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Congressional Reform Act of 2011

PARADIGM_L0ST
Posts: 6,958
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8/15/2011 7:26:58 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'm not big on chain emails, but I thought this one was very thought-provoking. I just loved when Congress was considering not paying the military a few months ago, but didn't think to cut their own bloated salary out of the equation. The plan is featured below:

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. 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. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote for themselves, a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.

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.
"Have you ever considered suicide? If not, please do." -- Mouthwash (to Inferno)
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/15/2011 7:40:30 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I'll sign that. I don't think there was a single thing I disagreed with.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
DetectableNinja
Posts: 6,043
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8/15/2011 7:53:54 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
Hmmmm.....I approve of this. I....third the motion!
Think'st thou heaven is such a glorious thing?
I tell thee, 'tis not half so fair as thou
Or any man that breathes on earth.

- Christopher Marlowe, Doctor Faustus
Wnope
Posts: 6,924
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8/15/2011 8:00:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/15/2011 7:26:58 PM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
I'm not big on chain emails, but I thought this one was very thought-provoking. I just loved when Congress was considering not paying the military a few months ago, but didn't think to cut their own bloated salary out of the equation. The plan is featured below:

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. 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. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote for themselves, a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.

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.

There's already a constitutional amendment saying congressmen can't give themselves a pay raise. That's why, technically, Hilary's run for office was unconstitutional (she voted for a salary raise in congress which would raise the salary of the President).

Exactly what does 7 mean? Like, projects the government has bidded out are no longer valid? Appropriations choices are canceled?

Also, hate to be the bearer of bad news, but politicians don't make their money using congressional paychecks. They make it by getting hired for cushy jobs by contractors and other special interests (much, much easier than straight "money in a duffle bag" bribery). All this does is make them more dependent on that strategy.
Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/16/2011 10:35:18 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/15/2011 9:04:25 PM, darkkermit wrote:
So, we end the perks for congressmen and we just get sh!tty and more corrupt officials. Sounds like a plan.

Yeah, because giving them more money and more perks will make them white as wind blown snow.

Cut their perks so they are more in line with living in the real world, and pass laws to limit the power of special interest groups (basically, when they come into office, they have to sign the equivilent of a non-compete clause).
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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8/16/2011 4:46:55 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/16/2011 10:35:18 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 8/15/2011 9:04:25 PM, darkkermit wrote:
So, we end the perks for congressmen and we just get sh!tty and more corrupt officials. Sounds like a plan.

Yeah, because giving them more money and more perks will make them white as wind blown snow.

Strawman. It's basic economics. People take jobs based on perks and salary. If the salary and perks are low, less people, especially less qualified people are going to apply for the job. Don't expect any geniuses applying to a high-tech firm If you are offering minimum wage. Likewise, don't expect politician to become less corrupt and make stupider laws the less money they receive.

Let's not forget that money has decreasing marginal utility. The more money you have the less likely you are to steal or do something corrupt If one has the power, since the risk becomes less than the reward.

Of course, politicians still do this, the point is that it will be more widespread If you cut their salaries.

Cut their perks so they are more in line with living in the real world, and pass laws to limit the power of special interest groups (basically, when they come into office, they have to sign the equivilent of a non-compete clause).

So If your boss decides to lower your salary, you think it's going to make you live more in the 'real world', instead of I don't know quit or just be a sh!tty employee.
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Ore_Ele
Posts: 25,980
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8/16/2011 5:10:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/16/2011 4:46:55 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 8/16/2011 10:35:18 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 8/15/2011 9:04:25 PM, darkkermit wrote:
So, we end the perks for congressmen and we just get sh!tty and more corrupt officials. Sounds like a plan.

Yeah, because giving them more money and more perks will make them white as wind blown snow.

Strawman. It's basic economics. People take jobs based on perks and salary. If the salary and perks are low, less people, especially less qualified people are going to apply for the job. Don't expect any geniuses applying to a high-tech firm If you are offering minimum wage. Likewise, don't expect politician to become less corrupt and make stupider laws the less money they receive.

Basic physcology on the behavior of people would disagree. Also, ironically enough, basic economics only applies to perfect senerios, not reality (like supply and demand requires open competition and no trusts, which will naturally form).

People take jobs based on what they get out of it. It is not limited to salary and perks, but any benefit. By removing various perks and benefits, while leaving others, you essentially make sure you only get candidates that are interested in the perks you offer. Believe it or not, there are people that get an emotional reward for serving people. So we leave that emotional reward, while taking away the rewards and perks we don't want to use as bait.


Let's not forget that money has decreasing marginal utility. The more money you have the less likely you are to steal or do something corrupt If one has the power, since the risk becomes less than the reward.

That is weighted. A rich person is less likely to steal $20 than a poor person. That does not mean a rich person is less likely to steal overall. (let's assume the marginal utility curve is linear, just for simplicity) If a person making $200,000 a year is given the opportunity to steal (or any other negative action, like take a bribe) $50,000,000, compared to a person making $35,000 a year with the opportunity to steal (or any other negative action) $30,000, the marginal utility will actually stipulate that the richer person is more likely to steal than the poor.

That is why lobbyist laws and the equivilent of non-compete contracts should be implimented. It creates a larger punishment (thus creating more risk, and pushing people towards the "don't do it" mentality).

The main reason for cutting health insurance is not to punish them, but to help them understand what the people that they represent are living like.

I'd like to say that they get paid 1.5x the national average of 25-75 percentiles of american workers. That way, by taking action to raise the wages of the middle class, they are raising their own pay.


Of course, politicians still do this, the point is that it will be more widespread If you cut their salaries.

