Jul 21, 2011

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to restrain the government - lest it come to dominate our lives and interests.
- Patrick Henry -

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, before e-mail, before 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.

I'm 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 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 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.



JayG said...

While Congressman have paid into SSI since 1984, according to Snopes “as of 2007, the average annuities for retired members of Congress were $63,696 for those who retired under [the old Civil Service] CSRS and $36,732 for those who retired under [the current Federal Employees Retirement System] FERS. Those figures are quite good (about '2-3 times more generous than what a similarly-salaried executive could expct to receive upon retiring from the private sector,' according to the National Taxpayers Union).”

If someone retired relatively young, and collected a $40,000 pension for 25 years, that's a million dollars.

JayG said...

According to usgovinfo.about.com, By law, the starting amount of a Member's retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary. The current salary (2011) for rank-and-file members of the House and Senate is $174,000 per year. Therefor, a 50 year old Congressman or Senator who has served at least 20 years could retire with an annuity of $139,200, plus whatever Social Security they are due. To get this, members of Congress contribute 1.3% of their salary per year, or $2262. Even if that Congressman had paid that amount for all 20 years, which would not be the case because Congressal salaries would have been less in the past, that still would amount to a total of $45,240. That is quite a return on investment.

JayG said...

Concerning Health care benefits for Congress, Mark McClellan, a doctor and economist at the , said he believes members of Congress are getting a good deal. "It's significantly more generous than most Americans are getting." Also, Congress, like most Federal employees, opt for a Blue Cross Blue Shield PPO, which costs slightly more than a comparable PPO offered to private sector employees, but has much lower deductables and co-pays. Also, Congress “can also utilize taxpayer-subsidized care at Army Medical Center in Washington and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Senate Minority Leader , R-Ky., had bypass surgery at Bethesda in 2003. Rep. , D-Fla., battled cancer last year with treatments received at both sites.” - USA Today.