:
Salary of retired US Presidents . . . . . . $180,000 for life
Salary of House/Senate members . . . . $174,000 for life … this is stupid
Salary of Speaker of the House . . . .. . $223,500 for life … this is really stupid
Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders . . $193,400 for life … ditto last line
Average Salary of a teacher . . .. . . .. . . $40,065
Average Salary of a deployed Soldier . . $38,000
Warren Buffet, in a recent interview with CNBC, also offered one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling: "I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "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.” He is also proposing the following reforms for our legislature:
Congressional Reform Act of 2013
1. No Tenure / No Pension -- A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're out of office.
2. 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.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people. (I think this is now written in the Obamacare law.)
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 12/1/13. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congress 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.
This, at least, is how to fix Congress! (It would be nice if Buffet also put forward some ideas for the Executive branch ... it too is far from perfect.)