BIG IDEAS + BIG SPENDING = BIG GOVERNMENT…

Posted on February 12, 2009. Filed under: News And Politics... |

 

For those who voted for a Democratic democracy, you can blame yourselves for the big government we have.  It’s mind boggling how much money they spend without consequence.  If they really want to cut wasteful spending, they’d fare better and set a good example by starting in their own backyard.  They could take advantage of the modern technology we have today.  A large amount of meetings could be conducted via video conferencing instead of flying their corporate and military jets around the States, for example.  That goes for large corporations as well.  Wasteful spending is what got them all into this mess, and it shouldn’t be our responsibility to condone their actions by rewarding them with a bailout.

Our government is rewarding CEOs for the mismanagement of their companies that led to their downfall.  Case in point:  Richard Fuld, former CEO of Lehman Brothers who ran his company into the ground, received $690 million in bonuses and salaries since 2000, he owns a $14 million getaway in Florida as well as a home in Idaho filled with a high-priced art collection.  Why weren’t these toys taken away from him to help reduce the company’s debt?  All these corrupt CEOs get to keep their wealth and we are the ones to suffer their consequences.  There’s something wrong with this picture.  It was reported that an internal Lehman email in which the bank’s compensation committee recommended, as late as September 11th, giving golden handshakes of more than $20 million to be shared among three departing executives.  Even as Fuld was pleading with the government for a federal rescue, Lehman continued to squander millions on executive compensation which is exactly what a lot of other CEOs were doing, and were rewarded.  In the real world, these CEOs would have been fired in a heartbeat for underperforming and running their companies into the ground.

A lot of these failing companies donated big money to political campaigns and that’s one of the reasons why they got those huge bailouts.  If money is given to them, yes, government should specify how the taxpayers’ money should be spent, but this was not done after they got that money, and the lavish spending continued.  Apparently, they didn’t learn their lesson, did they?  Only recently when the government found out about the continued excess spending did they specify how the money should be spent.  However, if some companies are doing well and not asking for a government handout, the government has no right to tell them that they shouldn’t reward their employees for doing a good job, as they have been doing.  Good performance should be rewarded, but it seems corruption is more rewarding.  These companies should not have gotten a dime of our money.  All the companies that are the recipients of taxpayer money have learned nothing about cutting back on excessive spending.  The only way they would have learned a good lesson is by letting them suffer the consequences.  Isn’t that how we learned the consequences of our actions?  I’ll tell you, if I knew that my husband would reward me with say, $10,000 to help me pay off my mounting credit card bills, it would encourage me to spend more, not tighten my belt.  We all know too well the consequences of spending inappropriately and why we are more frugal.  I’ll bet that most of these companies will be crying poor mouth down the road simply because they haven’t learned that all important lesson.

We have a "do as I say, not as I do" government.  Here’s a proposal I came across where someone has certainly done their homework.  Note to Governor Deval "Devil" Patrick:  This would also work (albeit on a smaller scale) on the state level as well.

QB

 

When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is they reduce their staff and workers.  The remaining workers need to find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well.  Wall Street and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision," and his board of directors gives him a big bonus.

Our government should not be immune from similar risks. 

Therefore:  Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members and Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State).  Also reduce remaining staff by 25%.
 
Accomplish this over the next 8 years (two steps / two elections), and of course this would require some redistricting.

Some Yearly Monetary Gains Include:


$44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for Congress (267 members X $165,200 pay/member/year)

$97,175,000 for elimination of the above people’s staff (estimate $1.3 million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)

$240,294 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.

$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork barrel earmarks each year (those members whose jobs are gone.  Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion/year).

The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and would need to improve efficiencies.  It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country!

We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well.  It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing.

Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established (telephone, computers, cell phones, to name a few).

Note:

Congress did not hesitate to head home when it was a holiday; 20 when the nation needed a real fix to the economic problems.  Also, we have 3 senators who have not been doing their jobs for the past 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all have been accepting full pay.  These facts alone support a reduction in Senators and Congress.

Summary of opportunity:

$44,108,400 reduction of Congress members.

$282,100, 000 for elimination of the reduced house member staff. 

$150,000,000 for elimination of reduced senate member staff. 

$59,675,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members. 

$37,500,000 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members. 

$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.

$8,073,383,400 per year, estimated total savings. (that’s over $8 billion, just to start!)

Big business does these types of cuts all the time.

If Congresspersons were required to serve 20, 25 or 30 years (like everyone else) in order to collect retirement benefits, there is no telling how much we would save.

Now they get full retirement after serving only ONE term.  

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