Monday, December 22, 2008

Downsize Congress

The government is running huge deficits so it is time to cut government spending. Here is a plan someone suggested in an email:

"When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen are they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers need to find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well. Wall street, and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision", and his board of directors gives him a big bonus. I feel our government should not be immune from similar risks. I therefore am recommending the following cuts to be implemented by the next president elect.

Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members and Senate members from 100 to 50. Also reduce remaining staff by 25%. Accomplish this over the next 8 years. (two steps / two elections)

Some yearly monetary gains include:

$44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay / member / yr.)

$97,175,000 for elimination of the above people's staff. (estimate $1.3 Mil in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Mil in staff per each member of the Senate every year)

$24,294 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.

$7,500,000 reduction in pork barrel ear-marks each year. (those members who's jobs are gone. Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion / yr)

The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and would need to improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country?

We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well. It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing. Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)

Note: Congress did not hesitate to jump on a train for home this week when it was a holiday, when the nation needed a real fix to the economic problems. Also, we have 3 senators that have not been doing their jobs for the past 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all have been accepting full pay. These facts alone support a reduction in senators & congress. Summary of opportunity:

$44,108,400 reduction of congress members

$282,100,000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff

$150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff

$59,675,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members

$37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members

$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.

$8,073,383,400 per year, estimated total savings.

Big business does these types of cuts all the time.

IF you are happy with how our government is right now, just delete this message. IF you are not happy, I assume you know what to do"

I've suggested cutting all government payments and benefits, including social security and retirement payments. But Congress would be a good place to start.