Monday, May 11, 2009

Congress Needs Cap and Trade

Yes, that is correct.  Congress needs its own form of cap and trade with regard to the people that fill it.  I honestly cannot think of any other group of people so despised by a larger and larger chunk of the American public than Congress right now.
You will notice how Congressional approval numbers have not been widely reported since the first 100 days.  I am sure those numbers are out there, but I do not remember anyone really reporting them.  I am almost certain they are lower than they were last year.
Dave Ramsey has spent the past month or so on his radio show in between calls talking about term limits.  That would be the cap I am talking about.  Individuals need to be limited to 12 years of Congressional duty.  That applies to both houses where a representative cannot serve 12 years and then another 12 in the Senate.  They get 12 years and they are done.  It does not matter if they did a good job or are well-liked.  They need to be booted out by then.
For the trade side, I think the 17th amendment should be repealed, where the selection of Senators falls back to the state legislatures and not the people of the state.  This way, we have a whole house of Congress that does not get bribed by lobbyists because they only have to campaign to a few select representatives in their respective state governments.
Also, we should pass the only article in the Bill of Rights that was not passed.  This one defined the ratio of representation for the House.  Right now there are 435 members in the House and about 300 million American citizens.  That makes us dangerously close to one representative per 1 million people.  That is not great representation by any standard.   Instead, this amendment would ensure that the House would always have at least 100 people and that each Congressperson would represent no more than 50,000 people.
The effect, I think, would be amazing.  With 50,000, rather than 750,000, people represented by one person, you will get a much larger diversity of ideas and a Congress that is less likely to fall into the wicked ideologies of Statism and elitism.  You would also get a group of people that have to agree on all courses of action that better represents the will of the people and much less misbehavior.
You know why the bailouts were passed despite 60% polled opposing it?  Because Congressional representatives knew that despite all the phone calls and emails and letters written to them, they would still retain their jobs.  There were enough people who do not pay enough attention to them for them to be elected.  If they only represent 50,000 people, a few thousand emails and phone calls will actually make a difference.
It is too bad, however, that any of these ideas are likely to be implemented in my lifetime (and keep in mind that I am only 27 years old).  I know this because such changes require amendments and amendments are hard to come by.  I should maybe study up on the how the progressives managed to get so many passed back in the last early century because it is high time that we had a massive shift in the structure of government this century.