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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Make amends or build a big fence.

To start today's blog I am going to shamelessly plug a book. At the beginning of the next month a book called "The Longest War." will be available for sale. This book is a compilation of stories from soldiers and their family members. Forty five authors contributed to the pages, yours truly being one of them. Pre-sales will start soon, so get your copy reserved. You pick my contributions out and I will sign it with something witty, rude, or the style you guys have grown to know and love. Click on the title for the Facebook page and follow along with the progression of this soon to be New York Times best seller. Oh and this is how you support your troops, not with some lame ass magnet attached to your fossil fuel guzzling foreign made consumptive icon to your personal greed. Over fifty percent of the profits will go to veteran organizations, and the bit the authors make will be going to veterans and their families. How fucking awesome is that?

So now back to the business of my personal rants designed to improve my writing ability. Today I want to discuss a topic that has been brewing in my mind, and attempt to give it form and function. This is my idea for the 28th Amendment. I truly believe that something like this could correct the issues with our government and quite possibly restore the vision of our founding fathers. You see they wanted a government for the people and by the people. They wanted a functional republic that would insure individual freedoms and not be repressive to life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. It was not intended to be a country of wealthy persons lording over the peasants. That ideal of divine right was what they wished to counter.

So in that I believe that right now those with money have a bigger say in the business of our country then the masses. They are able to support their candidates economically in ways that the average Joe could not possibly hope to offer. On top of that, winning an election is akin to winning the lottery and establishing a precedence of lavish lifestyle that many a young child would dream about. It is no longer about civil service, but the ultimate room service. How do we eliminate that greed and corruption and prevent even the possibility of the perception of corruption in the eyes of the people? Simple you take out the ability of those in office from receiving excessive profit from that office, or offer debt for themselves to those in the positions of wealth and power.

How the hell do you do that? Well you start by amending the Constitution and revise the rules of election. First we add a small tax, or increase the amount you the tax payer can offer to a campaign pool of funds. No outside donations will be allowed, and all candidates that are qualified and on the ballot can draw equal sums of funds from the pool in proportion to their role in government. No outside funds would be allowed, and ads run by third parties would not be allowed to use the likeness of a candidate they are looking to represent. No more pac's or fund raising events. No candidate would be able to "buy" an election because they would all be allotted a fix dollar amount based on the persons in their voting area. For example a member runs for the Senate and has a population in their district is limited to a set amount based on the population. So id they have one million registered voters and the amount is set at twenty five cents per voter, they would have two hundred and fifty thousand dollars to spend on their campaign. While the Presidential race would have a much higher budget being that they have to reach or get exposure to the entire population of the country, but would be at the same rate of say twenty five cents per voter.

Now I would accept that tax increase to fund this election pool if it means that my elections are protected from outside persons trying to buy or win influence for a representative that they helped put into office. I would go further and say that the persons in office should have their personal assets frozen until their term ends, and would live to a standard that is appropriate to their elected station. Ergo the president would have a clothing allowance so he can present himself as a well to do leader on the world stage, even though he and other members of the federal government would have no access to their personal wealth. I would also limit their salary while in office to that of the national average of salaries or no more then 10% more then they pay the highest paid person in the military? So while it is a reward to serve your country, it is no longer winning the lottery and limiting access to those of great personal wealth.

These are my thoughts. Not much, and just taking form. They are not written in legalize or that great double talk they use to close up loop holes that most of us of good morale fiber would never think to abuse. It is a thought though, and seriously gaining steam in my mind. So if you would like to share you thoughts on the subject please do. Help this become something that maybe one day we can present to those officials to let them know we do not have patience for their greed and abuse anymore. If I wanted to live in a corporate controlled government I would read cyber punk fiction. If I wanted your church to tell me how to live I would go to it. I love this country though because we have the opportunity to even think about change like this.


  1. Lets take a look at the salaries you are willing to pay and pay a higher personal tax for under your amendment.

    An O-10 with 34 years in makes a BASE pay of $220,000.00 per year and gets another $24,000.00 in BAH for $244,000.00 per year in salary. I am not even going to calculate all the other pay out there. Lets just agree that the POTUS = O-10 and work down from there.

    Now the POTUS has not gotten a pay raise since 2001 when his salary went to $400,000.00 and gets a $50,000 expense allowance.

    With your proposal the POTUS and VPOTUS would make $268,000.00 each with the plus 10% added.

    Unless you start to make the wages go down from, you have already given the VPOTUS a $29,700.00 pay raise. So lets assume you want the pay to decrease from the POTUS and make the VPOTUS an O-9 with 34 years. This would give him $240,000.00 a year and thus INCREASE his pay by a mere $700.00.

