Thursday, March 21, 2013

Dear John

He's at it again. John Boehner is whining the same old tune. Another debt ceiling fight is coming and he wants dollar for dollar spending cuts for every dollar the debt ceiling is increased.

I have some ideas for spending cuts, but I don't think he'll like them very much.

  • Let's start by paying House and Senate members minimum wage. Let's see how quickly they pass a bill to increase it.
  • Like most every working American, members will be given two weeks vacation every year and one sick day for every month worked.

  • Take away their top-of-the-line government funded health care and offer them Medicare, which requires them to pay their own Medicare parts B, C and D like all seniors are required to do. If they don’t like the coverage afforded through those plans, they are welcome to get their own at their own expense. They should, after all, be able to find something reasonable through the insurance exchanges offered by the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. Hopefully their states opted-in to the exchanges.

  • Members will no longer be allowed the extensive tax write offs for their jobs. They are not self-employed business people. They are government employees. They can pay their own taxes like all other employed citizens and government employees.

  • Under no circumstances will they be given free food, business lunch expense accounts, free transportation, golf games, theater or athletic event tickets or any other perks for members of Congress. They can take bag lunches or pay for their own diner meals like everyone else.

  • The hefty pensions members receive after five years of service will be discontinued. They can live on Social Security like everybody else. We'll see how quickly they start slashing those benefits.

  • Each member will be limited to one staff assistant and one secretary. They should be required to answer their own emails and return their own phone calls. They're spoiled by having dozens of people take care of them.

  • The government will provide each member with a small office space of no more than 1,200 square feet (about the size of a home owned by a person of moderate means) and the office must be located in their home district in a neighborhood strip mall or modest office building. No high rises or luxury office suites.

  • Members will be required to stay in their home districts 90% of the time, and should only travel to Washington for things like the State of the Union address, etc. Members of Congress can confer from their home districts via Skype. Congressional offices and buildings could be scaled back and only opened when needed, saving taxpayers millions, if not billions of dollars.

  • When members must travel to Washington, they must choose the least expensive mode of travel. If flying is the least expensive, all members must fly commercial coach not first class or private plane.

  • Members will be required to punch a time clock in their home office every single day and spend their work day meeting with constituents from all levels of society, instead of with lobbyists, journalists or fund raising for their next election.

  • Members should be suspended without pay if they violate any of these rules.

Now, John. Shut up and go back to work.

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