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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:35 AM

I think we could reasonably make Congress a part-time job

There is no reason with the smatterings of work that these folks do that we can't downsize Congress.

1. Make them all part-time. Give them all one aide at our expense...the rest of them have to be paid for with their money.

2. Shut down any offices they have in Washington that are taxpayer funded...but give them a stipend to run an office at home. After all, the local constituents should have a front row seat to who is really paying their elected official.

3. Take away all health insurance, retirement, vacay and other fringe benes. If it is good enough for us, it is good enough for them.

Can you imagine the money we would save?

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Arrow 15 replies Author Time Post
Reply I think we could reasonably make Congress a part-time job (Original post)
Horse with no Name Apr 2012 OP
Live and Learn Apr 2012 #1
Horse with no Name Apr 2012 #2
NV Whino Apr 2012 #3
muriel_volestrangler Apr 2012 #4
cali Apr 2012 #8
libtodeath Apr 2012 #5
Autumn Apr 2012 #6
cali Apr 2012 #7
baldguy Apr 2012 #9
cali Apr 2012 #10
Volaris Apr 2012 #11
cali Apr 2012 #12
Volaris Apr 2012 #14
bigtree Apr 2012 #13
Tierra_y_Libertad Apr 2012 #15

Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:41 AM

1. And only the rich would want the job.

Not a great idea in my opinion.

Do you really think all the millionaires in congress are doing it for the benefits?

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Response to Live and Learn (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:49 AM

2. The dynamic won't change

but at least it would save us money.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:04 AM

3. I dunno

They're already part time.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 08:29 AM

4. If you think there's so little for them to do that they should be part-time

then why give them any office staff anywhere? You're saying there's so little to the job that it shouldn't attract a full-time salary, and they should have to have a second job to make ends meet.

You're also saying this other job should provide all their health insurance and retirement benefits. How many hours do you think they should spend away from that other job before their employer is justified in saying "you're only part time here, I can't give you full benefits". Do you expect them to ever visit Washington DC, or would they work entirely from their home state where their main job is?

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 08:53 AM

8. +1

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 08:35 AM

5. I would say that make campaigns part time would be better

A month or less before election day,until that point they do the peoples work and then sink or swim on their actions.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 08:46 AM

6. Good idea. That way they can fuck us over part time

instead of full time.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 08:52 AM

7. first of all, it can't be done. Period. So what's the point of this fantasy?

Congress has dominion over... Congress.

Secondly, it's a bad idea even if you could implement it. Congress critters need a staff. With one aide, you'd have zilch in the way of constituent services. Couldn't possibly be done. Not to mention that you need staff to research issues and legislation.

I'm sorry but every time I see one of these posts, I'm shocked by how ridiculous they are.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 08:57 AM

9. America is by far the wealthiest nation on the planet, in the wealthiest epoch in human history.

Why should we allow ourselves to succumb to the insane RW Libertarian obsession with making the government - the very institution that exists to protect the majority from being exploited, robbed & murdered by the wealthy elites - small enough to drown in a bathtub & too weak to defend itself, much less anyone else? All because of the mistaken belief in the fable that it would "save money"?

How about this: Make public service a respected & honorable profession that requires a high level of education, intelligence and competence & pays very well, institute public financing of all political campaigns, and enact severe restrictions against bribery & corruption. Can you imagine how much we could get done?

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Response to baldguy (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 09:17 AM

10. You can't do that either.

What are you gonna do? Administer intelligence tests?

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Response to cali (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:05 AM

11. I would be satisfied with the goal of making it illegal to run for Senate

without a Masters degree in a field OTHER than Political Science or Law. If "Heroin Bob" or "Joe the Plumber" from around the way wants to run for the House, and has the numeric constituency to get his dumb-ass elected, well, fine, that's what the House is for, that's why the House is there as a legislative body. But the Senate is supposed to be composed of people a lil bit smarter than the Heroin Bob's of the world.

Besides, wouldn't it be nice to have ACTUAL environmental scientists on the Senate ENVIRONMENTAL protection committee for once? You, know, people who have the academic, scientific, and field-work background to know when say, a BP executive shows up to testify when he is and is not feeding them corporate-speak, pseudo-scientific bullshit?

I want a government composed of the smartest, most intellectually rigorous and ruthless motherfuckers I can find. That's MY definition of correct Representation.

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Response to Volaris (Reply #11)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:22 AM

12. yuck. ugh. boo. hiss.

I think that's a not so bright proposition. And elitist. Sickeningly elitist.

I know bright accomplished people who don't have any formal education beyond high school or who don't have anything beyond a B.A

In fact, my Senator has a B.A. in Political Science and nothing beyond that.

His name is Bernie Sanders.

This thread is just filled with, uh, not very smart "ideas".

I find it a bit scary.

Critical thinking is a good thing.

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Response to cali (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 11:40 AM

14. Fair enough...

I want to know though, if you agree with me that Bernie Sanders forms the EXCEPTION to the rule, rather than the standard, as far as model Senators are concerned?

Elitist? Yes. Again, I want the very best people I can find running the American Government. And I accept that there will be legitimate criticisms of how -I- define who is sufficiently qualified for that job. But the idea that these kinds of disagreements and the debates that arise from them are important to have is why we have a Democratic system, and I am all right with the implications of losing the argument and winding up in the political minority. I have to be, right?

Thank you for your opinion, Cali, it is welcome, as always=)

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 10:29 AM

13. that won't necessarily make it better; in some cases it will hurt progressive efforts

I don't think it's a coincidence that the state of Rick Perry and GWBush have opted for part-time governance with their part-time legislature.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Original post)

Sat Apr 28, 2012, 11:50 AM

15. We should try Demarchy.

"History has tried to teach us that we can't have good government under politicians.  Now, to go and stick one at the very head of government couldn’t be wise." Mark Twain

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demarchy

Demarchy (or lottocracy) is a form of government in which the state is governed by randomly selected decision makers who have been selected by sortition (lot) from a broadly inclusive pool of eligible citizens. These groups, sometimes termed "policy juries", "citizens' juries", or "consensus conferences", deliberately make decisions about public policies in much the same way that juries decide criminal cases.

Demarchy, in theory, could overcome some of the functional problems of conventional representative democracy, which is widely subject to manipulation by special interests and a division between professional policymakers (politicians and lobbyists) vs. a largely passive, uninvolved and often uninformed electorate. According to Australian philosopher John Burnheim, random selection of policymakers would make it easier for everyday citizens to meaningfully participate, and harder for special interests to corrupt the process.

More generally, random selection of decision makers from a larger group is known as sortition (from the Latin base for lottery). The Athenian democracy made much use of sortition, with nearly all government offices filled by lottery (of full citizens) rather than by election. Candidates were almost always male, Greek, educated citizens holding a minimum of wealth and status.

In the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, a group of citizens was randomly selected to create a Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform to investigate and recommend changes to the provinces' electoral systems. A similar system happened with the Dutch Burgerforum Kiesstelsel. The Old Order Amish use a combination of election and sortition to select church leaders; men receiving two or three nominations to fill a vacancy (the number varies by district) are then asked to select a psalm book containing a slip of paper, one of those slips being marked to indicate who will take on the burden of the position.

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