Saturday, December 28, 2013

Warren Buffett Takes on Congress with a Chain-Email

by Pa Rock
Citizen Journalist

The problems with Congress, and this Congress in particular, are the stuff of legend.   This Congress is sometimes called "do-nothing," but in reality it far worse than that.  With a government shutdown, the sequester, forty-plus bills to repeal health care for millions, ignoring the tragedy of Newtown, ending unemployment benefits during the holiday season, and continuous snipping at the social safety net, this Congress has proven itself to be far more far more destructive than if it had simply sat back and done nothing.

The American public's approval rating of Congress is abysmal and sinking daily.  The only beneficiaries from the current Congress seem to be the big corporations and the members of Congress themselves.  

Today I received a chain-email regarding Congress that was purportedly started by billionaire Warren Buffet.  The instructions were clear.  If I agreed with the content, I was to quickly forward it to twenty people, and if I did not agree I should delete it and go on about my mundane life.   The letter claimed that if everyone participated, in three days most people in the United States would receive it.

What a powerful epistle that would be!

I had doubts that Warren Buffet would actually communicate through a chain-email - after all, a man of his means could send us all first class letters or blanket the country with public information announcements.  But I did like the content of the email and decided to include it in this post - thereby bothering only only a handful of loyal readers rather than annoying my entire mailing list.

The Buffet plan is called the "Congressional Reform Act of 2013."  It contains the following provisions:

  • No tenure and no pension.  A member of Congress receives a salary while in office and no pay when out of office.  (Many will, of course, slide into lobbying, but at least they will be off of the public dole.)
  • Members of past, present, and future Congresses will participate in Social Security.  All funds currently in the Congressional retirement system will be immediately moved to the Social Security system.
  • Congress will no longer be able to vote themselves pay raises.  Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or three percent.
  • Congress will lose their current health care system and be required to use the same types of health care systems as the American people.
  • Congress must equally abide by all laws which it imposes on the American people.
  • All Congressional contracts with past and present members of Congress are void after December 31st of this year.
The plan also hosts a reminder that the founding fathers envisioned Congress as being composed of citizen legislators and not career politicians.

While all of this sounds a bit tea-baggy, it omits the baggers' penchant for guns, racism, and homophobia.  It also fails to invoke a blood-thirsty Jesus.   So, all in all, these modest reforms probably couldn't hurt.

Boehner beware - the emails are flying!

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