    Now, lets take the rank and file congressional (House AND Senate) members making $174,000.00 per year. If we assume that they hold the position of maybe say a Colonel, they would then make $136,000.00 per year. Then add in your 10% increase they would make $149,600.00. This is a pathetic $24,400.00 pay cut per year and not really that much difference in the realm of things. Yet you are willing to pay a HIGHER personal tax for this under your Amendment. While I love you like a Brother, I am GLAD you are not running for office. Now I understand that $24K (100 senators) + $24K (435 House members) = $12.84 Million that is NOT all that much in a TRILLION dollar budget (1.3%). I am NOT willing to pay a higher tax to save the country 1.3% in the annual budget to cut the money from politics.

    You want to talk about cuts, lets cut the LIFETIME Secret Service to the former POTUS and VPOTUS. Lets take their $199,700 ANNUAL taxable retirement, cut his FREE medical at military hospitals and scratch their civilian readjustment fund.

    The problems you want fixed could simply be done by forcing the next POTUS to declare the War Powers Act dissolved and put us back to the Constitution and allowing the current Constitutional Dictatorship we are in to expire. Once that is done we can go back to being a Republic as GUARANTEED in the Constitution and the money would not play as big of part as it does now. This concerns me more than any amount of money that is allowed to be donated or simply given to a politician running for office. We NEED OUR CONSTITUTION back FISRT.. THEN and only then, can we get our government back.

  2. Mike simply dissolving the War Powers Act would only restore the Constitutional rights but it would not further prevent the corruption of the government, nor would it disallow corporate influence. The salary fixes are suggestions and nothing more. The only fixed point of reference I could find that would offer enough money to compensate for the job. I was thinking maybe the Senators only make the salary of the highest paid public school teacher plus 10%, but these are just thoughts. The big push for me would be to remove the money from my politics.

    Seeing politicians like athletes, with endorsements and contract deals with a variety of kick backs pisses me off. I know that many of the issues we have with our country now could have been avoided without that influence, and can be corrected with it removed. People would not bitch about Halliburton if the VP could not draw funds, or ever draw funds from the actions of his term. The housing market could have been adjusted or caught long before the collapse if there were not so many hands in that cookie jar. Hell those hippies on the Occupy movement might still be sitting on their futons munching tofu if those fat cats on Wall Street had been held accountable by people loyal to the voters and not their cash.

    Foreign policy could and would be stronger because we would be worried about the trade of our nation, not which companies they could show favor to so they can increase their retirement nest egg. Seriously so much could and would get fixed if we held campaigns to the same rules that civil servants are held too in regards to the acceptance of gifts. Look at the dollar amounts, and ask why someone felt that was a great idea in the first place?

    In regards to the salaries of the President or other elected officials, their salaries should be paid. They do the work they get a fair wage for it, that is American. The money we would save but cutting their salaries dramatically would have little or no impact on the budget and deficit of the country. Millions rarely impact trillions, but I can tell you if the salary was competitive and they are accountable to the people that budget would be addressed with more then a passing fancy.

  3. You make many good points, but restoring the Constitution would end the Constitutional Dictatorship we have and not allow the POTUS to abuse his EXECUTIVE power. It is a HUGE step in taking back our government. HUGE! The reason for this is, if Congress passes a law the POTUS doesn't like, he simply Vetoes it. You say congress can voerride it, I say of the 2,564 Vetoes in the HISTORY of the United States, only 110 have been overridden. With that said, the President can toss out something called an EXECUTIVE ORDER and because of the War Powers Act, it is LAW. The President has this little thing called the United States Code working for him. - 12 USC Section 95b says:
    The actions, regulations, rules, licenses, orders and proclamations heretofore or hereafter taken, promulgated, made, or issued by the President of the United States or the Secretary of the Treasury since March the 4th, 1933, pursuant to the authority conferred by Subsection (b) of Section 5 of the Act of October 6th, 1917, as amended [12 USCS Sec. 95a], are hereby approved and confirmed. (Mar. 9, 1933, c. 1, Title 1, Sec. 1, 48 Stat. 1.).. -- WHAT - no congress, no override. NO VOTE.... it is just so.

    Maybe we can learn from France on this subject. They have limits on political campaigns. The end result is if the politician breaks the rules, his candidancy is ruled invalid and can be banned from future campaigns. Simple enough.

