Maybe it’s time to recycle Congress

RECYCLE CONGRESS WEB We started out, as I recall, with a representative form of government which has gradually morphed into an elite group of lawmakers who are no longer accountable to the people who elect them.

For example, our Congress critters vote themselves raises even as the economy tanks because of their inept leadership. These same public servants have a health care system that is not affected by the health care legislation that was voted on today.

In case after case, we find the leadership of the House and Senate buying votes through special deals, funneling money to relatives through contract awards and special tax breaks, and holding closed-door sessions to circumvent established procedures.

I think the problem began with us voters assuming that our representatives would represent our interests and not realizing that once in Washington, DC. our representatives play to a different audience.

Too many Congressmen and Senators have turned a deaf ear to constituent's complaints. Some have even utilized union goons to intimidate voters who asked embarrassing questions. We are seeing a climate of corruption that is getting worse every month.

Even 30 year veterans like Rick Boucher seem indifferent to constituent's questions. Send him an email on a specific measure and you will get a canned response in a month or two with a few platitudes and no specifics.

When elected representatives show no responsibility for understanding the needs of their constituents and satisfying those needs, it is time to get representatives who know where their loyalties lie.

If we replace all incumbents in the next two elections, we will have made a good start on bringing government under control again. The amount of pork a politician brings home is only one measure of how effective that person is. Handouts of patronage and federal funding are easy ways to bribe politicians to vote for really bad legislation.

We don't survive on handouts. What we need is a climate where businesses small and large can prosper. I think that recycling Congress and the entire Executive Branch would be the best move we could make to bring prosperity back in reach again. The only exceptions I could see is where the person can make a good case that they really ARE representing their constituents and backing this up with facts, not rhetoric.

Otherwise we are on a fast track to putting the entire country into the same state of collapse as Detroit.


Image from: 100 Abandoned Houses – Kevin Bauman Photography. www.kevinbauman.

In 2005, Kevin Bauman estimated that there were 12,000 abandoned homes in Detroit.
This entry was posted in Challenges to overcome, On the road to Socialism, Things that concern me and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Maybe it’s time to recycle Congress

  1. Gretchen says:

    Great summary of the problem but what guarantee do we have that the replacements we elect in the next two elections will actually be accountable to us? Shorter term limits and more transparency?

  2. Acountability comes with knowing that you are subject to recall for lack of transparency.

    Any system can be abused and ours is a sterling example of this. I think there should be a two term limit on all elected offices.

    I think that bloggers will have to pick up the slack in reporting on what our representatives are doing because the press has little interest in exposing the misdoings of their friends in office.

  3. Tom King says:

    Lighten up, David. It’s Christmas.

  4. KingShamus says:

    Merry Christmas, sir.

  5. Jeffrey King says:

    I agree and another decade has passed with the same ole. Maybe we can text them into submission? You’ll have to double up since I don’t have a cellphone.

    You aren’t historically accurate since this problem goes back to the glorified founding fathers. Even if they died broke they had nice lives while suggesting popular compliance and acceptance of unsustainable bullshit was the path to success. Most die broke after challenging lives.

    I don’t see any energy for a revolution of organized solutions from the deep deep hole that’s already been dug. There will be some justice as those at the top of the manure pile have the greatest distance to fall.

    When they do, be sure to add a few shovels full of manure to secure their proper place.

    I can’t explain how we appear to be led and governed by the most frightened an paranoid people on the planet.

    It is our fault. They all need more fear of the public than their personal hallucinations that have nothing to do with the people they are supposed to be representing.

    Happy Almost New Year. I’m going to call it 10, which is short for Ten. Yup, I’m hip and happenin’.

  6. I’m sorry that I couldn’t come up with a cheery and lighthearted Christmas article. This was the closest I could come to writing something positive.

    We have lulled ourselves into a government giveaway stupor while scientists and politicians publicize imaginary crises to consolidate their power to interfere with our lives and businesses.

    If you are not upset at the current state of affairs, I would suggest that you are not paying attention to what is going on.

    Rather than stay stuck in futile resentment, I suggest that we seriously consider recycling Congress. The mere threat of such a cleansing action might put the brakes on some of the more blatant examples of corruption.

    As I said, the situation is not healthy but as long as we can speak up against the wrongdoing, we still have a chance to create a better future.

  7. Zack St Lawrence says:

    I have to admit I was recently reading and came to much the same belief. Concentrating power in the hands of few leads to corruption and cronyism. The longer someone is in office the more power they collect and the better they game the system. This is expecially true of dynasties. (Bushes, Kennedys, etc) We do not need nobles, be would be better served a rotating leadership.

    I think that if people are only in for a term or two there might be more incentive to back good policies and not be partisan as party politics once again gathers power into the hands of the party leaders over time. Partisan politics are corrosive and make me wish we had a way to ditch the two party system as having many voices is an important part of a democratic system and I think that gets lost with the winner take all system we have.

    The other problem I see is that lobbyists and corporate interests have much better representation with coherent legislation plans. It is much easier to argue that Disney Co needs to have additional rights especially if they are presented in the form of a ready to sign law than it is to argue that granting those same rights stymie creativity and will hurt long term innovation. The corporate interests can pay millions more to argue their side and have a reason to fight harder as the issue directly and immediately benefits them.

    Despite our many disagreements I think we can both agree that incumbency can be a problem. BUT incumbents are more successful at getting local concessions (look at Ted Stevens from Alaska for example) That makes it hard to unseat. Also with the two party system many regions do not have very compelling choice in candidates. Most elections are the choice of a lesser of two evils and once you are past the primary you only have two flavors of lackey to chose from. It is rare that you get a truly independent representative and they often get screwed by both parties in favor of rewarding the most faithful lapdogs.

    See you in the voting booth!

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