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Congress Is The Problem

Pay, Power, Privilege, Perquisites, Prestige, and Pensions

The US Constitution established 3 branches of government – the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. The President, the Congress (House of Representatives and the Senate), and the Supreme Court, each have limited powers under the Constitution.

In our experience, all 3 branches have exceeded the limits of their powers, but the greatest abuse has been by Congress, a failure of its duty to legislate. Instead of passing laws that clearly define obligations, Congress writes general laws and devolves its authority to the Federal bureaucracy, the so-called “Fourth Branch of Government.” This bureaucracy has 2,000 agencies, departments, offices, and sub-offices – no one knows exactly how many – staffed by 2.6 million unelected and unaccountable civilian employees, protected by their unions and paid double (yes, with benefits, double!) the average compensation of non-government workers.

Congress has abandoned its duty and responsibility by devolving its powers to this huge bureaucracy, with phrases in laws such as in Obamacare “The Secretary (of HHS) shall…” – and she did! This is how the horrible 2,800 page Obamacare law has spawned thousands of pages of regulations. Worse yet, these regulations have the force of law!

Congress is directly responsible for the growth of Federal regulations to over 80,000 pages that govern our lives. Congress is also responsible for the 75,000 pages of the Internal Revenue Code – a mass of tangled rules and regulations that even the best accountants cannot understand. This horrendous code costs our businesses hundreds of billions to deal with, and adds to the cost of everything we buy and everything we export. Congress is directly responsible for the punitive 35% business income tax – the highest in the world. It’s over 40% when State taxes are added!

We often blame Presidents for the skyrocketing $20 trillion national debt, but that too is the fault of Congress. They spend like fools and waste billions on grants and other handouts every year.

Another huge problem is the rules Congress makes for itself. Many rules are for procedure and order, but some are for the benefit of the Members, to help them keep their membership in the club. One of the worst is the amendment process.

Amendments can be attached to legislation even if they are only marginally related to the purpose of a Bill. This allows Members to vote for or against a Bill and claim credit no matter what was the primary purpose of a Bill. The solution? No amendments – each Bill should stand alone on its merits. This would mean many more Bills, but each vote would have a clear meaning.

Another problem is the Senate rule that allows unlimited debate, allowing a minority to stall any legislation, no matter how important.

What can be done to force Congress to reform? Most Members when first elected have a sincere desire to serve honorably, but before they’ve been there long they learn that the most important goal is reelection. The rewards are great – pay, power, privilege, perquisites, prestige, and pensions. Few can resist the desire for reelection, but when it becomes the major goal, it’s not a good thing. Much time an effort spent on political posturing and campaigning would be better spent working on good legislation – or on killing the bad!

This brings us to the subject of “Term Limits.” The President is term-limited to two terms – why not Congress? Term Limits would allow each Congressperson to serve without making it a lifetime career. Our Founders and the Framers of the Constitution envisioned a government by citizens, not by professional politicians.

6 Responses to Congress Is The Problem

  1. pat taylor March 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm #

    perhaps this is where trump needs to start thinning the weeds out and discontinue many agencys that are not needed. Union can bitch but if there is no longer a place well you can go to the unemployment line just like rest of us

  2. Ruth March 16, 2017 at 11:26 am #

    Term limits would limit terms for good elected “citizen servants”. Put the focus on Prayer that God would limit terms of those who don’t abide by the Constitution. And Prayer for the voters that their eyes will be open to voting righteously.

    • Michael Phipps March 16, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

      Ruth, there aren’t ANY term limits for the bureaucratic(mostly Civil Service unionists) state. Hence why it takes 2+ years to FIRE a bad employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs. A suggested read is Alan Axelrod’s ‘Full Faith and Credit’.

  3. Jane March 16, 2017 at 10:36 am #

    John, I agree completely with what you say! I have long said what you are saying! Thanks!

  4. Joseph Busch March 16, 2017 at 10:10 am #

    Thank you for a frank view of how corrupt our government has become. I pray we have not gone too far with evildoers that we can’t correct the errors and get back to responsible government that will serve our country. Unfortunately the corrupt politicians appeal to the corrupt electorate who always want something for nothing, and are willing to let this country fall then to do what is right.
    All Christians need to pray and have their voice heard for major reforms to drain this swamp.

    • Michael Phipps March 16, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

      Joseph, as Crusade Channel host Mark Kreslins calls it, a bi-partisan corrupt, morally bankrupt, de facto rather than de jure, government. The anti-federalist back in 1788, the most prominent one being Patrick Henry, warned about the government we currently have in place. Can’t wait to read Rod Dreher’s ‘ The Benedict Option’.

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