    Salaries for politicians should be maxed between $50,000.00-$75,000.00. What this would do is force those that go into it for the money OUT. No more titty to suck on and draw a huge check. I know it is not the fix-all, but it is a start. Again, this is not that simple, but a Congressman is usually in session for ONLY 120 days a year (4 months). This leave 8 months of the year to basically FAWK OFF. OK, OK, they come back to their home state and shake hands, make new laws that FAWK most of us and most importantly, they -- RAISE MONEY FOR REELECTION. So, if we limit the salaries to $50,000.00 they would in fact be on tract to make $150,000.00 a year IF they worked 12 months like EVERY OTHER American that holds a JOB. We should NOT have to pay them when they are NOT in Washington working for the Corporation. Period.... $50,000 is more than enough for the 4 months of work they really do for the Corporation in Washington.

  4. Well right now brother the government we have in place has no desire to restore the Constitution. It is not in there best interest, or in their special interest as it were. So proposing change to remove corrupt is a step to reestablishing the proper checks and balances. Salary caps are great, but the wages need to be competitive and reflect their stature. Seriously running the free world or as that representative you should be entitled to a competitive wage. I have no issues with that. I have issues with companies expressing their need to get legal favor and holding sway over our government.

  5. That is why the states are coming together to declare their sovereingty. As of 5 March 2010 there were 23 states that have declared their sovereingty with 10 more in the works. Wyoming and Utah are the latest to JOIN THE BATTLE and delcare theirs! Alabama, Nebraska, Washington, Rhode Island, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Missouri, Mississippi and Maryland are all working on their STATE Legislatures to declare theirs too.
    Just a note, if there are 50 states and 23 have declared their Sovereignty, that is 46% that are standing together. When the other ten come on board, we will have 66% of the states declaring sovereignty and that is the 2/3 NEEDED to demand the Federal Government stand down according to the Constitution. Once that is done, only 5 more states need to come on board and there is 75% of the states in aggreement as to what to do. Then we can force a vote on the Federal Government and make them leave. the otehr 25% of the states can conform or become their own nation under the Constitution.

    James Madison said it BEST:
    “To preserve the Republic, it is in the hands of the people. We have staked the whole future of American civilization not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments”

    You tell me what will work better, setting term limits and campaign spending caps - OR - tossing them all out of government according to the Constitutional STATES RIGHTS we have and are getting inline.????.. You and I both agree that big business = BIG GOVERNMENT

  6. And to toss the federal government as you would like to see, what do you see the results being of that exercise? In so doing, do you feel the federal government would just lay down and let it be cast aside? That course would result in blood, and whilst I have little fear of blood shed, it is not the path our country needs to take to be healthy. This cancer needs to be cut out, but not in a way it destroys the body. I am not a fan of big government at all, but I understand the need for a federal government. It is that united front that that keeps the enemies of freedom at bay. It is what keeps the states from tearing at each like dogs looking for scraps. It is a necessity, it just not need to be so big or powerful. So lets look to surgery to correct the condition before we push this old man out on an iceberg.

  7. At this point Jesse, if they dont want to listen to the UNITED states then we are not the UNITED States of America are we. If there are 33 (66%) of the states saying STOP - GET OUT - CEASE and DESIST, then they will have no choise but to put it to a vote of the 50 States. If by chance 38 states say the same thing, then you have 75% saying it is time to go.

    I would like to know your thought(s) on cutting out a cancer that is entangled around the very heart the allows it to exist. The UNITED States is not the UNITED states unless all the states are united. With that, the Federal Government that was instituted by We the People of the United States, and established to form a more perfect Union; While establishing Justice to insure the domestic Tranquility are not doing there job. They are providing for way more than the common defence to give the people a state of general Welfare. To top it off, if you think they are securing our Blessings of Liberty and our Posterity, you are sadly mistaken. Our national debt (while a joke) is beyong comprehention.

    I fully support a Federal Government that stays within its bounds and keeps the power to the states that belongs to the states and or the PEOPLE. Ours at this time and for the last 120 years or so has slowly and methodically taken those rights away. Again, the UNITED States only exist if the States are united. There is NOTHING in the constitution that forces a state to stay in the union and there is NOTHING in the Coinstitution that says they can be brought back into the union by force. What kind of UNITED union is that when you Force someone to comply to your whims in a free and Republic society?

    The Constitution is what is supposed to keep the Government in check, the 3 branches of government check each other. Those checks are NOT in place at the moment and the POTUS does as he sees fit. Congress does as they see fit. But the STATES who are supposed to have the power are in fact powerless. This is what in fact stated the Civil War and caused brother to kill borther and father to kill son.

    It is with sincere hope that we do not come to another civil war when the states stand up UNITED and demand an accounting of what they are doing. It is with the deapest love of these United States that I would like to see things resolved without bloodshed. If by chance that can not be avoided, I pray to the Gods that my Friends, Brothers and Sons choose the side that is right and choose the side that follows the will of the people.