Government employees average around $65K in salary compared to the private sector which averages $49K. This is a difference of 23.8%. To help save our economy government employees' salaries should be reduced by 5% a year until they're in-line with the private sector. If they don’t like this they can quit their jobs and I’m sure many of us would gladly send in our resumes. By down-staging these salaries we would save $43.B billion dollars a year once the salaries have been completely adjusted. The breakdown in savings by years is as follows:
Year 1 savings = $ 9.2B
Year 2 savings = $18.4B
Year 3 savings = $27.5B
Year 4 savings = $36.7B
Year 5 savings = $43.8B
Our politicians have been trying to hide this salary differential to protect their nice livelihoods.
Congress should lose their current health care benefits and instead receive coverage that is a comparable level to that of private citizens. If you go to www.usgovinfo.about.com you’ll probably go through the roof like I did; plan on spending several hours looking at it because the benefits go on and on. We’ve got to stop this. Let’s face it we're absolutely allowing our politicians to steal from us while we look the other way. The fact is the only way we can get our politicians to fight for us is to put them in the same boat with us.
We need to cap campaign funds and the funds should be provided by both Federal and State governments instead of lobbiest groups including those from foreign countries like China and Taiwan. This would help us do away with the need to generate campaign funds plus it takes away the influence that certain countries, companies or individual campaign donors have based on their contributions. Both candidates should be given the same amount to spend. As it is now, the candidate with the most money generally wins the election. A politician buying their way into office isn't ethical.
We shouldn’t allow the House and Senate to vote on their own salary increases; instead we should apply the economic growth rate (a.k.a. pay for performance). Not only does this make sense it would actually help them out because of the flak they usually receive when they give themselves a raise.
Our governments (Federal & State) are too large. We could easily get rid of hundreds of agencies. We can start with the numerous agency duplications (i.e. education, the arts, etc.) and agencies that were set up as pork projects (i.e. African development agency, peanut research, wood usage research, radio free Asia, etc.).
We need to get rid of the inbred nature of government hiring including the “Plum Book” which has thousands of jobs in it that are rewards for people who helped out with the President’s campaign. These positions aren’t difficult assignments and making over $100K a year makes it all the worse for tax payers. If you think about it regardless of how you voted, your tax dollars go towards the winning president’s campaign; yet another way to funnel our tax dollars towards things that have no benefit to the average citizen. There’s a theme here: “Taxation without representation.”
Let’s have our President give a Presidential Address each year where he shares information we want to hear about not just political speak. The information shared now is no different than what we hear everyday from the democratic party. It would be the same if we had a republican president. I’ve gotten to the point where I consider the Presidential Addresses to be a waste of my time and as a taxpayer that’s a terrible position to be placed in. Lastly, the President and everyone else in DC work for us; it’s time we drive this point home.
Let’s have six-year term limits for the Executive, Judicial, and Legislative branches. I never understood lifetime appointments for Supreme Court Justices so I decided to check it out. When the framers of our Constitution were putting the three branches together they thought they should give life-time appointments to the Justices. This was because in England the king hired and fired justices at will. We ended up with a system where no one could hire and fire our justices at will so life-time appointments aren’t necessary.
Our forefathers very clearly expressed their intent was to have citizen legislators (service oriented) to be utilized not career politicians who get out of touch with their constituents. Having six year terms would help us in several ways. First of all, it takes around two years to learn the ropes so it would create more productivity if they could serve four years after the learning curve. Secondly, they wouldn’t have to spend time worrying about their re-election campaigns; could you imagine how much more productive they would be? Thirdly, they would be more inclined to work together (Democrats and Republicans) because they wouldn’t need to worry about playing political games in an effort to get support from their party for reelection.
I acknowledge this is way out of the box but could we eliminate political parties? Let each candidate stand on their own without having to worry about playing political games. Neither party wants to use the other party’s legislation because it might reflect negatively upon them. This is why legislation doesn’t move forward. Never in our history has it taken so long to get legislation passed. How many times have you heard representatives from both parties complain that the other party isn’t working with them? It would also help unite our country because politicians wouldn’t need to create division among tax payers.
We should change the way the legislative process works as they are taking forever to get anything done. When they finally do get a policy they can vote on, the party who created the legislation all of a sudden feels a sense of urgency to push it through before everyone has a chance to read it thoroughly; of course this is a strategic move.
