Modest Proposal

SATURDAY UPDATE: The NYT has an interactive graphic up where you fix the Federal budget. I’d be interested in your choices. The graphic is here

In order to maintain a more perfect republic, ensure justice, domestic tranquility and provide for a common international defense we should immediately draft (via lottery) 500 random American citizens and send them to Congress. 1

The first 400 names (drawn from a hat) will serve in the House, the last 100 poor schlubs in the Senate, all to serve the same 4-year term. 100 other citizens would be drafted to serve as “need be” replacements. 2

No American citizen would be exempt from this duty, save for morons that admit to or are (subsequently) discovered to have a current political party affiliation. However failure to serve would result in a mandatory 4-year jail sentence.

Poor performance would not be tolerated; if an individual did not understand the Constitution or The Bill of Rights sufficient to draft appropriate legislation 3, they lose their seat and then spend their non-Congressional time in federal lock-up brushing up on their education.

Parliamentary procedures in both chambers would devolve to Robert’s Rules of Order. No modifications to these rules would be allowed. Each Congressional session will be led by a randomly chosen Toastmaster District General, whose decisions on all parliamentary matters will be final.

Congress would be in session annually from March 20 to September 21st. Mandatory appropriation and authorization legislation would be considered and passed (in conjunction with assistance from the Congressional Budget Office) in the first 4 months of a Congressional session; all other legislation would be considered only in the last 2 months. Failure to pass mandatory appropriation and authorization legislation would result in a.) a reprise of the previous fiscal year appropriation legislation, and b.) all 500 members of the current Congress spending the remainder of their 4-year term in Federal lock-up after a new Congressional draft was held.

Pay for Congresspersons would be set at the GS-15 Step 1 rate; no step increases, raises or bonuses would be allowed for any individual Congress. No leave would be accrued or allowed; fuck’s sake, they’ll have 6 month’s off.

Congresspeople would be expected to pay for their own lodgings while in session. If they have to relocate closer to WDC, West Virginia let’s say, and drive up every day like half the current federal employees working in WDC do, so be it.

Overseas travel requests, “fact finding” missions and other obvious junkets would be processed and disbursed by OPM strictly on a “first come” basis. The pool of money for these requests would be limited to $1,000,000 per COngressional session.

Every Congressperson would be required to vote on each and every motion before them. Same with proposed legislation. For each missed vote a Congressperson would spend 1 week in jail at the end of a session; 10 missed votes would remove said Representative/Senator from that Congress, the rest of their 4-year term to be spent in Federal lock-up.

Uttering or invoking imaginary deities, supernatural beings or comic book heroes while in session shall be banned. Likewise no proposal, legislation, enactment or special Day of the Month will be allowed to mention, honor or beatify same. 4 Violation of these rules will cause the offending Congressperson to be removed from their 4-year session, the remainder of their service to be spent as a volunteer in the most dire AIDs infected African shithole the Peace Corps can find for them, where they are free to invoke their superstitious nonsense to their hearts’ content.

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General ancillary changes:

The income tax shall immediately be re-set to 7% for every American, 10% for every corporation that employs over 250 people. There will be no exemption or loopholes, nor shall any Congress have authority to vary the above rates. Consequently the IRS will become a much smaller, much simpler collection agency.

Social Security premiums will increase by 5% with eventual individual payout reduced by 5%. The federal Government will have no means to “borrow” against the annual SSA “surplus.” Congress will have no authority to vary the above.

(However new SS numbers will be issued to every American currently holding one and a new system will be used for all new issues; these numbers will NOT, upon pain of immediate 4 year prison terms, be requested or used by any individual or corporate entity, nor shall they be accessed with an individuals’ permission for ANYTHING other than SS payments and accounts. Congress and the states shall not have the ability to change this.)

The Affordable Care Act proposal will be put into effect with subsequent adjustments to both it and Medicade undertaken by the CBO after 8 quarterly reviews. The CBO shall then establish an overseeing body for both programs, to be manned on a rotating basis by doctors from the Mayo Clinic, the NIH and CDC. Congress will have no authority to vary the above.

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Sure, it’s just a start 5, but tell me the above could possibly be worse than what we have now.

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Show 5 footnotes

  1. No, I don’t care what happens to those we turn out of office. Should I?
  2. See below penalties for idiocies causing a Representative/Senator’s removal.
  3. As determined by a.) newly graduated lawyers (who did NOT attend the top 40 law schools) similarly drafted as Congressional staff and, b.) backstopped by any/all SCOTUS decisions.
  4. Such nonsense shall be confined to the Congressional cafeteria.
  5. My original intent was to flush this out within a week or two of its post date, but has instead turned into an ever changing, living document. Not a bad thing, n’est-ce pas?

13 Replies to “Modest Proposal”

    1. That was my thought, too.

      I’ve a few more ideas I’m going to add; considering an exception to service for anyone who can cry on cue. Can you imagine how long floor debates would be with criers? Or loud talkers? Loud talkers may get a pass…

  1. This has been making the rounds of late…maybe work it into your proposal –

    1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.

    2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. 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.

    7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women. Congressmen/women 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.

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