Downsize Congress – An Intriguing Thought

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I rarely pass along emails because we’re all busy, have a full Inbox, and so many emails are rants or just plaine silly, but this one is worth considering.  I plan to include it as a “Consider This” in my book We Can Give Our Grandchildren a Better World.

The Proposal

When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that frequently happens is they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers must find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well. Wall street and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of “tough decision”, and the board of directors gives upper corporate management big bonuses.

Our government should not be immune from similar risks. Therefore:

  •  Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members. 
  • Reduce Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State).
  • Reduce their remaining staff by 25%.
  • Accomplish this over the next 8 years (two steps/two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting.

Some Yearly Monetary Gains Include:

  • $46,600,00 for elimination of base pay for congress. (268 members X $174,000 pay/member/ yr.)
  • $433,000,000 for elimination of their staff. (Estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)
  •  $108,000,000 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.
  • $7,500,000,000 reduction in pork barrel earmarks each year. (Those members whose jobs are gone. Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion/yr).

The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country!  We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well. It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing.  Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established. (Telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)

Congress does not hesitate to head home for extended weekends, holidays and recesses, when what the nation needs is a real fix for economic problems. Also, we had 3 senators who were not doing their jobs for the 18+ months (on the campaign trail) and still they all accepted full pay. Minnesota survived very well with only one senator for the first half of this year. These facts alone support a reduction in senators and congress.

Summary of opportunity:

  • $47 million reduction of congress members.
  •  $283  million elimination of the reduced house member staff.
  •  $150 million elimination of reduced senate member staff.
  • $71 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members.
  • $38 for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members.
  • $7,500,000,000 reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of congress members.
  • $8 billion per year, estimated total savings. (That’s $8-BILLION just to start!)

Corporate America does these types of cuts all the time.
It’s called  “Downsizing.”

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2 Responses to Downsize Congress – An Intriguing Thought

  1. v.m. COX says:

    I get so tired of being the voice in the darkness. A goodly amount of the screed is FALSE
    Please do your research on Coongressional Pay and Benefits and make the necessary corrections. Then repost or not. There are enough problems in this country without
    using fabrications to make your point. TELL THE TRUTH…..

    • Chris4Gkids says:

      As this wasn’t my article, I didn’t check all the numbers. Here are the ones I did check:
      Salary for Congress, House and Senate:$174,000 per year s of Jan., 2009 (Their last raise)
      Average cost of staff per Representative: $1 Million /year
      Average cost of staff per Senator: $2 Million /year

      Total office expenses, House: FY2010 – $660 million; FY2012 $570 million
      Senate FY2010 – $420 million; FY2012 $400 million
      Sources: ; LegiStorm: Congressional Research Service
      Bottom line – The original numbers are in the ball park

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