All my life I have been a patriotic person. I love the U.S. I proudly say "This Is My Country" and believe that the founding fathers were inspired to to put together a system of government over 200 years ago that is still functioning today. I believe in that system and the Constitution under which we are governed.
I'm usually not much of a political kind of person....and I have gotten less so with every election. If I had to categorize myself, it would be something like a Libertarian Democrat with some Conservative leanings. Basically what that boils down to is that I am not tied into any one party or philosophy. It depends on the issue. Federally, I don't vote for a party, I vote for individuals where I am familiar with them. On the local level, it is more hit or miss. If I don't have a clear preference, I'll vote for the Libertarian candidate.
I'm not what you call a fully informed voter. The reason for that is that it appears to me that no matter who wins an election, nothing much changes! Federal candidates (i.e. President, Senate, and House) have all become nothing more than perpetual candidates always campaigning for reelection, either their own or a member of their Party. They might throw in a little legislation from time to time if they can actually manage to get a new law written, agreed to, and enacted. Most of their time is spent arguing with each other and looking after themselves.
Well I'm getting sick of it! The Congress, in particular, has more problems than it fixes. This, of course, is not original to me. We hear about approval ratings for the President fairly frequently. I can't recall the last time (if ever) I heard about approval ratings for Congress! I don't approve of Congress, but no one has ever asked me, except at the voting booth.
I would venture to say that if there are statistics rating the houses of Congress those approving of the actions of Congress must be dwindling more every day. What is to approve of??
This country currently has problems at almost every turn....economic, healthcare, pollution and ecology, foreign affairs, and to top it all off we still have large numbers of our service men and women in Afghanistan where they have been attempting to rout Osama bin Laden and his followers for TEN years!
And Congress quibbles, and bickers, and calls each other names, and accomplishes a whole lot of nothing!! But yet they continually campaign to protect the sweet life they have found and do not want to give up!
I received the following as an email from a friend of mine. Read it carefully. If it doesn't make you want to scream, I'd be very surprised. I don't know if Buffett actually said all this. I don't know if there is any kind of groundswell for a "Congressional Reform Act of 2011". But there should be!
I have no idea what percentage of it is true. But if even 10 % of it is true, then we need to get Congress fixed as a first priority. The following is how to do that:
> Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers 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
> The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18
> year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people
> demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, e-mail, 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.
> Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to
> a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask
> each of those to do likewise.
> In three days, most people in The United States of America will
> have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
> _*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
> 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. They must 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.
> If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will
> only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive
> the message. Maybe it is time.
> THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!!
We should be circulating this and actually getting this underway. Sitting in a park in NYC and yelling about jobs, isn't very effective. If we could get this into a national referendum we could vote on it and actually make an EFFECTIVE CHANGE Asking Congress to fix themselves will NEVER happen. But we, the voters, can make the change for them!
"This is My Country" and I want my Congress and my President to work together to make this country once again as great as it should be! Let's get Congress off the gravy train and get them back to work....that way everybody else might be able to get back to work too! Then together we can get our priorities back in order and fix the rest of it.
I would like to see one addition. Any individual elected to either house of Congress must pass (with a score of 80% correct or better) a written test on the Constituion of the United States before being allowed to assume their seat. The test must be retaken any time the legislator is re-elected. The test would be written by a panel of non-political Constitutional scholars and be updated periodically. Anyone caught cheating would lose his/her seat and become ineligible to ever run for anything again!!
Actually ALL elected officials should be required to pass a test relating to the Constitution plus state and local legislation pertinent to their particular office. This would include every elected individual from the President down to local dogcatchers!
I would vote for that in a New York minute!
Congress seems to have developed complete disregard for the desires and needs of the public they are supposed to represent! It would take a massive and unilateral coming together of all Americans to force Congress to adopt the changes or lose all subsequent elections. But coming together in a crisis is one of the things we Americans do best! So let's do it!!
We'll never know if we could push it through unless we try!
(Feel free to copy and share this with everyone if you agree!)