Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The answer is not term limits

The problem with our government today is the money involved; Congressional salaries, pensions, perks, health care etc. are all benefits that are greedily desired. Money is also amassed and dispensed in massive amounts in attempts to win elections and once “Pot of Gold” offices are secured, no amount of money, time or effort expended in retaining them is considered too great…And there lies the problem. Not only is corruption practically mandated, due to the accumulated power and potential wealth involved, but political coalitions are cobbled together without consideration of the harm these alliances might do to our country. Although term limits would keep greedy people from establishing congressional dynasties, the corrupting influences of power and monetary gains eventually perverts even the most chaste, idealistic candidate into a grasping, morally bankrupt monster. It has been suggested that junior members of the House and Senate spend most of their time raising campaign funds for their parties…that is their primary duty and if they do not perform, they do not receive monetary backing from their party when it’s their re-election time. How many times have you heard “He/she does not have enough funds to seriously contend for a congressional seat”? This is not the qualification standards our founding fathers had in mind…degree of wealth.

Another strand of this unscrupulous web of political depravity is lobbying firms. These organizations offer money; the promise of future employment and/or special privileges for legislation configured to suit their client’s best interests. Frequently, in order to pay off these “considerations” [besides composing “special interest” bills from scratch], politicians will insert “earmarks” [also known as “pork”] into popular, practically sure to pass, bills which have no logical connection to the proposed legislation, but merely serve as the Quid pro quo remittance to the lobbyists who “bribed” the politicos. Notice I used the term bribed…I know of no other term that can describe the activities defined by lobbying. Senator Obama promised he would put an end to earmarks but when his first major piece of legislation, the Stimulus Package or the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 or the Jobs Bill or whatever the name it is going by now, was passed it contained a whopping 9000 earmarks!

The next piece to this progressively expanding puzzle is the “Campaign Reform” legislation that had been composed in an effort to bestow an aura of legitimacy to current day election financial gathering [no, not “gathering”…amassing] activities. Laws have been written defining “Hard” and “Soft” campaign monies and regulations covering donations of these kinds of finances. Rules have been established concerning amounts for each type of resource that can be donated by a company, individual or entity; how these funds can be distributed and which contributions must be identified, etc. It has also been confirmed that no “Foreign” money, via any kind of contribution, be allowed to be donated to a candidate’s election fund, but this particular regulation is often hard to uphold because of the “Identifying Contribution Ruleswhich allow donations of under $200 to remain anonymous. Additionally, there are too many political money gathering/disbursing entities to successfully monitor, so instead of regulating them (which only causes government expansion) just remove the reason the rules were established…money.

Finally, I’d like to offer my own observations concerning the temptations that are in place that attract undesirable people into government employment today. For my entire childhood and throughout my adult life until now, I kept hearing how little our government employees were being paid and this caused the government to lose quality people to the Business World. The talk was always about how governmental salaries had to be increased to attract and retain qualified personnel. Well, that was all just smoke and mirrors to cover up progressive increases to federal paychecks and congressional perks [free parking, free airplane transportation (and in Nancy Pelosi’s case, even her choice of planes), free gasoline, etc.]. The idea has always been that “don’t worry…congress cannot vote itself a pay increase” but that is not true when you consider the shit-load of career representatives and senators who will be retaining their jobs when these new rates become effective. Let’s not forget to mention the number of administrators required to fill the needs of an ever expanding federal government. Today, as reported in the USA Today March 8, 2010 edition, that the typical government worker is paid 20% more than his counterpart private industry worker. Of course when you add in perks and retirement benefits, the gap is much higher making government work more attractive to a job seeker than any employment in the private sector.

