Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Subscribe to Congress

Magazines charge for subscriptions but they really make their money by selling advertising within their pages.  They need more subscribers to show the advertisers that their message will reach more people.  This way they are able to charge more for each ad.

So in a very real way when you subscribe to a magazine you are helping the publisher make far more money than your measly subscription cost.  And in fact your contribution is generally so small that it could be eliminated and not hurt the publications bottom line terribly.

Naturally they will not eliminate the charge because, well why the hell should they?

But magazine publishers therefore care more about their advertisers' beliefs than those of their subscribers.

In much the same way our leaders in Congress receive salaries paid for by our tax dollars.  But they do not need that money and it is small compared to the funding they receive from lobbies and special interest groups.  These extracurricular funds are commonly and rightfully known as bribes.

Now to be fair it costs a great deal of money for a Senator or Representative to serve in Congress.  They must have two homes and travel back and forth between the state they represent and DC.  They are away from their families for long periods of time and way too often for my taste.  In some cases they bring their families to DC and those incumbent costs are great.

When a congressman or woman weighs the costs of getting their lives under control they immediately realize that their base pay is just not going to cut it!  They must have an outside income and that need creates the seed that leads to the greed that opens the door to

So is there a solution to the problem that is skewing representation in government unfairly toward the special interest groups?

I propose a radical change in the pay schedule. 

Increase the pay rate for all members of congress to a level commensurate with mid-level CEOs in the corporate world.

But in return for this tremendous raise they must:

*  Pay for their health care insurance;
*  Pay into their social security fund
*  Fund their own 401Ks (sic)
*  Pay their own way to and from their home state (reimbursement for the farthest more costly states will be arranged based on an average distance to DC)

*  They will live in luxury dormitories for the extent of their terms with room for their families should they decide to buy tickets and visit. (Not mansions but well appointed apartments with round the clock security.  And note: These apartments are owned by the people!)

*  They will need a staff that can keep detailed records of all their Government Business expenses. (These will be reviewed in a timely fashion before reimbursement so receipts are necessary for expenses over $25.)

*  They should all be allowed two weeks of paid vacation during their first term and three weeks if reelected.

*  They should be allowed to have seven sick days per year.

*  But they can be docked up to 10% of their salaries for failing to vote or for not being present during 10% or more votes in Congress.  (A bonus and framed certificate may be issued for perfect attendance.)

*  After leaving office they will not be joining lobbies since no special interest group will be allowed to influence Congress.

*  If they still need to make a living after Government service they should have some skills they can use in their Golden Years, like the rest of the country.

*  Any Congressman found to be accepting, for lack of a better term a bribe will be immediately terminated with total loss of pay and pension benefits.

*  If that person is also found to have solicited the bribes they could receive jail time.

In this way we can make certain that when we buy a two or six year subscription to a Congressman by voting that person into office we will not be subjected to those annoying ads.

And hopefully we will finally be more important to them than any advertiser or lobbyist!

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