Lightning round: Congressional pay raises, Obamacare
This week I will cover a number of subjects in a briefer format. They are my ideas about government and how it should be run. Enjoy.
Congressional pay raises
There is no doubt members of Congress are compensated very well. When you include the perks of office, lavish treatment by lobbyists and a retirement system that begins after six years of service, it is a great place to work.
One of the most egregious “perks” of congressional service is automatic pay raises. Only in Congress does one receive an automatic pay raise unless Congress votes NOT to receive it.
Isn’t that backwards? If Congress were a private company would they deserve a pay raise?
Considering our massive debt and deficit and Congress’ inability address the massive problems facing America, I think not.
Why hasn’t our Congressman authored a bill to end automatic pay raises? Either he feels Congress deserves the pay raise or he enjoys the status quo. What should happen is Congress can only be voted pay raises in years following a year the federal budget was balanced or had a surplus.
Communications with the district
The importance of staying in touch with the voters that elected you cannot be overstated. Staying grounded in the district must be a priority for any elected official. It doesn’t have to be difficult in a congressional district.
How? Town hall meetings are a great way. Two town hall meetings in every county each year where the questions are unfiltered seems about right to me.
Combined with a dedicated staff that believes the only reason they have a job is to provide service to the residents of the district will ensure excellent communications with those residents.
Laws and Congress
I fully support the idea that ANY law passed by Congress should also apply to the members of Congress. Isn’t that fair, isn’t that common sense?
Congress insults the intelligence of voters with exemptions from things like insider stock trading, but when Congress insults our common sense, the citizens speak up. No more exemptions for Congress, common sense, right?
Is Obamacare right for America? I don’t think so and I’m sure most reading this article agree with me. Let’s hope for the sake of the nation that the Supreme Court finds the bill unconstitutional.
In the event that it still stands fully or in part intact after the ruling is handed down, I have a simple solution.
Let’s apply my principle above of not exempting Congress to this bill as well. Any bets on how quickly the law would either be repealed or drastically changed?
Common sense tells me that if the drafters of a law don’t want it to apply to them, the law is seriously flawed.
There is little debate that the current president has abused the use of executive orders. Recently Mr. Westmoreland stated that executive orders don’t have the force of law; that is categorically untrue.
Congress can overturn an executive order, but unfortunately it hasn’t done so very often. I think a law should be passed that requires congressional review of EVERY executive order and requires a majority vote in both houses to be implemented.
Further, that vote must occur within 90 days of submission to Congress. Executive orders would be exempt from the committee process and cannot be amended on the floor. If the President wants his order enacted he should use his “bully pulpit” to make that argument.
These are five issues that I have not addressed during the campaign, yet are important. I hope you will agree with me that Congress needs massive reform. We must demand an institution that is as good as the people it governs. Our children deserve nothing less.
[Kent Kingsley is a Republican candidate for Congress in the Third Congressional District which includes Fayette and Coweta counties. He is a retired U.S. Army Infantry lieutenant colonel, owns a small real estate company in Lamar County and lives in Milner, between Griffin and Barnesville. He is an advocate for the Fair Tax, balanced budgets and federal term limits. His website is kingsleyforcongress.com.]