1. No Tenure/No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no benefits when they’re out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) should participate in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system. 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, if they choose, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote 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. Both Houses of Congress have a responsibility to pass a budget by June 30th or forfeit their pay until they do. This is the only way the electorate knows what they are doing. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators. Ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
(Most of these proposals came from an interview Warren Buffett had with CNBC last year.)
The U.S. Senate passed a budget last month. It was only a trillion or so out of balance and included a billion in new taxes with almost no attention to the deficit problem.
And now the biggest surprise, four years and two months past the constitutional deadline, our Imperial President is about to unveil his first budget proposal today. It will be somewhat similar to the Senate version and includes $1.8 trillion in deficit reduction through spending cuts and tax increases.
Hard to see how either budget plan will get adopted with a $17 trillion dollar debt and both Social Security and Medicare facing imminent bankruptcy.
Both entitlement programs currently pay out about two to three times in benefits more than they received in premiums. The budget must face up to this situation or our fiscal problems will continue to mount.
Until BOTH parties are willing to embrace the following three principles and move on then decisively, we will continue to fall deeper into the fiscal abyss and do nothing to ameliorate the open hostility and dysfunction in our government.
- Meaningful entitlement reform
- A complete overhaul of the tax code to produce more revenue
- An almost balanced budget
Why is this so hard? It’s really not brain surgery. Both parties talk about it and do nothing. A pox on both their houses.