The "Buffett Act" and Nothing But the "Buffett Act"

JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
Maybe we should try again, and limit the discussion to this proposal to reign in Congress and get them to play by the same rules that nearly all Americans play by. No shortcuts, no chasing rabits, this time we'll try to stay on topic. Whaddaya say?

Somebody should volunteer to act as parlimentarian, though, to point out when somebody is "out of order".

clearlysuspect:
I did a quick search of the forum and saw that no one has posted this before. I love this. In an interview with CNBC last year, Warren Buffet said he could fix our national debt in 5 minutes if these following ideas were adopted as an ammendment to the constitution. It's not listed below, but he also stated an additional rule which states that "any time the deficit exceeds 3%, all sitting members of congress will be ineligible for re-election!" I really think this needs to happen for our country to be successful in the long run. Each side of the two party system constantly point at each other calling each other elitists. The fact of the matter is, they're both right! The real "Elite" in this country is Congress. Half our laws don't apply to them. They constantly abuse their powers and insider knowledge to pad their own pockets. They never have to worry about money or healthcare ever again! If this isn't the real definition of "Elite" then I don't know what is!

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they're 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/women are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.

Congressmen/women 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.

Comments

  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    Sounds like a good idea to me, but I'm skeptical until I learn who is behind it and why.

    If enacted, wouldn't this result in de-facto term limits for Congressmen, except the very wealthy, who have no concerns regarding retirement savings (or a pension)?
  • The SniperThe Sniper Posts: 3,910
    I think its an excellent idea JDH. Why those who "represent" me should be placed above me as far as benefits & whatnot seems a little idiotic to me - they're still American citizens, are they not? Im not entitled to any sort of benefits from my job above and beyond that of any other American citizen.

    I think if this is enacted, it would hopefully have the OPPOSITE effect of de-facto term limits (which I am assuming, and I know what that gets me LOL, is in reference to the ineligibility for reelection if the deficit exceeds 3% part). Perhaps with lack of perks, coupled with employment actually based on their performance of their jobs, the duly elected representatives would have some motivation to perform their service to the best of their abilities.

    He11, it MAY even have the effect of getting some people in office who are motivated to serve their constituents instead of themselves. Novel concept. :-)

    As far as the very wealthy having no concerns about de-facto term limits, not sure about that either. The current yearly salary for congressmen is $174,000. Personally, if you cant "get by" or "make ends meet" on that, you shouldnt be representing me in the first place - because you are so far out of step with where I live my life you cant even relate to me.

  • The SniperThe Sniper Posts: 3,910
    And thanks for the reboot of the issue here on the forums JDH. Hopefully this one will enable us to discuss the issue without attacking each other. :-D

  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    "...I think if this is enacted, it would hopefully have the OPPOSITE effect of de-facto term limits (which I am assuming, and I know what that gets me LOL, is in reference to the ineligibility for reelection if the deficit exceeds 3% part). Perhaps with lack of perks, coupled with employment actually based on their performance of their jobs, the duly elected representatives would have some motivation to perform their service to the best of their abilities...."

    I don't think so. We are a capitalist society, and people are motivated to accumulate wealth, not engage in public service for altruistic reasons. If this proposal were to become reality, serving in Congress would be more like serving on Jury Duty than anything close to what it is now. Those who decided they wanted to serve would only do it for a minimum time, because there would be no monetary motivation to do it, unless bribery became even more blatant than it already is.
  • clearlysuspectclearlysuspect Jacksonville, FloridaPosts: 2,124 ✭✭✭✭
    JDH:
    "I don't think so. We are a capitalist society, and people are motivated to accumulate wealth, not engage in public service for altruistic reasons. If this proposal were to become reality, serving in Congress would be more like serving on Jury Duty than anything close to what it is now.
    First, thanks for the reboot! I assume you notice the title change on the other thread.