Some questions to be answered before I propose my fixes for this total degradation in our Republic are:
• Why did President Obama, on December 23, 2009, issue an executive order increasing federal civilian employees’ salaries by 2% when SSA recipients were denied a cost of living increase in their payments for 2010 due to no inflation?
• Why are the same salaries being increased in 2011 by 1.4% by the Senate Appropriations Committee when again, SSA recipients, for the same period, are being denied a COLA because there was no inflation?
• Why are former congressmen allowed to work for lobbying firms in any capacity?
• Why are congressmen allowed to work for any organization that profited from their oversight?
• Why are the Congressional, Executive and Judicial branches of our government exempt from so many statutes covering the rest of America?
• How can legal immigrants and illegal aliens who have not made any Social Security payments, ever, collect money from this fund?
• How can non-citizens who have not made any Medicare/Medicaid payments receive free Medical Treatment?
• How can people, who have sworn to uphold the Constitution, blatantly ignore it and go unpunished?
• How can a US city declare itself a “Sanctuary City”, which is not constitutional, and not have the US Attorney General prosecute them but the same Governmental Authorities will sue a state for attempting to ensure its sovereignty from foreign invaders which is its constitutional right?
• Why are groups that demand fiscal responsibility and a return to the Constitution in peaceful demonstrations described as Terrorists while real terrorists are identified merely as criminals?
• How can the same groups that claim peaceful Tea Party members to be radical activists describe Left-wing protesters, who burn cars, buildings and otherwise destroy personal property while violently confronting police, as merely “demonstrating their frustrations”?
• How can the US Government describe 2nd amendment right groups and former military as “Potential Terrorists to watch” when they ignore the real terrorists encroaching on our borders and teaching in our schools?
• How can anyone who ever declared their intent to overthrow our government be allowed to serve in that government?
• How can anyone be named to the post that oversees payment of taxes when they didn’t pay their own taxes for any reason?
• How can anyone in the post that writes tax code not be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law when they don’t pay their own taxes?
• How can Congressional members commit illegal acts, which would result in non-government workers being immediately jailed, get away with no punishment for years or even ever?
I have many more questions but this Blog entry is getting too large so I’ll stop here. Although it looks like I may have strayed off subject, I can point to the “love of money” as the cause for all these problems as well as, but not limited to, totaling dismantling our Constitution by establishing a “World Order”; “saving” our planet by “Going Green” and destroying the United States of America by redistributing our wealth to everyone else. I firmly believe that if we elect people that will attempt to fix the money problem, then term limits will be easy to pass...who would want to fight an attempt to limit the chance to make a career out of a crappy paying job? Okay, here’s the start of my plan to take the “Money” out of our government:
#1 – Reduce all pay scales for all branches of our Federal government (Legislative, Judicial & Executive) to the level of the Social Security Administration’s highest wage. Administer these wages under SSA rules (including COLA). Also apply to all retiree’s.
#2 – Place all Federal jobs under the auspices of the Social Security Administration and dump all undistributed former pension monies into the Social Security fund. Also apply to all retiree’s.
#3 – Replace all government employees’ medical benefits (except for the Military) with Medicare coverage and distribute any monies into the Medicare account. Also apply to all retiree’s.
#4– Eliminate free gasoline, free parking, free transportation and all monetary compensation from any unused allowances pertaining to all Congressional and Executive office employees.
#5– Remove all political contributions of any kind. Political expenditures must be allocated and tracked to the penny. Every major, political party (that is registered and meets rigid qualifications) must be provided the same amount of money per candidate for a position from Federal or State General Political Funds that contain only voluntary, private contributions. After all, who cares where the money comes from if everyone gets an equal share?
#6– Eliminate all earmarks. If a need is so great to consider an earmark, write a bill.
#7– Outlaw all Lobbying functions. Treat any lobbying activities as felony bribery crimes.
If we can elect honorable candidates into the Federal Government, we may be able to implement at least some of my proposed changes and then we will be served by a government that would be interested in making America whole again. Someone would surely suggest term limits, balanced budgets, reduced taxes, reduced expenditures, restoring the Constitution and reducing the immense size of our bloated government.
Remember this Ronald Regan Quote, which is even more valid today:

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