Kick Out the System - Not the Congressmen
Richard Salbato July 25, 2012
We sent a lot of good men and woman to congress in the 2010 elections but it seems they have not gotten anything done. What most people do not know because they do not pay attention to how congress works is that they have worked hard to do what they promised. I am going to explain why this happened but before I do - it would be good to read the fiction story that follows because it explains how government works in a cute way.
The Night Watchman
Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night.” So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.
Then Congress said “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?” So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.
Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?” So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.
Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?” So they created two positions and then hired a time keeper and a payroll officer.
Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?” So they
Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back.” So they laid-off the night watchman.
slowly, let it sink in … Does anybody remember the reason given for the
establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter
Anything? No? Didn't think so!
Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter …
line is, we've spent several hundred billion dollars
in support of an agency ... the reason for which not many persons who reads
this can remember!
It was very simple... and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate. The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL. Hey, pretty efficient, huh???
AND NOW IT'S 2012 -- 35 YEARS LATER -- AND THE BUDGET FOR THIS "NECESSARY" DEPARTMENT IS AT $24.2 BILLION A YEAR. IT HAS 16,000 FEDERAL
EMPLOYEES AND APPROXIMATELY 100,000 CONTRACT EMPLOYEES; AND LOOK AT THE JOB IT HAS DONE!
(THIS IS WHERE YOU SLAP YOUR FOREHEAD AND SAY, “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?”) 33 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports. Ah, yes – the good old Federal bureaucracy.
NOW, WE HAVE TURNED OVER THE BANKING SYSTEM, HEALTH CARE, AND THE AUTO INDUSTRY TO THE SAME GOVERNMENT? The same Government that managed to bankrupt Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and every program and department they ever created.
Hello!! FOR ANY PERSONS THAT CARE
Signed....The Night Watchman
1. Authorizing Government Expenditures:
According to the Constitution only the House has the right to produce a budget of how it spends money. Then it sends this to the President and his department spends the money according to the Houses mandate. It’s a good system if done correctly but it is done without the effort it needs. Of the over 90 agencies of government like the department of energy, no one knows how they spend their money. If congress authorizes five billion to that agency, the government gives them a check for five billion and they spend it anyway they want without accountability to anyone. No one has any idea how these agencies spend their money and that is why 40% of government money is wasted.
Congress should approve every pay check and purchase before it is made.
2. The Senate Rules
Over the years the Senate has evolved into a system where
one man can keep any bill from even being voted on. This is not democracy but
Senatorial Dictatorship and is not even constitutional. The other thing is that
he and he alone can decide amendments to the bills or not. The other stupidity
of the system is that for a senator to vote he must be on the senate floor. I remember
on a very important vote one sick Senator had to be flown in to
Let me show how stupid this is by using business. When the market crashed in 2008 businesses cut back expenses by laying off people, streamlining their systems, buying more efficient computer systems, reducing travel by having computer conferences and sales meeting, and bringing in robotic systems. By 2010 volume went way down but profits went up and all these businesses are still making money even with very low volume.
At the same
time as Government income went way down the government expenses went way up.Ideas to Save
3. The Presidential Powers
If you study the four branches of government in the constitution, you will see that the Presidential department has the least amount of real power except in emergency military action. However, Obama thinks he is a King, and has done hundreds of things without going through the congress or any legal authority. Congress would deny him the money to do these things like paying the Czars but because of the way money is spent they do not even know where he takes to money to pay them.
4. The wasted time in the House
The house opens at 9:00 AM and the first thing they do is have speeches from members for 4 hours and while these speeches are going on no one is in the house at all. This is a complete waste of time. When a bill is introduced in the house each side is given several hours for more speeches. Then the bill goes in for amendments and sometimes a 5 page bill becomes a 100 page bill. Then they vote on this 100 page bill that almost in one has read. This new bill which may be about a farm bill now has attachments that have nothing to do with farms. It may be a bill that you really want badly but you can only vote for it with these ridiculous attachments. I will show a simple solution to this problem after a few more stupid things congress does.
5. House represents the people
When the house was envisioned in the Constitution
the ideas was that the people would know face to face the congressman, about
one congressman per 10,000 people. Today the average congressman represents two
or three million and few have ever met them face to face. Of course we now have
people and the house would not hold that many congressmen. Why then do
we have to send congressmen to
Consider what I
said above about businesses that have made money in spite of very slow
business. With modern computer systems a congressman can vote in his home
office, say in
6. Pork Barrel Attachments
The biggest problem in
However, it is easy to solve this problem and also all other attachments that have nothing to do with the original bills. I hate the word “Comprehensive” because that simply means if you want this you have to accept that.
The answer to this problem is not the Line Item Veto, but the Line Item Vote.
Get rid of them all because in every case they have made things worse every year. I have forty others I would get rid of or reduce.