A Political Platform?

“Why not take the five ideas from your first post and bundle them together as a political platform? Then ask candidates to pledge to fight for those proposals if they get into office.”

— “Massachusetts: Cradle of Revolution”

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  1. Amherst, NH says:

    I thought term limits were a good idea, but consider what happened here in 2008. Pelosi gave Hodes and Shea-Porter permission to vote against the Democrat’s bill when it appeared that NH sentiment was so strong against it that they might lose their elections. If there were term limits, they’d have no incentive to vote what their constituents want- they wouldn’t be able to be be relected so their votes would be up for sale to their party bigwigs: Lucrative post congressional jobs, or bribes of some nature. We saw it again with the bribes to get some hesitant Congressmen to vote for the health care bill.

    Maybe we need to reduce their pay level, restrict post service employment opportunities- something like an employment non-compete clause in the private sector- forbid ALL campaign contributions and have the government pay a small amount for advertising. (But I’m dreaming).

  2. Del Ray Beach, FL says:

    Term limits are needed. The recent race to fill Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts was a perfect example. The seat was being called ‘Teddy’s seat” not only by Coakley but by the national media as well. Scott Brown smartly jumped all over that comment.

    Congressional service is just that – service to your country. The current spirit of entitlement that pervades our elected government officials leads to individuals worrying more about getting re-elected than serving the interests and wishes of their constituents. Yes, there would be issues like those which Bill details below, but in the long run, congressmen would be more likely to say “How much can I accomplish in 1 or 2 terms?” versus “How long can I hold on to this cushy job?”

    In addition, as our societal priorities evolve, we would have the opportunity to elect an individual who was more likely tuned in to those trends and not have to battle to unseat a life-long incumbent whose priorities could be a generation old.

    Term limits along with tort reform, are, in my humble opinion, the 2 things that would most begin a turnaround of the country.

  3. Amherst, NH says:

    Term limits have their attractions, and in a perfect world they wouldn’t be necessary because those who served would recognize, as you so aptly put it, that ‘Congressional service is just that – service to your country.’
    My hesitation about limits is that just putting in limits might actually create a worse problem. Think of McCain-Feingold campaign reform. That’s an area that needs reform badly, but their bill probably made it worse. Rather than term limits, which may be attacking the symptoms rather than the cause, maybe what needs to be done is to change the system that makes it so lucrative to be a Congressman that they want to stay there forever. As you said, eliminate the “cush(y)”iness from the job and the emphasis goes to accomplishments- and probably only attracts those who truly want to accomplish something. Also, term limits would cost us the services and experience of those who truly serve US. Gregg, Rudman, Nunn, Alexander, Lugar, Kemp, McCain, and while I disagree with most of his policies, Ted Kennedy also fit that mold. I’m sure there are others, but I think it’s not a bad idea to have some “greybeards” around.

    Hopefully, the Mass Senate election will wake up the zealots at both ends of the spectrum to tone it down and move to the center so maybe some problems can be alleviated.

  4. Vittorio Bares says:

    Representatives should spend MOST of their time in the states they represent. Why is everyone hangin’ around Washington? It’s like a tax orgy, too much of a good thing. Creates a breeding ground for the good ol’boy attitudes.
    We’ve got lots of technology, they can work remote and only go to Washington for important events.

    Second – I agree – when the average salary of a representative is 4-5 times what the average American brings home, plus benefits and tax breaks, health insurance, etc, etc – there’s too much incentive for that individual to make decisions just to maintain a good thing, their job. Salaries need to be reduced and a willingness to serve your country restored.

    Third – and this is the tough one. Flat tax 10%. There will be a collossal upheaval for all the people that are employed due to our tax system – however, it won’t be an overnight change – there will be a transition. We were able to transition from the carbeurator to an injection system, from vinyl records, to MP3’s and so on – America can and must make this change as well. If you make $1 or you make $1B dollars, its simple you pay 10%…
    I wish I knew how to reduce government in a realistic way – reducing special interest, etc…

  5. Forgotten Man says:

    Fire the lot of them, Congress that is. They are beholden to special interests, have forgotten who they are supposed to be serving (not themselves, their egos, or their pocket books), and are too partisan to get the job done. And health care, forget it! Way too complex for Congress to handle.

  6. Atlanta says:

    Term limits are a great idea if you can get congress or candidates for congress to support them. The main thing I like here is that it’s a plan of action. Most people are happy to take the time to vent their spleens about politicians and deficits, but they aren’t willing to do anything constructive or even agree on a plan. There is no evidence that a new president or a new congress will fix anything. These proposals offer the hope of real change. Let’s quit whining and do something about this.

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