Of The People? A simple solution…

Our housemate Lisa informed me this morning that if Congress closes down the government, they still get paid.  Not to be exclusive, I assume that the President also has the same benefits and will also still get paid if the government shuts down. Remember that when health care was  being discussed, the same Congress that already has universal heath care didn’t want the rest of America to have it? Remember years ago when the first George Bush was shocked by the “new” scanners at the check out and didn’t know how they worked?

Isn’t democracy supposed to be “of the people, by the people, and for the people”? Is it any wonder that our government  seems so out of touch with the needs of the average person.  Can you imagine a world where you or I closed down our factory and still got paid just like nothing was wrong? Maybe unions can do this with strike funds, but I think they only get a portion of their income. In any case, how is it ok that people who work for us can put Americans out of work and still get paid for doing it?

Can you imagine a world where you didn’t have to worry about paying for health insurance or for health care?  Can you imagine a world where no matter what you did, you still got paid? Can you imagine a world in which people give you money just to change your opinion? This is what happens when Congress (or the President, I suppose) meets with lobbyists.   How can a government full of people who don’t have to worry about things that we worry about make decisions about us and for us?  How can people who are inherently out of touch with us claim they represent us?

Here’s a simple solution to fix this problem.  Let’s make a new law that says that Congress and the President can’t have anything re: benefits that all of the people they represent don’t have.  Let’s put the government on a scale like Ben and Jerry’s does that says no employee can make 8 times more than the average worker.  When those who represent us actually know what it’s like in the present to be us, we’ll be a whole lot better off.  If a senator or representative can only make 8 or 10 times what a Welfare mother makes, they’ll think twice about cutting her benefits. If a state senator had to cope with, for instance, MassHealth, their views on the system and coverage would change in a hurry.

Lets have a connection between their real lives and our real lives.  Let’s have real laws that protect democracy and protect us from having the aristocracy we now have.





6 thoughts on “Of The People? A simple solution…

  1. John, there’s an email going around that wants a Constitutional amendment that says that Congress must follow all of the laws that the rest of us have to. I think that’s going a bit far, and according to Snopes.com, there are inaccuracies in what the email says (one of those partly true or “mixed” designations from Snopes).

    • Val: I finally have a chance to reply to your comment… I’m not sure what laws Congress doesn’t have to follow — speeding in traffic, and the like? Does war count as murder for hire and qualify for RICO laws?
      In any case, I’d like our Congress and President to know “how the other half lives”. I think the way we do elections means you have to be a millionaire or something, but I don’t know enough about it to say. Since most of us make less that $250,000, I suspect that it’s how “the other 90% live”. It’s just hard to represent people you don’t know — and hold out for their best interests. I like term limits because they mean we have a chance of getting new (non-monied) people every once in a while.



  2. “If a senator or representative can only make 8 or 10 times what a Welfare mother makes, they’ll think twice about cutting her benefits.”

    Welfare mothers don’t make money. They take money.

      • Dictionary.com defines income as

        1.the monetary payment received for goods or services, or from other sources, as rents or investments.
        2.something that comes in as an addition or increase, especially by chance.

        So in the secondary meaning of the word, that would work. But the bigger point is that a Welfare mother is in her situation of her own doing, and could have had an alternate life plan that allowed her to make as much as the congressman if she so choose. And when this society considers a Welfare mother to be “the average person”, we’re doomed.

        And all people are able to buy health insurance, but it does cost money. Many people have jobs which pay for health insurance, and that is great – it’s really just another form of income on top of their salary. But if you have a job which does not include health insurance (like many small businesses), then the money for health insurance would have to come out of your own pocket. So the situation you describe as a “simple fix” already exists. Any person can purchase the same health coverage as those in government from private-sector companies.

        Oh, you want those people to get health insurance for free? There’s no such thing. What you really want is for working stiffs like me to be forced to pay for those welfare mothers who made their own choices but not live with the consequences. I get to live with the consequences of their decisions. It’s thinking like that which has driven our government into a debt load so huge that the US dollar will soon no longer be the world’s reserve currency and tremendous inflation will strangle us all (which is already starting to happen, in case you haven’t noticed). Working stiffs like me simply can’t carry the load of all of these so-called disabled people or other people who make poor decisions. Those VERY FEW who truly are disabled could easily be cared for by charities, if our society wasn’t so incredibly burdened by people who make poor decisions or work their on to disability for dumb crap like weird sexual fetishes or inability to cope with life.

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