“A balanced budget? No problem,” Warren Buffett told CNBC recently. “You pass a law that makes any sitting members of Congress ineligible for re-election if the deficit is larger than 3% of GDP.”
Yes, we’d have a balance budget in no time! Most every politician wants to be re-elected. The problem is, Congress wouldn’t vote for it. Unless … there’s enough pressure from the public! And that means pressure from 314 million people.
Warren Buffett has other splendid ideas, including these proposed in his 2012 Congressional Reform Act:
1. Pay and Pension. Members of Congress are to receive a salary while in office, not a life-long pension and continuing benefits. Their reward should be the very honor of serving their Country.
2. Social Security. Members of Congress will be participating in the same Social Security system they have designed for the American people. It's true, Congress has its own special deluxe system, at our expense, but I doubt that our Founding Fathers would approve of that. The Congressional retirement fund should be merged with the Social Security system. As to retirement plans, Members of Congress are at liberty to purchase their own just like other Americans.
3. Pay Raises. Congress should not be allowed to vote themselves pay raises. Their pay may be increased by the lower of CPI or 3%.
4. Healthcare. Presently, America has two healthcare systems, a deluxe system for Members of Congress, and Obama-care for the people. Since Congress is designing and voting on Obama-care, it should also participate in it, not just we, the people.
5. Same Law for all. Members of Congress will abide by the same laws as the American people, without exceptions.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. Our Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, who temporarily serve their country, not themselves. When their term is over, Congressmen and -women go home and back to work.
What we can do:
How can we get Congress to vote on matters that are good for the country, not just good for their personal advantage? Public pressure, says Warren Buffett. If everyone who reads this forwards it to friends and acquaintances, word will spread quickly.
Better yet, if we collect signatures, Congress will realize we mean business. Public media is another good way to start discussions and collect votes.
It is time to restore America to being the Land of the Free with Opportunity for All.
We’ve all suffered the consequences of recent laws that were motivated by unscrupulous lobbyists, selfish pork-belly deals and legislators who lost sight of America’s future. If Members of Congress have to abide by the same laws they impose upon the people, and be subject to them—such as social security and healthcare—they will give their task more thought.
Public pressure can work miracles. In record time, Congress gave 18-year olds the right to vote—all because of public pressure. We can do it again.
So spread the word.
Pass this on.
Make it happen.