Some friends of mine sent me the following chain e-mail last night.
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971…before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land…all because of public pressure.
I’m asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1. Term Limits. 12 years only, one of the possible options below..
A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms
2. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
3. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.
4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 10-1-11
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S. ) to receive the message. Maybe it is time..
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete
I think the frustration many Americans feel with Congress is thoroughly justified, but these proposals don’t get at the real problems, which are (1) the power of big money in campaigns and elections, (2) the way Congress, their staffs and members of the Executive Branch take jobs with powerful vested interests when out of office and (3) gerrymandering of congressional districts to create uncontested seats.
I think that, all other things being equal, experience is a good thing, not a bad thing. Lobbyists don’t automatically retire after a maximum number of years. Increasing the number of new and inexperienced congresspeople will not reduce the lobbyists’ influence.
Note that, under the 27th amendment to the Constitution, no pay raise for Congress can go into effect until after the subsequent election. As a historical footnote, that amendment was enacted 182 years after being introduced as part of the original Bill of Rights in 1789.
I agree with having Congress participate in Social Security and Medicare, but don’t think that a proper subject for a constitutional amendment.
The Constitutional amendments I would favor are as follows:
To require legislative districts, on the state as well as the federal level, be drawn up by nonpartisan commissions based on rational criteria, and to allow districting to be challenged in court based on irrationality.
To limit the rights given a “person” under the Constitution to individual human beings, not corporations, organizations or groups.
The first proposed amendment would make elections competitive, or at least more competitive than they are now. I don’t agree, by the way, with drawing district boundaries to create racial safe seats for member of minority groups.
The second proposed would make it possible to limit the power of corporate and organizational money in politics without somebody claiming this was a violation of free speech rights. Individuals within a corporation or organization have free speech rights. A corporation is not a person; it is an organizational structure, created by law, to give certain privileges to members of the corporation. Curbing the power of corporations would still be a difficult struggle. Such an amendment would prevent the struggle from being an impossible one.
The proposals in the chain e-mail do not get at the root of the problem. We should be concerned about the ventriloquists, not the dummies.