Cut their perks so they are more in line with living in the real world, and pass laws to limit the power of special interest groups (basically, when they come into office, they have to sign the equivilent of a non-compete clause).

So If your boss decides to lower your salary, you think it's going to make you live more in the 'real world', instead of I don't know quit or just be a sh!tty employee.

If my job was to represent the population, I should have perks and pay that allow me to live in a manner similar to the population.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
mongoose
Posts: 3,500
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8/16/2011 10:02:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
I support all except the "Congressional pay will raise" part.
It is odd when one's capacity for compassion is measured not in what he is willing to do by his own time, effort, and property, but what he will force others to do with their own property instead.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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8/16/2011 10:44:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
It is not limited to salary and perks, but any benefit. By removing various perks and benefits, while leaving others, you essentially make sure you only get candidates that are interested in the perks you offer.
When formal salaries are reduced, you only get people who are interested in the perk of informal salaries (graft), according to this idea.
It came to be at its height. It was commanded to command. It was a capital before its first stone was laid. It was a monument to the spirit of man.
darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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8/16/2011 11:46:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 8/16/2011 5:10:41 PM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 8/16/2011 4:46:55 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 8/16/2011 10:35:18 AM, Ore_Ele wrote:
At 8/15/2011 9:04:25 PM, darkkermit wrote:
So, we end the perks for congressmen and we just get sh!tty and more corrupt officials. Sounds like a plan.

Yeah, because giving them more money and more perks will make them white as wind blown snow.

Strawman. It's basic economics. People take jobs based on perks and salary. If the salary and perks are low, less people, especially less qualified people are going to apply for the job. Don't expect any geniuses applying to a high-tech firm If you are offering minimum wage. Likewise, don't expect politician to become less corrupt and make stupider laws the less money they receive.

Basic physcology on the behavior of people would disagree. Also, ironically enough, basic economics only applies to perfect senerios, not reality (like supply and demand requires open competition and no trusts, which will naturally form).

Show how basic psychology disagrees? And yes, I realize that supply and demand isn't perfect. However, it's a good model and applies in the scenario.

People take jobs based on what they get out of it. It is not limited to salary and perks, but any benefit.

Well sure people can be productive without a financial incentive. However, financial incentives will increase the probability that they will become more productive. More qualified people will apply to a higher paying job due to opportunity costs. General a productive member of society has many opportunities for high paying jobs, so why take a sh!tty congressman job where you get nothing and people think your a general prick no matter what.

If I get known for being that @sshole who created a libertarian state, I want to at least get well compensated for being that @sshole.

By removing various perks and benefits, while leaving others, you essentially make sure you only get candidates that are interested in the perks you offer.

The perks of bribery and corruption will always exist.

Believe it or not, there are people that get an emotional reward for serving people. So we leave that emotional reward, while taking away the rewards and perks we don't want to use as bait.


Except you can't be happy as a politician. No matter what, people will always hate you. So you might as well get money. Also, monetary reward does not mean that the person cannot get an emotional reward.


Let's not forget that money has decreasing marginal utility. The more money you have the less likely you are to steal or do something corrupt If one has the power, since the risk becomes less than the reward.

That is weighted. A rich person is less likely to steal $20 than a poor person. That does not mean a rich person is less likely to steal overall. (let's assume the marginal utility curve is linear, just for simplicity) If a person making $200,000 a year is given the opportunity to steal (or any other negative action, like take a bribe) $50,000,000, compared to a person making $35,000 a year with the opportunity to steal (or any other negative action) $30,000, the marginal utility will actually stipulate that the richer person is more likely to steal than the poor.

So what? The man with $30,000 is still going to steal $50,000,000 if given the opportunity. And the man making $35,000 is less likely to steal the $30,000.

That is why lobbyist laws and the equivilent of non-compete contracts should be implimented. It creates a larger punishment (thus creating more risk, and pushing people towards the "don't do it" mentality).

Don't know what non-compete contracts are, however the main problem with lobbyist law is that one can never tell whether a lobbyist is simply 'rent-seeking' or legitimately just trying to defend his or her company that will obviously have negative economic impacts. The lobbyist just wants to explain why the law is completely wrong.

The main reason for cutting health insurance is not to punish them, but to help them understand what the people that they represent are living like.

However, a politician can just be rich anyways, and not have to worry about healthcare. Likewise, a politician could have come from a poor background and understand that. Also, how far does this 'empathy' crap need to go? Does a politician need to be a doctor to know what health insurance is like? Or to work at a health insurance company? Be a CEO?

I'd like to say that they get paid 1.5x the national average of 25-75 percentiles of american workers. That way, by taking action to raise the wages of the middle class, they are raising their own pay.

Yes, you can just use your magic wand of government to raise the wage of the middle class.


Of course, politicians still do this, the point is that it will be more widespread If you cut their salaries.


Cut their perks so they are more in line with living in the real world, and pass laws to limit the power of special interest groups (basically, when they come into office, they have to sign the equivilent of a non-compete clause).

Or they can just realize its easier to be more corrupt. Also living the way of a 'middle-class' person doesn't mean you live in the real world. You stil don't live of everyone. The poor, the rich. Everyone is different, not some aggregate mass. You can't have politicians experience the lives of everyone to make laws. Empathy has no role in policy.

So If your boss decides to lower your salary, you think it's going to make you live more in the 'real world', instead of I don't know quit or just be a sh!tty employee.

If my job was to represent the population, I should have perks and pay that allow me to live in a manner similar to the population.

You can never live similar to the population, since it is not an aggregate but a collection of individuals living vastly different lives.
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