Aug 5, 2009

Politician Reform Movement

Our politicians have failed.

If you still believe that the Democrats and the Republicans are actually separate forces that represent their local constituencies you have fallen victim to their largest and most successful lie that they've ever perpetrated. It's so successful, that it's been going on for the last 233 years.

The idea that the government is here to help seems to be gaining some pretty serious traction lately.

The government is here to save us from the Great Recession, Carbon Dioxide, Swine Flu, and the Evil Satanic Insurance Companies... to name a couple off the top of my head. Don't even get me started on Katrina - but that's so last Administration.

Let's look at that track record of our gang in there now with a tiny bit of focus- First, the Great Stimulus. No one knows where the stimulus money is or if it's worked, or if anyone ever had any actual money for non-existent 'shovel ready' projects - or if it's just going straight in to bankrupt State government coffers that are empty because they spent like there was no tomorrow. What's the plan? Let's print more money. The Chinese will buy it, right? Not working? Well, we have to do a second stimulus plan - just to be sure. And we better give the Fed more power with less oversight while we're at it.

In the meantime, they've made the previous Bush deficit spending look like pocket change. There are two active wars on, there are US troops deployed in more than 150 [1] countries around the world, with more than 369,000 of its 1,379,551[2] active-duty troops serving outside the United States and its territories. But the President canceled the F-22 Raptor because 'it cost too much.' He had to force the Congress to stop funding it. Wow. That's great work. It's like taking one deck chair off the Love Boat and to pick up some more speed. Way to stand up to military-industrial complex, you guys.

In saving us from the great evil of Carbon Dioxide - which you and I expel after we inhale oxygen - they're going to give us Cap & Trade -- which will add about $200 to your monthly budget. Since the Democrats have never heard of Milton Friedman, they don't know that if you tax a business then those taxes will roll off the evil corporation's back and onto their consumers. Look for increased gasoline, electricity, and natural gas prices in your utility bills. Also the price of you groceries and beer will increase as the prices reflect off the producers increased bill for utilities go up as well. Perhaps we'll see the end of 'cheap food'? I only wish I could afford to smoke, because I wouldn't be hungry anymore.

Not that it matters, Cap & Trade doesn't actually reduce carbon emissions - it only creates another commodities market and a way to shuffle the carbon emissions around. Everyone keeps on polluting. No matter, as long as Congressional buddies are making some money, right?

Oh, but they're going to protect us from Swine Flu! Just yesterday Janet Napolitano said that when school restarts in two weeks, Swine Flu is going to wipe us all out. Well that's a bummer. I guess that's their 'ultimate solution' to social security and unemployment, eh? Never mind the fact that as of right now, Global Swine Flu deaths have reached a staggering 1,100. That makes this pandemic more than 1/3rd as deadly as the 9/11 attacks! Watch out! Let's declare war on swine flu!

If you need to see more examples of your elected officials in action... The Government takes a couple grand of your money and gives it to your neighbor to buy a new car. The neighbor, declares program "successful" and "wildly popular." Welcome to the basics of Cash for Clunkers. Then, Congress runs out of money - without having even written one check. The computers crash. There's mounds and mounds of red tape. No one knows what's going to happen to the cars once they're brought in - and if they end up in the junk yard, the junk yard will be flooded with parts making their business model fall apart and need a Cash for Junk bail out. Yeah, that's our government in action.

My Soap Box Full of Solutions.

I've decided to get off my rump ass to stop bitchin' and start sayin'. In other words, to offer some solutions.

If the current government is going to wreck the health care and insurance industries without taking into account that a majority don't want the government to interfere with 19% of the GDP -- let's start talking about some real solutions... and we can do that by fixing our government. More importantly, Congressional Politician Reform.

If they keep pushing for more unchecked power, then I'm going to push back. Here's some great ideas I've come up with.

1. Volunteers Only. It works pretty well for our military - let's our Congress carry on that same kind of patriotic duty as well. There will be no money for our politicians either. But that's okay, because they're already multimillionaires anyway.

2. Term Limits. And since they're volunteering their time, we sure don't want to keep them locked into the humid atmosphere of Washington D.C. too long. Let's let them leave after they've taken a couple terms in the chair. How about three terms in the House, and two in the Senate. That's IF they really want to stay.... and convince enough people that they did a good enough job to be re-elected. So that'd be a max of six in the House, and 12 years in the Senate. I think that's fair.

3. Freedom of Information. All conversations will be recorded as part of the public record. No more back room deals, or letting the fraternity buddies write the legislation. All phones and cell phones are on 'conference' mode, and all their rooms are wired for sound. We can make it fun too, we can have camera crews follow around all of our elected officials all the time. You know, for a C-Span Survivor/Reality show for the folks back home. Even if no one except staffers from the John Stewart Show watch the raw footage - it'll make catching Larry Craig and the whole State of New Jersey a whole hell of a lot easier. Hey, if they can tape us with warrantless wiretaps - I say, let's do it to them. They're OUR employees after all - all I'm saying is let's keep it fair.

