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A Bi-Partisan Solution to Fixing Congress

By Martie Hevia | Blue Beach Song™

[Updated: August 15, 2011 | 1:53 p.m. PST]

The other day I received an email from a cousin of mine. He is always sending interesting, amusing, or useful articles and emails. However, this is the first one to make it into my blog, in part, because one of my earliest blog posts, two years ago, A Letter to Congress: Save Money on Your Salaries & Raises, offered similar solutions to the same problem.

My Letter to Congress suggested that they could begin their efforts to bring down our national debt and fix the economic crisis by adjusting their salaries and getting rid of their ability to vote themselves raises, among many other things. (What other American worker gets to do that?)

Unfortunately, because of the countless forwarding that no doubt took place before the email below got to me, the originator’s full name and email is unknown to me, other than him signing off with the name ‘Dave.’ So, Dave, whomever you may be, thanks for the email and I hope you don’t mind my forwarding it in the biggest way I know how. Here it is, exactly as it was sent to me:

Dear Friends:

This is bipartisan in nature and is going to both Democrats and Republicans. We should all seriously consider helping with the change suggested below. This is something to fight for and I hope you agree. This is short, so please read it all the way through.

The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months and 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971…before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are 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.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen 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.


Happy Trails,


Dave is right. I cannot think of anyone, from any party, who would disagree with his suggestions… well, other than the current or aspiring congressmen out there. The Congressional Reform Act of 2011, should become a real bill that we pressure the current Congress to pass. This sounds like a great first step to taking back control of our government – not from each other – but from the politicians who play us against each other for their own political and economic gain.

So, Dave, thanks! I’m spreading the word.

As an aside, let me say, that I didn’t realize how many articles/blog posts I had written that deal with politics, until I began looking through my archive page to add a few to this post and… Holy cow… Who knew! So, below, if you are interested, you will find more-than-a-few of my related political articles, in no particular order. -Martie

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Ardent Fan permalink
    2011-August-18 7:17 PM

    I wish I could give myself a raise every year.
    It’s sneaky how they vote “NO” on the bill to raise their pay. They are quick to point out that they voted no on the pay increase bill. However, the bill essentially says; Do you wish to stop your automatic pay increase this year? And they vote “NO”, so the automatic pay increase goes through.

    The fact that the politicians can give themselves raises, have a pension that pays them 90% of their last salary, with annual cost of living increases for life and if they die their surviving spouse gets the same full benefit for his or her own life shows just how out of touch they are with the average American’s struggles today. If they lost their pension and had to go on Social Security then you would see that everybody would have to pay the same percentage into it, they would stop borrowing against the SS funds, you could retire before you die, and they would be sure to fully fund it, too.

    • 2011-August-18 10:13 PM

      Good points, Ardent Fan. I believe that if politicians’ raises were voted on by the American voters, let’s say every four years during Presidential elections, they might behave a bit differently and might take fewer vacations. Performance-based raises – if it’s good enough for the American worker, it should be good enough for those who work for them, the politicians. Thanks for your comments! -Martie

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