How to fix Congress

My good friend and high school classmate Gordie Stuart is  far to right of me, but I think his idea of putting Congress on notice cuts across party lines. His guest commentary suggests putting members of Congress on Social Security, 401ks, no pay when out of office and into the same healthcare system as other Americans.  Term limits, too. The official proposal is below his commentary. Let us know what you think and follow me on Twitter.

by Gordon Stuart

So many people have sent me the article below on “How to Fix Congress”, I feel compelled to seriously express my thoughts and gather yours.   I’m sure you’ve read the article too and I hope you respond. I don’t know who originally came up with the suggestions in the article, but, I do concur with most of them.  This email was forwarded to me as: “An idea whose time has come”.  In my opinion, it is beyond time.  Our Government’s spending is out of control, entitlements are destroying our country, we continue struggling with being the “world’s policeman” and we still concern ourselves about being “politically correct”, while our freedoms dwindle and handouts increase a little more each day.  What happened to Common Sense?  All this should have been nipped at the start and we should never have arrived at this point.  So, what about “fixing Congress”?

Well, there may someday be an elected Representative of the United States who will step up to the plate and initiate legislation along the lines suggested below.  However, I don’t hold much hope that will happen and I hold even less hope such legislation would ever pass unless there was some great incentive.  Maybe I am too cynical, but I think there is just too much greed and corruption among our elected Government officials to get this type of legislation passed without some incentive.

Some of you may respond by saying we can bring about these changes through our election process.  Certainly, one would hope that would be enough incentive.  Unfortunately, that hasn’t affected very much in the past and history repeats itself.  Whether we continue to elect the same old people like Frank Lautenberg in NJ or elect new people, we’ve honestly seen little change in the way our Government conducts itself.  All our elected officials always seem to fall into the “Washington Beltway Trap” shortly after being elected and common sense is put on the “back burner”.  Whether you are Republican, Democrat or Independent, there is probably only 1 or 2 of you who would disagree with that statement.

I listened to a person last week say our elected officials, government employees, Wall Street bankers and corporate CEO’s are responsible for our current fiscal crisis.  That is true, but he didn’t like it when I responded by saying: “in fact, we are all responsible”!  After all, we (the people) let it happen.  The proposed legislation in “How to Fix Congress” addresses nothing more than taxation without representation.  It doesn’t address military operations, corporate greed or even corruption within our government.  It just addresses taxation without representation and in fact, we are being taxed without representation.  What is worse: these are our “employees” whom we are allowing to dictate terms and conditions to us and we should do something about it or hold ourselves accountable.  If you disagree; stop reading right here.  If you agree: what do you think we should do?  My fiancée’s son has a bumper sticker that says: “STOP BITCHIN’, START REVOLUTION”.  I think that is a good solution!

I’m not proposing an outright revolution to overthrow our Government.  That would cause too much chaos and put us in even more trouble.  However, I would like to see a tax revolt because I think it is outrageous to allow our elected officials to enact laws that don’t apply to them and it is wrong to allow them to give themselves pay raises, lavish pension plans and premium health care while the “backbone” of working America paying for it all settles for something far less.  Furthermore, since they are “playing in a different stadium” they’ve had no incentive to improve “the turf” in ours.

To say we can bring these changes about through our election process is a joke!  We can’t wait for the election process and it isn’t effective correcting these issues anyway.  We may get one or two people to introduce such a bill.  However, without some “incentive” to get the other Congressmen and Senators to vote for it, the measure would never pass.  So, what would be enough incentive?  This may be naïve, but, I think if a large enough percentage of the population said: “I’ve had it” and threatened to refuse paying their taxes (unless the suggested, common sense measures are passed) it may work.

Our current population in the United States is a little over 300 million people.  If just 10-30 million people (less than 10% of our population) said: “I’m not paying my Federal Income Tax unless you pass these measures”, what would the government do?   Would they throw everybody in jail?  No, because there isn’t enough room.  Would they put liens on our property, garnish wages or put holds on our bank accounts?  I don’t think so!  Those actions would exacerbate the situation and cause even more revolt- possibly an outright revolution.  I think, under those pressured circumstances, our government officials would do what is right.  Few will “bite the hand that feeds them”.  They’d change things quickly and I’m willing to take that chance.

How about you?  What do you think?  I look forward to hearing your insightful response.  With best wishes for a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2010…


A friend sent this along to me. I can’t think of a reason to disagree.

I am sending this to virtually everybody on my e-mail list and that includes conservatives, liberals, and everybody in between. Even though we disagree on a number of issues, I count all of you as friends.  My friend and neighbor wants to promote a “Congressional Reform Act of 2010”. It would contain eight provisions, all of which would probably be strongly endorsed by those who drafted the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  .

I know many of you will say, “this is impossible”.  Let me remind you, Congress has the lowest approval of any entity in Government, now is the time when Americans will join together to reform Congress – the entity that represents us.

We need to get a Senator to introduce this bill in the US Senate and a Representative to introduce a similar bill in the US House.  These people will become American hero’s..

A Fellow American


Congressional Reform Act of 2010

1. Term Limits: 12 years only, one of the possible options below.

A. Two Six year Senate terms
B. Six Two year House terms
C. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

2.  No Tenure / No Pension:

A congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

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

All funds in the Congressional retirement fund moves to the Social Security system immediately.  All future funds flow into the Social Security system, Congress participates with the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, server your term(s), then go home and back to work.

