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home : opinion : opinion July 27, 2016

11/25/2012 6:00:00 AM
Kingman Letter: A few government reforms

I read with interest Ms. Dane's op-ed letter in this Sunday's Miner. Not only do I agree with her, but I would take it a few steps further:

1) ALL branches of government should have term limits; 2) As Ms. Dane states, pay for only the days worked; 3) No further pay/insurance/security after term limit has expired. If there is a physical treatment, they need to go through the same process as the rest of the general population; 4) Their health insurance to be the same as mandated by this president for us; 5) Any future pay raises are based on performance and are voted on by "We the people"; and 6) Eliminate all payments/security to past government personnel.

This would be a good start in getting our fiscal house in order.

Sam Wise


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, December 7, 2012
Article comment by: America's Non-public Sector Worker

Well A.N. teachers, firefighters, government employees do have it better than the average worker. Reports over the past couple years (even the Miner's own articles) have detailed their salaries are higher than the average, their paid holidays are more numerous, their benefits are better. I don't advocate necessary bringing them down to the average American - I'd rather see the average American job situation improved to their level.

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“An amendment to the Constitution would do it.”

Article V of the Constitution prescribes how an amendment can become a part of the Constitution. While there are two ways, only one has ever been used. All 27 Amendments have been ratified after two-thirds of the House and Senate approve of the proposal and send it to the states for a vote. Then, three-fourths of the states must affirm the proposed Amendment. With the current grid-lock emposed by the Republicans it is highly doubtful that would work.

The other method of passing an amendment requires a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States. That Convention can propose as many amendments as it deems necessary. Those amendments must be approved by three-fourths of the states. Of course a Constitutional Convention opens up the entire Constitution for revision – I don’t really think we need to see that happen.

I suggest you read Article V of The Constitution for additional clarification

Posted: Friday, November 30, 2012
Article comment by: Tired Of It

Letters and phone calls to congressmen and women. That's what it takes to change anything.

Posted: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Article comment by: Old Desert Woman

An amendment to the Constitution would do it. They have made their own contract, we need to make the contract.

Posted: Monday, November 26, 2012
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“Unfortunately as long as we, the ‘little people’ allow government employees to have it better than we it will continue.”

Hmm, I never for a moment thought that the military, teachers, police, and firefighters “have it better than we.”

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Frank Harris

Ditto, Sam. Unfortunately as long as we, the "little people" allow government employees to have it better than we it will continue. We must protest, sign petitions, write congress, write newspaper letters (thanks, Sam), express our opinions on talk radio, etc..

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

To Sam Wise:

I agree with everything you added. I also believe that if a politician is found guilty of a crime while a member of congress, or thrown out of office because of some criminal wrongdoing, they should not continue to receive their pensions and health insurance. I'm sorry, but I think it is wrong that no matter how crooked they are, they continue to get it. After they serve their time, many of them will walk out of jail quite rich.

As for that pension taking care of their family while that politician is incarcerated, that is not our fault that the spouse was a crook and should not be rewarded as such by us continuing to pay his/her pension. Like the rest of those who need help if their spouse is put in jail, that politician's family can get outside help if needed. As it stands now, there is little consequence for a politician being a crook or a tax evader. They know they will forever get their pension, no matter how crooked they are.

"According to the Taxpayers Union research, 20 lawmakers over the last 25 years have been found guilty of serious crimes while in office. All 20 received, or are still receiving, congressional retirement benefits." (cnn.com)

I also believe that politicians guilty of a crime should not be allowed to run for any other political office. Case in point: One-term Senator Carol Moseley Braun, who was guilty of fraud, but never spent a day in jail for any of of her misdeeds while in office because the prosecutor was a friend of hers. Then, in 2011, she ran against Rahm Immanual for the position of Mayor of Chicago. Luckily, she lost that election. But this woman belongs in jail. (realchange.org)


Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Toodumtu Care

I agree with all the above, now the problem is how to accomplish all these. What with the same people in government making the rules as to their pay and benefits, just how do we the people change it?? Can't do it by changing the politicians, can't go there and change the rules ourselves.
The only way I can see to change things is to just stop giving them the money to squander as they jolly well feel. Maybe if they don't have the money, they will question the reasons for no money. I know that is all folly to think people would ever do this, but I thought it was a helluva good idea.

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

The only problem with your plan is you have no power to implement it, and those who do are the ones your trying to limit their terms, reduce them sweet fringe benefits, good luck on that one! I live in reality, only way to limit a politician is to vote him out of office! If I want to have some fantasy I can tune to a movie on television!

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew

“4. Their health insurance to be the same as mandated by this president for us ”

Actually that is exactly what the AHCA does. However it should be pointed out that all federal employees – including Congress – have access to various health care plans that they pay for or that they may opt out of paying for.

Posted: Sunday, November 25, 2012
Article comment by: Doing Research

A few points to consider:

Supreme Court Judges should still be exempt from term limits. That's why they get terms for life, while they are supposed to be somewhat apolitical, they shouldn't be forced by a sunset clause to start making political decisions. Our Founding Fathers had that right.

National elections are costly - just ask California how their referendum system works for them.

Why not implement the "Buffet Amendment" in some form, where A) Congress only gets paid if a budget is passed and B) congresspeople are not able to run for re-election if the budget causes a debt, and let's add C) Congress can get a pay raise if the CBO determines that there is room for it in a balanced budget, not to exceed the rate of inflation.

Though, the last one... are you suggesting eliminating retirement programs for former USG employees?

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