    Second, I don't feel that the above statement is true. While we are a capitalist society, there are tons of people in our nation who serve our public without payment all the time. We have countless charities, people sign up to clean the sides of roads on their weekends off, others volunteer in schools, churches, and other community organizations. Others even PAY dues to organization whose only purpose is to serve the community, i.e. American Legion, Lions Club, Freemasons (not exclusively community service oriented), VFW, etc.

    I'm also more than sure that I would rather have just about any of the people who serve in the above mentioned organizations representing me, than any of the people we currently have in office.

    Thirdly, this is just repetition from the other thread, if the law read exactly as written here and nothing else, I'd be completely for this as an ammendment to the constitution regardless of who wrote it, who endorses it, or who thinks it's a good idea.
  • JDHJDH Posts: 2,107
    clearlysuspect:
    JDH:
    "I don't think so. We are a capitalist society, and people are motivated to accumulate wealth, not engage in public service for altruistic reasons. If this proposal were to become reality, serving in Congress would be more like serving on Jury Duty than anything close to what it is now.
    First, thanks for the reboot! I assume you notice the title change on the other thread.

    Second, I don't feel that the above statement is true. While we are a capitalist society, there are tons of people in our nation who serve our public without payment all the time. We have countless charities, people sign up to clean the sides of roads on their weekends off, others volunteer in schools, churches, and other community organizations. Others even PAY dues to organization whose only purpose is to serve the community, i.e. American Legion, Lions Club, Freemasons (not exclusively community service oriented), VFW, etc.

    I'm also more than sure that I would rather have just about any of the people who serve in the above mentioned organizations representing me, than any of the people we currently have in office.

    Thirdly, this is just repetition from the other thread, if the law read exactly as written here and nothing else, I'd be completely for this as an ammendment to the constitution regardless of who wrote it, who endorses it, or who thinks it's a good idea.
    Would YOU take a part-time, temporary job without benefits and a moderate salary that required a ton of education and that had a ton of responsibility, and millions of people who, on any given day, would love to scream in your face because they didn't like what you just did or said?
  • Amos_UmwhatAmos_Umwhat West TNPosts: 4,066 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The Sniper:
    The current yearly salary for congressmen is $174,000. Personally, if you cant "get by" or "make ends meet" on that, you shouldnt be representing me in the first place - because you are so far out of step with where I live my life you cant even relate to me.

    While I can certainly relate to this sentiment, even agree, it brings up the fear of making "my" representative too susceptible to temptation. Of course, we're already in that boat now. Perhaps, if we're going to hold Congress to the same laws and ethics the rest of us are required (by Congress) to live by, accountability may not be quite the same problem.
    "It is a simple matter to determine when a true genius has arrived on earth, all the dunces will convene to form a coalition against him."  --  Jonathon Swift

    Simple reductive logic reveals every "Zero Tolerance" policy to be, in fact, a "Zero Intelligence" policy.--Me

    A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves.  
  • clearlysuspectclearlysuspect Jacksonville, FloridaPosts: 2,124 ✭✭✭✭
    JDH:
    clearlysuspect:
    JDH:
    "I don't think so. We are a capitalist society, and people are motivated to accumulate wealth, not engage in public service for altruistic reasons. If this proposal were to become reality, serving in Congress would be more like serving on Jury Duty than anything close to what it is now.
    First, thanks for the reboot! I assume you notice the title change on the other thread.

    Second, I don't feel that the above statement is true. While we are a capitalist society, there are tons of people in our nation who serve our public without payment all the time. We have countless charities, people sign up to clean the sides of roads on their weekends off, others volunteer in schools, churches, and other community organizations. Others even PAY dues to organization whose only purpose is to serve the community, i.e. American Legion, Lions Club, Freemasons (not exclusively community service oriented), VFW, etc.

    I'm also more than sure that I would rather have just about any of the people who serve in the above mentioned organizations representing me, than any of the people we currently have in office.

