Saturday, July 30, 2011

Downsize Congress and Pay the Troops

It just made me ill to see the news tonight. Reporters suggesting, and showing clips of our military being told they may not get paid, but by god, they better still fight. Show up for work, lay your life and limb on the line. We'll pay you, if and when we can.

My solution? Shut down the offices of every congressman, and don't cut them any checks until we have a budget solution. 
I think Georgia could get by on one Senator. Send the other one home, along with all his staff. Give the money to the men and women putting their lives on the line in Afghanistan and Iraq.

And  the House of Representatives? I think our country could get rid of half of them. Instead of 435, 218 should do it. Just cut it in half, send the others home, along with  all their staffs. Then shut down the offices, the expense accounts, pensions, health care plans of those we won't be needing any more.
Make elections every 4 years for all of them. No more mid term elections. Consolidate the madness. Once every 4 years is enough turn over. Dealing with who is running for what, when, and where is just too much time wasted.

I'm serious. The more I think of it, the more I believe its the answer. We've all had to take on more work at our jobs. We've all had to give up things with this economy in the toilet. But by god, we make a decision and get on with business. I can't believe there was actually  one bill asking for another vote on raising the debt limit in 6 months! Even I know to pay a bill for a year at a time. I got too much to do to keep messing around with the same problem every few months.
Hell, even my Norton is a two year contract.

From Wikipedia:
As of January 2010, the annual salary of each Representative is $174,000.[17] The Speaker of the House and the Majority and Minority Leaders earn more: $223,500 for the Speaker and $193,400 for their party leaders (the same as Senate leaders). A cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) increase takes effect annually unless Congress votes to not accept it. Congress sets members' salaries; however, the Twenty-seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits a change in salary (but not COLA[18]) from taking effect until after the next general election. Representatives are eligible for lifetime benefits after serving for five years, including a pension, health benefits, and social security benefits.[19]

Imagine how much each house representative costs in total expenditures, if you include staff, pensions, health care and etc. And for what? Lets cut them in half, and each remaining member can step up their game. They don't travel by horseback. They should still be able to get around to their whole district without much trouble.  Maybe they would quit messing around so much and get the business done.

I looked up how many representatives each state has, and found that some have odd numbers. Like Georgia has 13. I think we can get by with 6.  If a state only has one, they can have that one, full time. We'll be generous.

Now, California has 53. Nobody needs 53. I'd say they would be fine with just 25.

I know we need to deal with the deficit issues. Our country has been spending money like a drunken miner in a whore house.  I'm no economist, but I know the initial purchase of something is only the beginning of the true cost. A new house, a new car, a vacation has its initial outlay. But that is in no way the whole picture. That new house requires insurance, furniture, maintanence. So is it with governments. Wars that go on indefinitly, social programs, tax rebates for big corporations. The initial program is only the beginning of a larger ripple effect.

There's always two sides to every story. But on this story, paying our military personal should never even be questioned.


  1. I like the sound of that. I also think that pensions shouldn't be full pay for them. That's just dumb. Can you imagine how many people we are paying full congress/senate pay to with all the turnover recently. Complete stupidity.

    I have several friends whose husbands serve in the military. At the last scare over their pay not being given several were at risk of not making bills or rent or even food. Their men were deployed so wouldn't be home to help figure it out. It is ridiculous. They should be the last to suffer.

  2. Emperor Tiberius, on his death bed, advised his successor "pay the Legions and despise the rest."
    He was referring to the Roman Senate as "the rest." I tend to think he was on to something, in view of the situation we are all living in today.

  3. I am so with you Lila and Arsenius, I almost see red. Regardless of how we personally feel about either ongoing war, our men and women should have priority pay. If any bank forcloses on them because of this debt ceiling thing I just don't know what may happen. Sad sad state of affairs this country has degenerated into.
    Excuse me while I go prep for SHTF.