Friday, March 1, 2013

Congress ... Nothing More Than a Room Full of Idiots

I try not to get political on my blog, but today I just have to speak up.  If you have watched the news any time in the past few weeks, you will know that the so-called "Sequester" has arrived.  This means large spending cuts in the federal budget for the United States.  I am in favor of spending cuts in order to lower the deficit.  I'm not necessarily in favor of arbitrary cuts that are not carefully analyzed for their impact.  But, this is not about the sequester.  This is about the incompetence and ineptitude of the United States government.

For weeks, I have watched as the Democrats and Republicans spent all of their time pointing fingers and blaming everyone but themselves for the sequester.  Instead of sitting down at a table and come up with solutions, they would rather try to protect their own skin by casting blame on others.  The Senate blames the House.  The House blames the Senate.  Congress blames Obama, and Obama blames the Congress.  Republicans blame Democrats, and Democrats blame Republicans.  It is an endless loop in what has become par for the course in Washington.  

In the mean time, the average citizen in this country sits back and suffers from the financial instability that all of this causes.  Over the past few years, I have become so disgusted with the federal government's inability to function.  It has become an increasing farce that has turned our democratic process into a laughing stock.  The dysfunction in Congress is worse than Al Bundy's family from the old sitcom "Married ... With Children".  

It infuriates me to watch the ongoing bickering, and lack of progress from Congress on any issue.  In any corporation in America, an employee that was as dysfunctional as Congress is would have been fired a long time ago.  To add insult to injure, Congress gets to decide when they get a raise.  That seems a it unfair considering that the American people are the ones that pay the salaries for all of the Congressmen.  In my job, I am compensated based on my performance.  I only get a raise or bonus if I perform well.  Yet, Congress can vote themselves a raise anytime that they want whether they have done a good job or not.

When this great nation was first conceived, the idea of serving in political office was considered a privilege, not a career.  Yet, many of the politicians in Congress treat their position as a career, a career that they fight hard to keep.  The politicians in Congress are more concerned about keeping their seats than doing what is truly best for the country.  With am approval rating that is lower than it has ever been before, I think a large percentage of the country agrees with me.

So, I have come up with a few suggestions for Congress.  I doubt that any Congressman will ever have the balls to suggest any of these.  And I certain doubt that if one did, that the others would balk instantly.

1. Term Limits in Congress: Many Congressmen have held their office for years, firmly seated in their position with their primary concern focused on how to stay in that office.  The President of the United States has term limits.  Why not in Congress?  If you set term limits, you have a better chance of bringing in fresh faces potentially with new ideas that could benefit our country.  Congressmen might also be less likely to worry about re-election if they know that they can only remain in office for so many years.

2. Congressional Compensation: Shouldn't the American people be the ones to determine if Congress gets a pay raise?  Are we not the ones that can better judge if they are doing a good job and deserve more money?  Let's put it to a vote.  When Congress wants a raise, they should be asking the American people for it, not deciding themselves.  Congressmen are well compensated for what they do, but why should they get a raise if they are not performing their work?

3. No Budget, No Pay: This one has been suggested by other people in the past.  Unfortunately, they were never elected.  This one is simple.  If Congress doesn't pass a budget each year, they don't get paid.

4. Budget Cuts Should Be Universal: If government employees are forced to take pay cuts, perhaps Congress should too.  Most Congressmen make far more money than other government employees, so why should they not also feel the sting of a pay cut?  The same should go for their benefits.  If cuts are made in benefits to government employees, then Congress should feel them too.

So, how many of these suggestions do you think would fly in Congress?  None.  All of these would impact the well-being of the members of Congress.  However, Congress is constantly willing to remain immobile and cause hardship for the citizens of America.  

Congress, please get off your ass, stop bickering, stop finger pointing, stop worrying about saving your precious office, and start working together for the good of our country.  

And, to my fellow Americans, let's stop voting these idiots into office, and get some fresh people who will truly represent us into Congress.

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