    Thirdly, this is just repetition from the other thread, if the law read exactly as written here and nothing else, I'd be completely for this as an ammendment to the constitution regardless of who wrote it, who endorses it, or who thinks it's a good idea.
    Would YOU take a part-time, temporary job without benefits and a moderate salary that required a ton of education and that had a ton of responsibility, and millions of people who, on any given day, would love to scream in your face because they didn't like what you just did or said?
  • clearlysuspectclearlysuspect Jacksonville, FloridaPosts: 2,124 ✭✭✭✭
    JDH:
    Would YOU take a part-time, temporary job without benefits and a moderate salary that required a ton of education and that had a ton of responsibility, and millions of people who, on any given day, would love to scream in your face because they didn't like what you just did or said?


    Well, lets see if I can answer ever aspect of this question.

    First, "a part-time, temporary job without benefits and a moderate salary" that pays $174,000 a year sounds great to me, especially if I had the ability to obtain a health-insurance plan much like my current one through Blue Cross Blue Shield or an equivelant company, which is what Section 5 of the Buffett Act states. Section 3 would even allow me to get a decent 401K plan.

    Second, "that required a ton of education," I personally think isn't particularly necessary to have a massive education to serve in congress. Every law should be common sense laws at a federal level. Every law should be written so that the average citizen should be able to read and understand every last word of it. To further complicate the laws is to feed the beurocracy that this Act was intended to abolish.

    Run out of time. I'll continue this after I drive home
  • The SniperThe Sniper Posts: 3,910
    JDH:
    "...I think if this is enacted, it would hopefully have the OPPOSITE effect of de-facto term limits (which I am assuming, and I know what that gets me LOL, is in reference to the ineligibility for reelection if the deficit exceeds 3% part). Perhaps with lack of perks, coupled with employment actually based on their performance of their jobs, the duly elected representatives would have some motivation to perform their service to the best of their abilities...."

    I don't think so. We are a capitalist society, and people are motivated to accumulate wealth, not engage in public service for altruistic reasons. If this proposal were to become reality, serving in Congress would be more like serving on Jury Duty than anything close to what it is now. Those who decided they wanted to serve would only do it for a minimum time, because there would be no monetary motivation to do it, unless bribery became even more blatant than it already is.
    JDH:
    Would YOU take a part-time, temporary job without benefits and a moderate salary that required a ton of education and that had a ton of responsibility, and millions of people who, on any given day, would love to scream in your face because they didn't like what you just did or said?
    All due respect brother, but I dont know anyone who WOULDNT take a part time, temporary job that guaranteed them a minimum of nearly $350,000 for the two years of the term. Heck, that kind of $$$ might even make me want to do my job extremely well to ensure that I might get another two years of it. Im doing better than a lot of people I know right now, and $174,000 a year is better than double what Im pulling down. So lets not act like this is the financial equivalent of being a fry cook at McDonalds. LOL

    Got an issue with the rest of it too. The educational requirement to serve in congress is _________. Yeah, blank - there IS no educational requirement. I think the reason there is no educational requirement is that, honestly, how much education does it require to ask your constituents what their feelings are on a subject or subjects, and vote the answer you get from the majority of them accordingly. 68% of the constituents in Sniperville said they want to see God of Fire in a daily deal during March Madness. When the motion is brought before The Beard to decide what to include in the March Madness deals, I vote God of Fire. Seems to be pretty simple to me. I think where the "ton of education" requirement you mentioned comes in is that our elected "representatives" believe they know what is best for Joe Sixpack better than he does. They dont need Joe Sixpack's input, because lets be honest here - Joe Sixpack holds a GED and doesnt really understand the complex issues dealt with on Capitol Hill. Somewhere along the line, our "representation" lost track of a little factoid in all of this.

    IT'S JOE SIXPACK'S COUNTRY JUST AS MUCH AS IT IS THEIRS!!!

    Last I looked, this was still a "one person, one vote" nation wasnt it? Joe Sixpack's one vote with its GED and minimum wage, counts the same as Senator Snuffy's with its Harvard PhD and corporate CEO salary.

    In theory at least.