4. Campaigns. All campaigns will be on the very grass root efforts: Personal effort, no checks. If I want to make a sign or a billboard for my favorite candidate - awesome. Canvas the town. Knock on doors. Have a bake sale or a pot-luck. But let's not burden our elected officials with the trouble of having to set up a PAC or a campaign war chest. It's just too darn hard to keep track of what's okay for the campaign and what's okay personal use. Can I use campaign funds for mistresses and hiding dead hookers? Let's remove the gray areas for them. We'll just make our own signs and YouTube videos, okay? We'll just do it all for them. We'll set up some rules so that everyone has submission guidelines... we won't lie or use bad language. We won't be negative. And, hey, since the airwaves are the People's as well - let's mandate that PBS and NPR have to give every candidate some air time, for free and also for some debates. And we won't require it of the dog catcher - but we will for the Federal candidates. And you know, I think that the Networks can choose to not give away our air that we're letting them use. They have to air American Idol everynight, don't you know? Fine, and that's cool. But they either give back our airtime for the elections - or they can pay the American people a penalty through the FCC for NOT giving free airtime to local candidates. It's only fair.

5. Donated stuff not money. Office supplies, temps, and whatnot - if a corporation wants to win favor with bribes or sway one of our employees to vote a particular way - hey, that's really tough for us to stop! But instead of giving our Congresspeople skiing trips, or fancy meals or hookers and blow let's make new rules that will be that corporations can only 'donate' what they make. Oh, and it has to stay in their Congressional office, otherwise it'd be a gift and not a donation. So, if a company makes copy machines, then Senator Franken can use their donated copy machine. If a company sells a search engine, well, then maybe they can get him a computer with their search engine on it. Oil? Well, they can give him oil... but I don't know where he'd put a barrel of oil. Maybe in the closet? Remember, only tangible physical objects can be given to our members of Congress. I think that's only fair.

6. Leadership will be selected not by seniority but by tests. I haven't decided if these tests should be contests of the mind like Jeopardy or of physicality - like the Battle of the Network Stars. I think a combination of both - and aired on television would be quite excellent. At the very least, an essay in the form of op-eds in the New York Times, or a debate that would happen on Meet the Press. Internet voting and text messaging from the people would determine the Speaker of the House and also the President pro tempore of the Senate. "I'll take Constitutional powers for 400, Alex." That'd be geeky awesome. We can have Howard Dean and Paula Abdul advise the audience who would be a better Speaker, but it'll be up to the people to decide. Frankly, at least a minor written test would be better than the system we have now. We can't afford any more Nancy Pelosis or Newt Gingrich types running that House.

7. Simple Congressional Districts. This nonsense of redrawing districts to get pockets of nice people who agree with you, and not having exciting knuckle drag out fist fights for votes is just asinine. We need real debate and real solutions. No more goofing around with these insane Tetris looking districts. Square boxes for congressional districts in every state. Wyoming, you are just making it too easy. West Virginia, I know you're going to be a pain in the ass about this, but these are desperate times.

8. Internet voting for the constituents back home. Ross Perot was on to this idea back in 1991. He said that the Republic is just about technically ready to be a Democracy. Meaning the Internet was just about ready to let the People actually cast votes instead of their Congresspersons. Well, we don't want to take these guys jobs away - no matter how much they don't deserve them. But we can take the burden of all that hard reading and writing of bills that they don't seem to do that well, out of their job description. We'll require that they have to 'sell' the bill to the back home crowd, and allow the folks back home a chance to read the bill and to vote on it electronically to tell their Congressperson EXACTLY how to vote for said issue. No more of this 'I'll scratch your back on this one - and you get me on the next' garbage that's played out every day in the halls of Congress. Now our employees will know how the hicks and the yokels want a bill to be voted on. You blow it, then you have to answer to your bosses.

So, how's that sound to ya, Congressman? How about making that pledge to the American People?

Fixing Healthcare. My Solution.

Oh, here's how you fix health care in America. You force everyone to agree what a finger is worth at a certain age... Have some actuaries put a price tag on it. Then we go down the list of ailments and bad outcomes - coupled with age. You put a dollar amount in that graph. If there is a bad outcome - then that's what the doctor and the malpractice insurance company needs to pay. And that's only to be paid upon actual negligence, not just because you feel like suing. That's called tort reform. The President is against this idea and was booed in front of the AMA last month because he rejected it outright.

If you lower court costs and ridiculous payments for lawyers, then malpractice insurance premiums will fall dramatically. And then the price of healthcare will fall. Dramatically.

You also have to have a system in place to prevent bad doctors from practicing or teaching medicine. How about a three strikes and you're out plan? That sounds good. Kind of catchy. Three really bad outcomes that should have been obvious to a group of peers - and you must surrender your license and find a new profession. Just like the ambulance trailing trial lawyers and the insurance companies making a mint off of the worst doctors who are able to keep killing their patients.

Nah, that's just too easy.

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