To better serve, Congress needs a personal stake
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Finally, a good idea from some members of Congress: the "No Budget, No Pay Act," which would dock lawmakers' pay if they don't pass a budget by Oct. 1. In the same spirit, I have a few more ideas for giving them a personal stake in upcoming legislative battles.
Entitlement reform: Begin with Congress' own gold-plated pension and health care benefits, which far exceed those of most Americans working in private industry.
Domestic spending cuts: Transportation spending cuts should include selling off all those Secret Service-driven SUVs with dark-tinted glass to the drug dealers who want and need them. Cuts affecting national parks can be preceded by the closure of all congressional health club facilities, military base golf courses, etc.
Gun control: Since the National Rifle Association's disciples believe the Second Amendment has no limits, let's eliminate metal detectors and pat-downs in the Capitol building. Then lawmakers can share the thrill of sitting in the middle of a gun battle between guards and wackos with assault rifles, just as the NRA wants for schoolchildren.
Environmental regulation: After banning all bottled beverages from the building and connecting the water system to a new well on the Capitol grounds, Congress could invite one of the numerous lobbying energy companies to "frack" a few deep wells nearby to test their assertion that those toxic chemicals can never, ever migrate to groundwater supplies. If this pilot program succeeds, it can be expanded to the family homes of all Congress members, energy company executives and Gov. Tom Corbett.
Who knows? Maybe we can have government of, by, for and with the people.
First Published January 28, 2013 12:00 am