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Robert L Peters

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Some Ideas to Transform American Politics...Right Now!

Any serious political discussion where there is cross fertilization of thought and idea will bring forth the subject of 'term limits' for statesmen. This is possibly because the politicians and government of our day are referred to as the 'political class.'  Frenchman Charles Comte-Dunoyer first wrote about this group.  Their hallmark trait is that they do not add to productivity but rather take from it by confiscating resources from those in society that are truly productive.

 

            While it has been suggested by some outliers on the political bell curve that a society without a central government is would be best, that just isn't going to happen in our country.  What we can do to minimize the effects of the 'political class' on the productive elements of society is to change the structure a bit.  Here are a couple of measures that would be easily implemented. 

 

 

1)    Limit the terms of both houses and major department heads to a maximum of 2 terms.  We saw fit to do this with the executive branch who is arguably the least powerful of the triumvirate; why not the rest of the machinery?

2)    Completely remove ALL special privileges associated with congress respecting their retirement and health benefits.  They should participate in the same systems that they legislate for everyone else - Effective retroactively to the time of the first approved 'bailout.'  This would help curtail the feeding trough that is Washington.

3)    Recognize congressional compensation for what it is – a 'government benefit' and make it means tested like most other government benefits.  For those that make an economic sacrifice to be in congress, the maximum benefit that they would get is one year 'severance' package depending on their service in congress and other personal resources.

4)    Require that some percentage of congress have minimum experience in private enterprise.

5)    Create fiscal education requirements and continuing education requirements such as are required for VIRTUALLY other professions that deal with the public (eg; real estate, banking, nursing, contracting, legal, financial etc.)

6)    Take measures to preclude the 'revolving door' from private enterprise to government.  The intention of this would be to preclude such things as Goldman Sachs co-opting the financial resources of the company by having two consecutive treasury secretaries have significant ties to that firm. 

 

If this were revolutionary period France, the guillotines would be humming.  Rest assured that the first congressional candidate to suggest these things truly has America’s best interests at heart.

 

Eric Johnson

 


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