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By Don Bright
No matter whom I talk to, I find that Democrats, Republicans, and Independents - whether liberal or conservative - have one complaint in common when talking about the government. Nobody that I know likes the influence of special interest groups and/or lobbyists on our nation’s lawmakers. Everybody (except members of the special interest group involved) wants to say goodbye and good riddance to these vampires that are sucking the lifeblood out of our Republic. So, how can we rid ourselves of this nest of thieves?
I think I have an idea that would severely reduce the influence of this dangerous influence on our representative form of government. But first, I want to name what are, in my opinion, the five most reprehensible and un-American special interest groups in America. (Un-American, in the sense that their agendas are in direct opposition to our intended and historic American system, and thus, the American way.)
Here is my list:
1. By far, the worst special interest group is the education lobby. They have lobbied for and wasted more money on the most loathsome and failed education establishment in our history;
2. Next in line, would be Big Labor. Big labor has caused more job losses than it has job gains. Its goals can be summed up in one word: mediocrity. When a group as powerful as Big Labor (it spends hundreds of millions of dollars in each general election, far more than all business corporations combined) can, and does control productivity, (the number of goods produced per unit of cost) it controls economic growth. You might note that the inflation rate has gone down, and stayed more stable as union membership has declined;
3. My third special interest group on the most dangerous list, would be the environmental lobby. Never have our private property rights – the cornerstone of all of our freedoms - been as violated as they are being violated today. Ever since the old socialist/fascist advocates kidnapped the conservation movement, they have consistently pummeled our American freedoms and rights, in their quest to force the former on us. Worse yet, their largess is mostly made up of taxpayer funds;
4. Government workers are fourth on my list. This is one of my pet peeves. Most of these people - whose salaries we pay - vote for bigger and bigger government, and many do so to increase their own wealth. If I had my way, I would take voting privileges away from any person feeding from the public trough. It definitely brings up enough conflict of interest flags to give it consideration;
5. And finally, I believe Big Business belongs on my list. I never thought I would say this, but there are simply too many beds being shared by corporate bigwigs and Congress. This must stop!
So how to stop this anomalous cancer that has taken our democratic powers from us?
Here’s my idea. Washington, D.C. reminds me of a giant ant pile. A bunch of creepy crawlers that do nothing but work for and protect each other. Any “outsider” (citizen) will be attacked en mass by the establishment. So I say, let’s get them out of the Capitol.
It’s time for the next amendment to our citizens owners' manual, the Constitution. I propose an amendment be passed that will require all elected persons at the federal level to spend a minimum of 275 days every calendar year in their home districts. That would only give them 90 days to hobnob, trade votes, get tanked or sleep with each other. It would also reduce the quantity of the D.C. water they drink. That, alone, should make the whole thing worth it.
Now can you imagine the “adjustment” in thinking this would bring about on the part of our governing elite, if they must look their constituents in the eye and answer for their decisions, nine months out of the year? Wow! And how this would change special interest power! Can you imagine some lobbyist trying to visit 535 different locations to push his goods?
Before you say this is impossible, listen up. We have the technology right now to connect all these people in an almost identical way to that they now have. With closed circuit television, faxes, picture phones, conference calls, and who knows what else is around the corner, it would be quite possible. The only problem with the system, as far as our Reps and Senators are concerned, is they may have to start thinking on their own for once. Can this be bad?
Anytime a situation comes up requiring their returning to Washington outside the ninety allowable days, they would simply declare an emergency and head back. An emergency, however, must be declared through the votes of a super majority of 75 percent. All emergencies must last no longer than 60 days, without another 75 percent vote extending it.
Any and all trips to Washington, whether they be business, family visits, or sightseeing, etc., would be counted against the 90-day allowable quota. Every day spent in Washington, by any member of either house outside the 90-day allowable, would result in a forfeit of one week’s pay.
Nothing would be more fun - at least in my opinion - than to see the East end of 535 humble and slump shouldered muck-a-mucks heading West.
And, the lobbyists? More fodder for the ash heap of history, I say.
The only concern I have about this whole thing is that, while it would raise the IQ level in D. C., it would, as a result, lower the IQ average of the general population. But, I’m willing to take that risk.
October 3, 2006
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