Watching the debate on “Meet the Press” this morning. (aside: I LOVE David Gregory! I didn’t think anybody could replace Tim Russert, but he’s doing a magnificent job.) There was an interesting exchange between Romney and Newt. Romney gave a wonderful mini-speech about limiting government service and career politicians and lobbyists, making the point that he came in to serve and left. It was pretty cool. BUT Newt came right back and said something to the effect “Are you kidding me? You left politics because you LOST to Ted Kennedy and then you started campaigning for president!”

I’m actually impressed with all the candidates (Jon Huntsman plays the piano like a champ–maybe he’s not a weenie) (Mcq, what was that you called me? I thought it was so funny and apropo, but I can’t remember it—wingnut?). They all look good in some ways, actually.

But going back to Romney’s point—I’ve been getting these email forwards which I’ve forwarded (selectively, I rarely forward, but I think this is important) about all the perqs of serving in congress. I totally support this act. But I never hear about it in the news. Is it really something that’s going through review in congress now? Why isn’t it publicized? How much money would it save our country? At the very least, it seems it would fix the social security shortfall problem. Take a look and spread the word.

Congressional Reform Act of 2011

1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.
All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.

The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people, it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!!

And take a look at these figures:

(Yearly)
Salary of president for life $450,000
Salary of senator/congressman for life: $175,000
Average salary of soldier deployed in Afganistan: $38,000
Average income received from social security: $12,000

What’s wrong with this picture?

Romney’s point was obviously selective and hypocritical, but it was still a good one. I’m all over this legislation. If it really is legislation.