Office Diaries

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Is There Any Way to Get Congress to Look Within?

It appears to be time for therapy for our congressional leaders.

Chances are you've seen, or perhaps heard about, the email circulating which Warren Buffet supposedly authored. It asks recipients to forward it to twenty of their contacts, in which case it would take an estimated three days to reach mostly everyone in the country. Granted, there are rumors that Buffet had nothing to do with it, but that's beside the point.

In Winds of Change, an argument is made that Congress functions to serve itself at the expense of the greater good, and that this is what festers at the root of our problems. It points out how our elected officials have manipulated the system to enforce rules from which they exempt themselves, essentially making their lives more convenient and profitable while others bear the burden. It is a grotesque act of self-interest and preservation.

It made me think about individuals who do the same thing. You know, the ones. They make all kinds of noise to create distractions that prevent people from seeing the truth that lies underneath. They can't, or they won't, or they don't look within. Rather they try to hide what's there and do everything in thier power to keep the focus on anything but the real issues. Often times for those folks, this is where therapy comes into play. And that's what got me thinking.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could put Congress "on the couch?" Make them see their ways? Show them how destructive and selfish their behavior is? Get them to care about more than themselves?

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So, I agee with the message of the email.  This is the place to start:

*Congressional Reform Act of 2012*

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 SocialSecurity.

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 theAmerican people.

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective 1/31/12. 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.

THIS IS HOW WE FIX CONGRESS.

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Donna Flagg is the author of Surviving Dreaded Conversations and a New York City-based dancer.

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