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  • Posted by  $  AJAshinoff 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    Quite the opposite, all would be using their office to generate personal wealth. The issue isn't that they are being paid. The issue is that they aren't being held accountable for the profiteering and for violating their oath of office. Why do we allow crooks to scruenize crooks and then judge crooks? Theses folks, if found guilty, should be stripped of office, face staggering fines and have their personal wealth and assets forfeited.
    If some works, that some is entitled to payment.

    Value for value. No?
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  • Posted by citizen1 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    Pay them well for their time, but don't allow it to become a career. Term limits- that's one key. Dismantle the IRS with a flat tax and have a rotating staff of their agents assigned each year to watchdog all the politicians in the system for graft. Actively ban and prosecute lobbyists buying votes.

    Well, in my idea of a more perfect world, anyway.

    In reality, unfortunately, we quietly empowered career politicians to have much too much power to amass wealth through the lobby system, back door deals, and no easy way to control them. They vote to make the laws that empower or restrict their own activities. Attempting to get them to self-regulate now is like asking a teenager to punish themselves for underage drinking after getting caught repeatedly. Excess abuse of power is somewhat inevitable, when checks and balances can be corrupted with 'one hand washing the other'. We can forestall the conclusion for a few generations, trust in divine providence to provide more honest people in the political process, but the road we are on leads eventually to revolution. It happened a couple of hundred years ago. It will most likely happen again.

    Just my less-than-completely-humble opinion.
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  • Posted by DavidT 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    My take on federal elected positions? Fill them the same way we do juries, pay a per diem based on the average wage in the US and limit them to 2 45 day sessions per year, the rest of the time to be spent in their regular job among those they represent. For housing use military barracks and chow halls. Fly them in and home on military transports, public transportation when in DC. Serve your term and never worry about being called up again.
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    • Posted by TheRealBill 2 weeks, 3 days ago
      Even better, let the have session remotely. That way they stay in their district. Keeps them closer to those they would govern, and makes lobbying much less cost effective.
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      • Posted by Lucky 2 weeks, 3 days ago
        Yes! Well face to face is better for some topics, but when they are discussing spending money on state/local issues and not concentrating where they should, this is a great idea.
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  • Posted by  $  rockymountainpirate 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    They should be paid for their work. Value for Value. Of course, like the rest of us, they should have to provide value to be paid or fired. Most of these people provide very little value for what they are being paid. Now they want a pay raise and free housing. Looters all.
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  • Posted by  $  brightwriter 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    An honest reputable politician working for no pay is giving big and receiving nil. That's unfair. Such a politician, if unmistakably identified as such, is probably giving up earnings by giving up time that might have been used in a paid job. But the idea of big payments to politicians is disgusting.

    US Constitution Amendment 27, restricting the ability of Congress to vote raises for itself, took over 200 years to get ratified. That's the best example of slow legislative process that I know. Pro ≠ con and progress ≠ Congress.

    Term limits would have kicked out our hero Ron Paul. My preference would be to insist that any committee or subgroup of Representatives and/or Senators that has the right to study and debate bills (they all do; but here's the important part) and, having done so, make recommendations directly or indirectly to the entire House or Senate as to how to vote on them in such a way that the recommendations are accepted as from experts and/or otherwise implicitly trusted, must disband and reconstitute after every biennial election and the protocol for choosing members of those committees may not include longevity in office as a criterion.

    That way, a disgruntled district (House) or state (Senate) won't be held hostage by a very senior member who is hostile to constituents, solely because that member is on numerous committees and can thereby bring more representation power to his/her voters than can a potential freshman replacement.

