ELDER PATRIOT – No matter which side of the aisle people are on they all agree on one thing, the government is broken. And, while the majority of Congress may get their will when voting on legislation, the majority of the American people do not.
Legislators leave office far wealthier when they complete their work in Washington. The American taxpayer winds up poorer. Over the same periods of time, corporations and banks experience robust growth in valuations and asset values. America’s workers are diminished in quantity and experience little to no real growth in their compensation or equities.
Everyone is looking for the magic pill to fix government. Many are fixated on term limits. It’s a start but, by no means, would it be sufficient to fix what ails government by itself. So, here are one man’s ideas:
- Return the appointment of senators to the individual statehouses of the states that they represent. Does it occur to anyone else that there’s something wrong with senators from small states receiving more campaign dollars from other states than their own? Government works best when accountability is closest to the people being represented. This would be accomplished by putting the appointment of each state’s senators in the hands of state legislators. The people of any individual state should not require the imprimatur of a national political party when deciding who can best represent them. Any diminishment of the powers of the two major political parties would be good for the democratic process. The Founders had it right when the Constitution was written.
- Return the U.S. House of Representatives to apportionment based on 30-35,000 residents as James Madison suggested. This would mean each representative would have a very narrow focus of responsibility to his constituents. They would not be able to hide behind conflicting constituent needs, which so many now do in order to support a favored special interest. With 10,000 representatives, there would also be the added benefit of making payoffs by special well-moneyed interests to affect legislation all but impossible. Finally, the power of the two major political parties in determining your representative would be greatly diminished helping to restore more democracy to the process. Again, the Founders had it right when they gave us the Constitution. With today’s modern communication technologies returning to this level of apportionment would be possible.
- All legislation must be submitted and voted on by single page bills. It’s unseemly and destructive of the democratic process that bills of 1000 or 2000 pages are commonplace and never read by those voting for them. Senators and representatives would be accountable for each and every page on which they vote. They would not be able to hide behind the “totality” of the bill as necessary for passage while representing to their constituents that they had no other choice in the voting process but to include it. It’s doubtful widespread surveillance of the American people would’ve been approved if it weren’t hidden in the middle of 1000 pages on some high sounding bill. The single page voting process would have the added benefit of eliminating the pork from our legislative process, saving us hundreds of billions of dollars in the process.