There are major problems with their current way of doing business. The Health Care Bill is a great example; it was too important a program for it to be rushed through. Politicians were bringing in staffers to help them comb through the Bill. This particular Bill was so large that staffers had to take sections (like pages 100 to 200) because there wasn’t time to read the whole thing. The bottom line is that most of our legislators never read the legislation. What I find interesting is that Democrats in this particular case said they read the Bill in a few days while the Republicans couldn't. I’m a fast reader but based on the size of the Bill and how important it was, there’s no way I could’ve read it in a few days.
Another issue is that it’s difficult to find hidden pork when you don’t have time to go through the Bill thoroughly. The Health Care Bill was filled with billions of dollars in Pork. This included walking paths, street lights, jungle gyms, and even farmer’s markets. It was characterized in the Bill as being a broad effort in improving our health infrastructure. Can you guess which political party was given most of this money? Another effort to buy votes.
We should consider establishing review guidelines (review time based upon size of the legislation). Everyone would then have the time necessary to review the legislation thoroughly and make the best decision regarding our nation’s interests.
We could easily reduce the amount of government employees by 200,000. Let’s consider giving them a two-year severance package of $36,000. This would save us $5.2B a year during the first two years which equates to a total savings of $10.6B. After the two year period we would start saving $7.2B a year.
Over 80% of households have a computer with internet access and most of those without a home computer still have access to the internet in other places. Keep in mind that not everyone votes anyway. Let’s figure out a way to use the internet (E-Votes) to express our opinions regarding certain legislations and to cast votes in elections. It would be very easy to create user-friendly interfaces to vote on legislation and candidate preferences.
A concern might be voter fraud through computer hacking but there our companies our government has spoken to that have encryption methods that are fantastic. Keep in mind these companies can set the encryption rules right before each election which means hackers wouldn’t have time to break the code. Then the same process could be done before the next election. Hackers would never have time to catch up with the new codes.
We need to keep something very important in mind and that is our current system isn’t working. There’s a lot of trust built into the system and we always end up with voter fraud. So my thought on this matter is to change because I don’t see it being any worse than our current system. Plus I would love to vote at home!
I only found one place that provided insight into how much it cost for conducting a presidential election (i.e. voting booths, government campaign financing, etc.); their estimate was over $36 a person. The total votes that were cast last election were 129,391,716 which add up to a cost of $4.7B. This doesn’t include the money raised by both candidates which is in the hundreds of millions. We could save billions of dollars if this strategy was deployed for all political races at both the State and Federal levels. Something to think about is that many politicians have been caught misusing their campaign funds. My personal belief is that throughout history where there’s money there’s fraud especially when there's limited accountabilty.
The Congress and Senate should not be allowed to police their own people. Some of the ethical violations are actually legal issues which should be processed by our legal system. If the legislator doesn’t get convicted of the crime then the House and Senate could handle the issue according to their House Ethic Rules.
I think we should drastically reduce the money we spend on foreign aid. We’re trying to buy friends who don’t like us and who will end up dropping us as soon as the money dries up. How often does teaching another country how to fight and giving them weapons worked out for the country providing the aid?
I think we should get rid of presidential debates. Let’s have each candidate express (posting on the internet) their philosophy and specific strategies towards improving our wellbeing (i.e. dependence upon foreign oil, their thoughts on foreign aid, their thoughts on what we should get ourselves involved in with reference to foreign policy, how we can fix our educational deficit compared to other countries, how can we improve trade deficits, how we can get out of debt, how can we improve our economy, what can we do about illegal immigration, etc.). Using this same theory would actually be even more important for races involving candidates running for the Federal House and Senate as they're the ones actually charged with developing legislation to address the above issues.
I would also like to know what their priorities are regarding the issues above listed in order. Having them post their manifestos on line would help us in a variety of ways: 1) We wouldn’t make the mistake of voting for someone based upon their debating skills or how they look and sound. 2) We wouldn’t be subjected to their continuous sound bites versus real answers. 3) We would have an official copy of promises made - they would hate this and 4) We would save a substantial amount of time and money. Think about the fact that candidates (both Federal and State) spend so much time on the campaign trail and in strategy sessions that they get very little work done. In the business world we’d be fired for their lack of productivity.
I think we should do away with our electoral voting system and instead allow each state to have their voice matter. One of the problems with our current system is that elections are heavily influenced by California, Florida, New York, and Texas. According to the U.S. If I lived in one of the smaller states I’d recommend taking the Presidential vote off the ballot as their votes don’t matter anyway. Changing this system would cause the candidates to have to win a majority of the states which makes more sense to me.
Let’s reduce the amount of formal parties the politicians take part in and let’s do away with campaign fund raising through dinner parties ($5,000 a plate dinners). I don’t know about you, but I don’t think average citizens are attending these events. Plus I wouldn’t go anyway unless they served things like burgers and pizza!