I saw on ‘TelMyGov’ somewhere that an insightful member said something to the effect that ‘common sense was not so common’. It is a sad shame that more people who feel this way are not seated in office in Washington. There is something about that town that just sucks the common sense right out of people…kind of like MOB mentality.
I have my own ideas, not popular with everyone; probably not popular with many, but I regularly send my thoughts to my elected officials and it is amazing the responses that I get back. Sometimes they seem to agree. They always tell me what they are doing along the same lines as my thinking, but rarely are there any changes toward what I believe is a more ‘common sense’ approach to running the government and managing the taxpayers dollars. I thought I would just take a few minutes and share with anyone who wants to read it, a few of my thoughts on what would be a good start toward ‘fixing’ what is wrong with Washington.
First and foremost, you cannot run a household, business or a government very long without the simple premise of not spending more than you take in. In my home, we have had some really rough times over that past 30+ years. Ups and downs that have occurred when the economy changes, health problems arise, the car breaks down or any of a number of other crisis situations that always seem to raise their ugly heads. A balanced budget is the only way to insure that we stay on track. A budget is a compass that keeps you pointed in the right direction.
Every member of the family must take responsibility. By family, I mean citizens in this case (and those who are not citizens, but are working here legally). A flat 10% tax, across the board for individuals is the only FAIR way to tax citizens. The very poor need to be a part of the solution and the very wealthy should not have to carry an undue burden, just because they have been successful. With this flat tax, there should be NO loopholes, NO deductions, NO right offs, NO exemptions. If you earn it or are paid a dollar in the United States of America, then you should send the government one dime of that dollar. People who contribute to the solution are more inclined to take pride in the process. There should be a flat 12 – 15% tax on corporations with the same deal – No loopholes, No deductions, No exemptions. Get all the incentives out of the way and make the field a fair place to play and do business. One effect this might have is then the States would have more control in wooing businesses to set up shop within their boundaries – push control back to the state level (that’s another paragraph).
Being an elected official should be more of a service job instead of a career. It seems too often that the longer one is in Washington, the less he or she is in touch with the folks back home. There are exceptions. This will NEVER happen, but all federal government, elected officials that go into office after 2016 should NOT have a golden parachute type retirement. Give them the option of contribution to a 401k, just like many Americans who work in the private sector. The government could match, up to 5 or 6%. Make it portable, so that when they leave the government, they can roll it over, just like the rest of us have to do. Then make them subject to Social Security – it might get fixed a little faster. The salaries and expense account must be cut, as well. With technology the way that it is nowadays, there are more efficient ways to run offices. The Senator, Representative, etc. should have a secretary – Administrative Assistant. There should be a receptionist, some researchers, possibly, but endless staffs just are not necessary. Travel expenses are very questionable. Granted, they need to go back to their state and districts to be in touch with the people, but why not give them allowance for a set number of trips each year at a price equal to the price of a round trip ticket (preferably business class). If they want to use a private plane, then they pay all amounts over the yearly stipend. Companies operate off this idea. So, get our budget for the elected officials under control – by the way, what is up with Joe Biden charging the federal government $2200 per month for the rental home on his property for the Secret Service that are assigned to protect him??? (that’s a different topic).
Finally, the age for Medicare and Social Security needs to be raised to 70 or 72 years of age for all citizens who are 55 and younger. Technically, this is part of balancing the budget. Setting the cutoff at 55 will still allow people time to plan for retirement, without affecting those who are close to retirement age or already retired.
So, those a a couple of ideas that I have. I think they are ‘common sense’, but they are my ideas…. I don’t think I am alone. What I love about the idea of our constitution is, that ideas like this could be introduced, elected officials would discuss them and come up with a tweaked plan that would work – that never happens anymore. They are always throwing in an earmark for something that has NOTHING to do with the original idea…
Okay…time to get off my soapbox. If you made it through all of this rambling…thanks. What do you think???