It’s hard to keep track of all the embarrassing moments in Washington, D. C. politics these days, so let’s just concentrate on the latest one shall we? The House of Representatives, still reeling at the news of Speaker of the House John Boehner’s recent announcement that he is stepping down, is all atwitter about who to elect next. The anointed heir apparent, Kevin McCarthy, dropped out of the race, supposedly due to a rumor about a prior “affair”. Where have we heard that before?
Anyway, the most interesting part of this is that a little known fact that has emerged as a result. To wit, a person doesn’t have to be a currently elected representative of the House to be elected Speaker. Yes, the representatives can elect anyone they want. Joe the plumber is just as eligible for the post as anyone.
Needless to say, as soon as I learned this, I started a grass roots campaign to put my name in for consideration. I thereby appeal to you, my loyal readers, to support me in this noble bid. Help me convince the House that they should listen to the thoughts of the common man. Furthermore, I submit there is no more common a man than myself.
Here is what I will push for as Speaker of the House:
1. Although this goes against the core beliefs of most politicians, from now we will read the laws we pass before they are passed.
2. Congress will henceforth meet for only one month every year. This will free us up to get real jobs that will do much less harm to the country. As Will Rogers once said; “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.” It should also be noted that Will Rogers was an optimist.
3. Commensurate with my proposal in #2 above, salaries will be cut to 1/12th of their current levels. This will have the added benefit of reducing our national debt to zero.
4. We, as representatives of the people, will also be personally bound by the laws we pass. Since this will remove the incentive for most politicians to serve, the total number of Congressman can easily be reduced to 50, or one for each state.
5. In keeping with our “majority rules” credo, the congress will only be able to vote itself a raise with the approval of 51 per cent of the electorate during a general election. Wise investing might be advisable due to this new ruling.
6. All contacts between representatives and lobbyists will be permanently discontinued. In fact, our lobbies themselves will be closed. Without lobbyists, why would we need lobbies?
7. In another cost-saving move, the House will charge the executive branch for the use of our facilities to give the annual State of the Union speech. The fee schedule for the said speech will be as follows: First 100 words: $1000 per word; words 101 through 1000: $10,000 per word; words 1001 and up: $100,000 per word.
8. In an effort for this political body to grow a spine, all legislation will be voted on with a yea or nay response. Any attempt to just vote “here” or your unexcused absence from a vote will invoke immediate impeachment proceedings and a letter home to your parents.
9. Our first order of business will be to introduce an amendment to the Constitution for term limits. A two year limit is proposed, but ipso facto item #2 of this list, it really translates to only two months, which is more than enough time for anyone to suckle at the government teat.
10. The tax code shall be simplified and abridged to read no more than 10 pages. Job relocation services will be provided for the 92,000 IRS employees whose services will no longer be required. The 33 remaining employees will each receive a 10% raise.
I like my chances.