A readable version, for the 21st century. I haven’t looked at it in detail, but it seems like an interest project, at least in theory. Maybe people like Ezra Klein should give it a whirl.
It doesn’t matter what kind of ‘language’ is used, if the current dwellers of the WH and Congress are more interested in THEIR power than they are OURS.
I disagree with the congressional compensation being pegged at the national average income. The best and brightest are worth more, and the argument that they should consider it a privilege to serve falls flat when you think of top CEOs, movie stars, and sports players that clearly get more than average.
Pay average and get average when we need the best.
In politics, there’s the paycheck you draw and then there are the other informal forms of compensation, such as being able to use insider information to enrich your stock portfolio (illegal for us, not for them), bribes in the form of campaign contributions, getting rich salaries for your spouse and kids, sweetheart deals on loans and real estate, a pension that most people would kill for and 7-figure salaries for yourself and your staff members after they leave “public service.” You also get to steer government contracts to your friends and familiy who in turn will take good care of you.
There’s a reason why half of the members of the Senate are millionares (including many who weren’t when they arrived in DC) and why some people will pay large amounts of their own money (as a last resort) to win “public office.”
Larry, you cover my point well. Use Davids’ restrictions on all other forms of compensation with teeth. As long as the main part of the compensation as well as reelection funds come from sources with a self interest that doesn’t necessarily match ours, and the problems will continue in the same vein.
McGehee misses the point below that they are already high pay with vast power, except that the pay comes from the wrong sources.
The highly capable can make millions a year in many fields and would take a massive loss to do elected public service, if, and only if, they are honest. Crooks and incompetents are favored at this time to the point that they have taken over.
The law of the market is that you get what you pay for and no more. We are not paying market rates for top executives. Every other field understands this.
The problem with your suggestion is that it would require them to pass laws against their own self-enrichment. They exempt themselves from most laws as a matter of course (for example, ObamaCare), so it’s hard to believe they’ll willingly write laws that can be used against them.
Members of Congress are not executives.
Your point, dependent as it is on your simpleminded definition of “the best,” is simply irrelevant to this discussion.
Combine high pay with vast power and you get those who are best at convincing low-information voters (idiots) to vote for them, and then who use their power to amass wealth, and their wealth to retain power.
Anyone who would choose only which pays best, CEO or Senator, is the kind of “best” we don’t want.
I think there’s some interesting ground here. Pay a CEO level salary, but require blind trusts for all assets, and put some teeth into that restriction.
I’d say you’re better served with a well paid legislator that has strong incentive not to divert government resources to line his own pockets. The net cost could be substantially lower.
I think a more interesting project would be the US Constitution with links to the relevant discussions in the Federalist Papers and other documents that better establish the intent of certain language.
Do they understand the implication of making property an inalienable right? Ah, but they could just ignore that as well.
Median income is not going far enough. I say, no income. Just provide them with room and board. If they don’t like that, they can let others play.
Best does equate with income.
Does not, is what I meant to say.
So what kind of NFL quarterback do you get for free? After all, they should play for love of the game, right?
Apparently we’re not getting our money’s worth from your commentary either.
“Apparently we’re not getting our money’s worth from your commentary either.”
I can live with that. My “pay” would be a few people understanding this particular problem. Since I got that, I’m probably overpaid by your lights.
It’s not a “readable” copy, its an “amended” copy, with stuff added at the whim of whoever put up the web page.
It’s more readable than the “living document” some on the left suggested.
Not to mention the Chris Gerrib version, with the Commerce Clause written in letters the size of Rosie O’Donnell’s butt and the rest of the Constitution in micro-type.
No elected service if elected to anything else in the prior 18 months?”No person shall be eligible to become a representative who currently holds or has held in the last 18 months any elected office or position of public trust.”
But I like “No bill can be voted on in either house until it has been read aloud to the members assembled in that house.” They’d still be reading The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…
John S – Arguably, that clause might cause further problems. “Position of public trust” might well be taken to include “civil servants” as well – as in paid, unelected government employees. But that isn’t clear.
I’m a Brit, but I think term limits ought to be in there somewhere. With those in place, the wholesale corruption that everyone knows exists would be much more expensive for the corruptors.
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