To: The United States House of Representatives and The United States Senate
Equality For All
No one has been able to explain why young men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay. At the same time, politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receive full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.
Recently, it was learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans.
Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.
For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress. Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform ... in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn't seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. The self-serving must stop.
Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ."
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, before e-mail, before cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.
Proposed Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1. No Tenure / No Pension.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when 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. Congressmen can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote itself a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses its current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws it imposes 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.
Why is this important?
It's about an idea for a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and for Congressional Reform, proposed in an email that's been making the rounds; it's not my idea, but it is one that I embrace fully. Congress needs to be reformed to be more in line with how the American people live.