It’s been a long time since I have written anything so I figured I would give it another shot.  My topic today deals with how I would, as a member of Congress, seek to reform the Congress to make it more fiscally responsible.

1.  Cut pay of all members of Congress.  Members of Congress make AT LEAST $174,000/year.  That is not counting all the fringe benefits that they get, including health insurance, franking privileges, travel expenses and a bunch of others.  It is not right that members of Congress can get rich in public service.  With that intention in mind, I would cut Congressional pay down to the current poverty level, adjustable for inflation.  They would get a stipend to use for their health insurance, that they must buy on the open market.  They would get no retirement pension, since this is a temporary position, not a career.  They would get no other benefits or emolument, as the Constitution describes it.

2.  Cut Congressional Members personnel staff.  There are many members of Congress who have large numbers of staffers.  This comes usually with their rank in the House or the Senate.  All of these are paid by the tax payer.  Each member of Congress would be allotted one secretary for their D.C. office, and one personal aide that accompanies them while they are in Washington, D.C. They will be paid out of the treasury at the market rate for such positions.  They also will have stipend for their health insurance.  They will not get any retirement since this is a temporary position.  If members wanted additional staff in Washington or in their home state and/or district they must pay for it out of their own pocket (excluding campaign contributions).

3.  Cut Congressional Committee staffs.  There are over 25,000 people who work for the U.S. Congress most of them work for the individual committees that Congress creates to investigate bills.  The staff of these must be cut.  They will be paid the market rate for their positions out of the treasury.  I am not sure how many staffers are needed to run each committee but I can’t imagine it would be more than ten people.

4.  Reform Government Printing Office.   This part of the U.S. Congress is the office that prints these thousand page bills, the federal budget and all other bills and necessary information for members of Congress and their staffs.  Effective immediately I would stop printing all documents on paper and send them to members of Congress via PDF or editable files to be downloaded on to their computers or other devices.  This would make the government more green and save the tax payers money by not having to buy paper.

Those are the major reforms I would make.  Are there any others that people would suggest.  I am open to new ideas.