4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan just as all Americans.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise.  Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

6. Congress looses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.
7. Congress must equally abide in all laws they impose on the American people.

Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career.  The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

8. All contracts with past and present congressmen are void effective 1/1/11 .

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, serve your term(s), then go home and back to work.

If you agree with the above, pass it on to all in your address list.   If not, just delete.

5 comments On How to fix Congress

  • Is this for proposed legislation or, just talking points points to rally around?

  • I highly doubt members of Congress are pushing this…I’d say talking points.

  • I like them but, they’d require a constitutional amendment. Great points though.

  • John, Thanks for posting this guest commentary. I had read this in the past and totally agree that Congress should “eat it’s own dog food.” Since that what they are concocting for the rest of us, they should try digesting it themselves.

    In the high tech business it always drives me crazy when companies I work for ask me to sell a product–but don’t use it themselves. The most successfule ventures I have worked at utilized their own products for themselves and ultimately this influenced our decisions. Why shouldn’t the govt. process be the same?

    As far as not paying our taxes–well that’s a longshot and we all know it. So, we have to find a better way to force this issue. If I can think of one I’ll let you know.

  • Congress honors those that serve?

    Shouldn’t U.S. Service Personnel and Veterans get back those Constitutional Rights that they die for and convicted rapists and murderers keep?

    Convicted rapists and murderers are given protection from human experiments by the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, Amendment Eight. In 1992 the U.S. Senate signed and ratified the United Nation, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).[3] Its 1994 Index, “… Article 7 – Freedom from Torture, or Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.” notes that, “Written policy and practice prohibit the use of” [prison] “inmates for medical…..experiments.”! Nineteen (19) times cited are the U.S. Constitution plus its Eighth Amendment’s no cruel and unusual punishment.

    “The Feres Doctrine should not be applied for military personnel who are harmed by inappropriate human experimentation when informed consent has not been given.” Then, “During the last 50 years, hundreds of thousands of military personnel” were subjected to “experiments that were designed to harm”, i.e., the 1994 U.S. Senate Report’s biological and chemical agents, radiation exposure, hallucinogenic and investigational drugs, experimental vaccines and behavior modification projects.[5] In 2011 still ignored is this and their also noted past and present, “III. Findings and conclusions”, “K. DOD and DVA have repeatedly failed to provide information and medical followup to those who participate in military research…” and “N. Participation in military research is rarely included in military medical records, making it impossible to support a veteran’s claim for service-connected disabilities from military research.” This is the withheld needed for diagnosis and treatment but experiment identifying evidence. Underlying this Senate Report is the General Accounting Office (GAO) Sept. 1994 U.S. House Report, “Human Experimentation Overview on Cold War Era Programs”![4]

    In the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1950 Feres case a death due to a 1947 Army barracks fire was determined to be an “incident to service”.[1] In the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1987 STANLEY a DOD 1958 “to harm” drug experiment is swept under the same cover of “injuries that `arise out of or are in the course of activity incident to service.”[2] FIFTY (50) TIMES it cites the Feres Doctrine. Not once mentioned is the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, Amendment Eight!

    In 2005 some in Congress made an attempt to get the biological and chemical portion of this withheld needed for treatment evidence, e.g., H.R. 4259 the “Veterans’ Right to Know Commission.” It died! It is now a from 1944, 67 years of U.S. Congressional talk with no Feres Doctrine [1] and its STANLEY [2] “to harm” correction. During the 1994 reported past, hundreds of thousands of the “to harm” service records were destroyed in a 1973 National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) fire. Then Congress’s 1974 Privacy Act censored experiment verifying witnesses from any surviving and future records! Overlooked by many in Congress is their Oath of Office to defend the U.S. Constitution, our “Pledge of Allegiance” “with liberty and justice for all”, their U.S. Constitution Eighth Amendment protection of convicted rapists and murderers [3] with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ignored, carved in stone over its entrance, “EQUAL JUSTICE UNDER LAW”!

    As in the GAO and U.S. Senate’s reported past, these “military research” [5] “incident to service” [1] activities are conducted under the ongoing secrecy cover of our ‘national interests’, e.g., WWII, Cold War, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan. Do not the U.S. Senate’s stated Department of Defense (DOD) “EXPERIMENTS THAT WERE DESIGNED TO HARM” [5] continue? Please hold your members in the U.S. Congress accountable for giving back to those that serve their Constitutional Rights!


    [1] 1950 – Feres v. United States, 340 U.S. 135, 146 (1950).

    [2] 1987 – U.S. SUPREME COURT, JUNE 25, 1987, U.S. V. STANLEY , 107 S. CT.. 3054 (VOLUME 483 U.S., SECTION 669, PAGES 699 TO 710).

    [3] 1994 – U.S. State Dept., “U.S. Report under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights July 1994, Article 7 – Freedom from Torture, or Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.” See “Index of “1994 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”

    [4] 1994 – GAO September 28, 1994 “Human Experimentation Overview on Co1d War Era Programs” [PDF] T-NSIAD-94-266

    [5] 1994 – December 8, 1994 REPORT 103-97 “Is Military Research Hazardous to Veterans’ Health? Lessons Spanning Half a Century.” Hearings Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, 103rd Congress 2nd Session.

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