CHICAGO, October 27, 2011―One has to wonder just what our elected officials are thinking. Or if they think at all. According to a New York Times/CBS poll, only 9% of the American public approve of the way Congress is “handling its job.”
Instead of bashing the rich, the banks, Wall Street, the poor, the unions, and all the other enemies the two political parties created, we, the Tea Party, the OWS and all the other 99% should attack the political institutions.
We should all Occupy DC. And move them all out.
Congress’ approval has dropped dramatically over the past few years. You might think they would get their act together and actually do something, anything, to earn some trust and approval from the American people. You know, us folks who send them there. You would think wrong.
By finally hitting the single digits, Congress has proven it is an unmitigated failure. This is not a problem of Democrats or Republicans. It is not Conservative or Liberal. It is not ideological at all.
It is a physical problem.
Politicians are deaf. We will leave it to mental experts to determine whether they are dumb.
The one thing politicians in Washington have is the ability to talk. They exhale so much verbiage they create wind storms of apocalyptic biblical proportions. Maybe there is a use for them: We can line them up in a field and create a wind farm to power the nation.
The hot air aside, the problem with Congress is their disloyalty to the people. Those who are elected by the people seem to forget just where their loyalty lies.
Instead they are loyal to their parties. They are especially loyal to their major campaign contributors. They are loyal to wealthy special interest groups on all sides of the political spectrum.
But they are not loyal to us, the people who elected them. They do not represent us. They couldn’t care less about you, me or the rest of the 99%, whoever they may be.
Oh, they blather about working families, the poor, unemployment, business, and whatnot, but it is all talk. At the end of the day there are no results. They sometimes come up with solutions to major problems, but their solutions are often worse than the problem. The exacerbate the situation instead of solving it.
That massive boat anchor health care bill is a perfect example.
Congress and the President are far out of touch with the American people. There is anger in the land and they are oblivious to it. There is a reason the Tea Party and Occupy movements have evolved and become popular.
People are just plain mad as hell.
But do the politicians listen? Do they feel the anger of the American public? Their 9% approval rating proves they do not. They just don’t care. Like the president, all they care about is keeping their jobs.
The solution? Make them part of the 99%.
In private industry you have to work. Your work must show some result - a product being assembled, a service rendered, something shipped. If there is no end result, your are on the unemployment line. They find someone else to do the job.
In elected positions, all you have to do is, well, um, ah, er - what is it they exactly do?
Politicians do not understand they are servants hired to work. Their job is to serve us. However, they refuse to be humble servants. They are generously compensated and have major benefit plan and they expect us to live a life of servitude.
It is time to change that equation and make the 99% a little less dissatisfied.
First, cut their pay. Demand that all federally elected officials take an immediate 25% pay cut. Then, every time the unemployment rate rises 1%, they take a further 10% pay cut.
Too bad if their pay goes into negative territory. If they can’t do their jobs, the should hire someone who can.
End their Rolls Royce health care plan. If they want health care let them buy their own.
Eliminate congressional pensions. This is the big solution. If they do not get pensions they cannot make a career out of politics. It would impose term limits without any of the constitutional problems.
Force them to work. Governance is not kindergarten. They do not need all that recess time to play. They get more vacations than the rich and famous they keep bashing. They should work a full five-day week, fifty weeks a year. They can get two weeks vacation like the rest of us. If they have to toil 80 hours a week to get things done, so be it. If they have to spend weekends playing catch up, well what do they think the rest of America - the 99% - is doing?
Last, tax them on one hundred percent of their income. Elected officials get no deductions, no exemptions, nothing. Since they control taxation, they should set an example and pay their fair share. While we are at it, take away the non-profit status of the the two political parties, too.
They raise billions of dollars a year. Let them pay taxes on one hundred percent of that income.
Unrealistic? Radical? Can anyone think of a better solution to get politicians to actually toil as servants of the people? To represent our needs? Politicians should be held to a higher standard than the average citizen. Instead of penalizing the enemies they created, we should penalize them.
Let the president and congress see how angry the public really is. Make them pay dearly to hold those offices. Maybe, just maybe, some level of responsibility will be created to make them worth more.
Or we move in and move them out.
Peter Bella is a retired Chicago Police Officer, freelance writer, freelance photographer, and consultant. He is a passionate cook and eater. He likes to be the sharp stick that pokes, annoys, and provokes. His opinions are his and his alone.
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