It has always been easy for our elected officials to play the voters against each other, Democrats versus Republican, Conservative versus Liberal, all the while telling us that they are working for our best interests. Their inability to accomplish anything, blamed on the ubiquitous ‘Them’.
They keep pointing out the enemy to keep us deaf and blind. – Dire Straits
It is time for us to stop lashing out at each other and start focusing our efforts on the people who are supposed to be affecting change, those voted into office and those wanting to be voted into office.
No longer should we accept platitudes in exchange for our demands. No longer should we tolerate a dismissive “I’ll look into that”, or “I’ll see what I can do”, or “It’s more complicated than that”. That’s not what we hear when they attach riders to bills, filibuster to stop votes and negotiate behind closed doors. They have the power to make things happen. Let’s make them!
Our elected officials need to rethink their roles. Let’s be clear, they work for us. Everything they do should be driven to improving the lives of the citizens of this country and not special interests and least of all their own, personal interests.
They need to adopt the old motto from U.S Savings Bonds, “It’s good for the County”.
How will we know when they are doing that? It will be easy. When our lives are better, their lives will be better. When we suffer, they will suffer. When they enact laws, it will be with the understanding that it applies to everyone, including them. Only by subjecting themselves to the laws they pass, the failures of their inaction and participating as a member of the Public they serve, will they truly represent us.
Our elected officials need to come down from their pedestals and represent the voters. They need to experience the life they are subjecting us to. They need to remember that they are public servants, not public taskmasters or overlords.
Our Senators and Congressmen get paid $174,000 per year. Congress gets automatic pay raises, unless they vote to deny it to themselves. This amount does not include all the things that are paid for them as a consequence of their job, offices, staff, travel, etc.
They are fully vested in the Federal retirement plan after 5 years of work. They can get paid up to 80% of their salary when they retire.
I’m tired of voting to put people into office, expecting things to change and they don’t. We need to tell them that they have to commit to a plan of change, before they will get our vote. If their opponent will, the opponent gets the vote. If either of them say they will make changes and then gives us the lame excuses when it doesn’t happen, we start a recall vote or vote them out of office in 4 years.
We as the BiPartisan Voters understand that none of us will get everything we want, but we will all get some of what we want and regain control of our government in the process. What our elected officials apparently cannot accomplish, we can.
It doesn’t seem to matter which party we vote for, because they all behave the same once in office, but as bipartisan voters, we can swing a pretty large axe and we can start felling some politicians, figuratively. The longer these people are in office, the more powerful they become, the more combative they become and the more inflexible. They quickly stop serving our interests and become the minions of their party. These are not who we want leading the country.
We need to change the role of Congressman from being a power position, back to a service position. Maybe if it paid 50% of what it gets now, fewer of the fat cats would want the job. Then we could get public servants elected.
Here’s what I posted on one candidate’s site and will post on all Congressional candidate websites and will tell them when I see them:
Here are three things I want out of Congress;
1. Term limits of no more than 3 terms for any member of Congress
2. When Congress shuts down the government, their paychecks stop
3. Congress can not exclude themselves from the laws they impose on the Public
That last item has a couple of points to it: Congressional retirement has to be the same as the Public’s, they can live on their savings, investments, Social Security and Medicare, like the rest of us. No Pension, no continued free healthcare.
If they pass a law like ObamaCare, they cannot exclude themselves or their staff as participants by some political wrangling.
Congress needs to start seeing themselves as part of, and responsible to, the Public and not separate from us.
BTW, “I’ll see what I can do” will not be adequate. There needs to be an implementation plan. They need to write it and commit to it, before we commit our vote. Then, once elected, they need to push it for passage, or we’ll be back to cast a vote that they won’t like.
I think it’s time they started committing to what we want, before we start voting for them.
What do you think?
Paid for by Citizens For Brady W Burke
Brady W Burke, Treasurer