    I don't think there's any alternative to properly informed voters, alas.
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    • Posted by redison 1 week, 5 days ago
      I find it amazing that the first bill that gets approved is the Congressional pay raise. I understand that cost of living is high in Washington DC but u]they should not be approved until all Budget Appropriations are approved. All their re-election funds not used should be sent to the Treasury after the election. I find it difficult to believe they spend millions of dollars for a two hundred thousand dollar job. What they don't spend, they get to keep for themselves.
      They should be unable to participate in insider trading and be under the same laws they enact for the rest of us Americans. They also should not get lifetime pensions for being elected for 4 or 6 years.
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  • Posted by  $  blarman 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    The bigger problem is allowing them to go into lobbying after they retire. I'm not going to begrudge someone a salary for doing a necessary job. The far bigger issue is that many politicians go into it just so they can make the connections which will pay off handsomely in the future - rather than to actually make the country a better place.
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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    When I was one of those 'K-Street Lobbiests' people seem to hate, I had a cartoon over my desk. It was a newly elected member of Congress saying, "Now that I've been elected, my first responsibility is to see that I am re-elected." That frame of mind continues today.
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  • Posted by  $  FredTheViking 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    I think the problem is how politicians get into power and the inability of the American voters to have a say in the pay and the manner in which politicians are held legally accountable. It is true a politician can get voted out but for Senator that's every 6 years. For what? Just to get someone who on average is no better or worse. One clear way to reform government is to make taxation voluntary. That way the citizens can withhold money if something foul is going on. Another reform idea is the recall vote.
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    • Posted by TheRealBill 2 weeks, 3 days ago
      Here is one for you, one I came up with a long time ago and still think about: eliminate all federal taxes on income. Take the amount spent (not budgeted, spent!), and divvy I among the states based on their portion of the national population. Let the state figure out how it gets that money.

      “Congresswoman, you say you voted for this and that so we should re-elect you. However the things you voted for raised the bill for our state by 12%, how can you justify our citizens sending that money to ?”

      Man that’d change the process up a bit. ;)
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  • Posted by Technocracy 2 weeks, 3 days ago
    Service without payment, voluntary or not, will leave us with a government full of pure meddlers.

    Not only that, meddlers that can afford to ignore consequences of their actions. With the added bonus of limited sovereign immunity current congress critters get.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    Many of the congressional representatives don't have the moral or ethical personality to represent their constituency. A few weeks back I had a discussion with a rep from Kirsten Simena's office (Az;s newly elected senator) which was very enlightening. forget about emailing congressional reps or senators, very few are read by staff most if not all are discarded. They will read typed or handwritten letters. Although, there are some that don't do that either. Morally and ethically they shouldn't be an office holder.
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  • Posted by CharlesRAnderson 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    The salaries of legislators are small compared to their graft. Even the very wealthy such as John Kerry and Al Gore, Jr., grafted huge amounts of money. The only way to make more honest politicians is to greatly reduce the size and scope of government so that they have much less power and much less ability to use that power to steal from the People. If the People do not have the will power to greatly downsize the governments, then political graft will only grow and grow some more.
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  • Posted by term2 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    Politicians work for the power to control others' lives. The money they make comes NOT from their salaries, but the backroom deals they work while they are "sellnig" government favors they can provide. Its disgusting overall.

    The first thing I would do is cut them back to part time and change the constitution so that government cannot take from one and give to another- period.
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  • Posted by  $  splumb 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    Term limits and a lifetime ban on lobbying would be more effective.
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    • Posted by  $  25n56il4 2 weeks, 3 days ago
      Term limits are good! Some of these people never have another career. I aided a young man in unseating a 27 year incumbent in Texas. All that incumbent ever did was feather his own nest. The new youngster served 2 terms and left. He was very effective in those 2 terms.
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  • Posted by Eyecu2 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    In comparison to the political power that they wield and the monies that they "earn" by selling their votes, their salaries are inconsequential. Yes, selling their votes isn't legal; yet, no one would argue that it doesn't happen.
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  • Posted by  $  Solver 2 weeks, 4 days ago
    I really don’t tend to pay for politicians. With the nearly unlimited power they have, they just take my money and use it to protect some and violate many of my and other people’s individual rights in order to get even more money and power. A seemingly unstoppable cycle.
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    • Posted by  $  25n56il4 2 weeks, 4 days ago
      I think B.S. Bernie commented how wonderful Norway, Sweden, and Denmark treat their citizens and how badly America treats theirs.
      Reality check: Are we talking about oranges and apples? A combined three country population of 21.12 versus USA at 198.7 million. Would they prefer China with 754.6M? And these are 2017 figures!
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