    As for your comment about serving in Congress being like serving jury duty, well - it SHOULDNT be like Club Med, should it? You are performing a service for the public, thats all. Conversely, if jury members were paid a pro-rated slice of the $174,000 while performing their civic duty that a congressman gets for HIS, I expect a lot of the b!thcing about jury duty would get real quiet. ;-)

    I know Im being simplistic about all of this, but to me it SHOULD be simple and thats what the Buffett Act might accomplish. When an issue comes up, Congress should gather the best information they can on the subject, take it back to their constituents, put it on a level they can grasp, and let them decide what to do with their country. Then take the majority opinion of those constituents back to Congress and vote their wishes accordingly.

    If that was happening, the millions of people screaming about what you just did would have very little reason to scream. Either the majority of the people disagreed with them on the issue, or they didnt make their voices heard, most likely the latter than the former. If you dont vote, you lose all moral high ground to ****.

  • The SniperThe Sniper Posts: 3,910
    Amos Umwhat:
    The Sniper:
    The current yearly salary for congressmen is $174,000. Personally, if you cant "get by" or "make ends meet" on that, you shouldnt be representing me in the first place - because you are so far out of step with where I live my life you cant even relate to me.

    While I can certainly relate to this sentiment, even agree, it brings up the fear of making "my" representative too susceptible to temptation. Of course, we're already in that boat now. Perhaps, if we're going to hold Congress to the same laws and ethics the rest of us are required (by Congress) to live by, accountability may not be quite the same problem.
    Hi Amos! Good to see you brother.

    I certainly understand the fear of corruption, but I think the answer is in your post in the form of the word "accountability" and I wholeheartedly agree that they SHOULD be held accountable to the same standards every citizen is.

    I think we could achieve the level of transparency necessary to minimize the corruption pretty easily, especially in this age of the world wide interweb. When the representative polls his constituents on the issues to be voted by survey, have the results of those surveys be counted and verified twice independently, and post it on the open web.

    If you combine those survey results with making a Congressman's financial records a public record (which wasnt mentioned in the Buffet Act, but I think would make an excellent addition to it), you've got a pretty clear one-two punch of transparency for the public to see whenever they wished.

    When the poll numbers for some reason doesnt match the vote the Congressman casts on Capitol Hill on the issue, shenanigans would be pretty damned easy to pick up on.

  • clearlysuspectclearlysuspect Jacksonville, FloridaPosts: 2,124 ✭✭✭✭
    clearlysuspect:
    JDH:
    Would YOU take a part-time, temporary job without benefits and a moderate salary that required a ton of education and that had a ton of responsibility, and millions of people who, on any given day, would love to scream in your face because they didn't like what you just did or said?


    Well, lets see if I can answer ever aspect of this question.

    First, "a part-time, temporary job without benefits and a moderate salary" that pays $174,000 a year sounds great to me, especially if I had the ability to obtain a health-insurance plan much like my current one through Blue Cross Blue Shield or an equivelant company, which is what Section 5 of the Buffett Act states. Section 3 would even allow me to get a decent 401K plan.

    Second, "that required a ton of education," I personally think isn't particularly necessary to have a massive education to serve in congress. Every law should be common sense laws at a federal level. Every law should be written so that the average citizen should be able to read and understand every last word of it. To further complicate the laws is to feed the beurocracy that this Act was intended to abolish.

    Run out of time. I'll continue this after I drive home
    Sorry for the delay. I'll pick up where I left off.

    Third, "that had a ton of responsibility," I already have this. My job is to make things safe for people to mass transit through the air in. Every day I hold people's lives in my hands. I'm not alone in this. There are people all around you that you never see that hold your life in their hands, some a whole lot more than I do. I envy congressional representatives a whole lot more than Air Traffic Controllers! Last time I checked, the suicide rate for ATC's was a whole lot higher than congressmen.

    Fourth, "and millions of people who, on any given day, would love to scream in your face because they didn't like what you just did or said," I can't really relate to this one, but I'm sure most public servants in major cities who get paid a whole lot less than $174,000 a year can.
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