You Want Change? Try These Ideas

By Paul Eilers on 11:19 AM

Filed Under:

by Norma White
October 21, 2008

Each presidential candidate is giving his rendition of the changes he wants for America.

Here are a few that I believe all Americans want.

  • Limit Congress from serving more than two terms. That is all that presidents are allowed.
  • Stop Congress from voting for their own raises. How did that ever get started?
  • Stop paying for lawmakers' high-priced insurance premiums. After all, they are only part-time employees. They might pass some law changes on the insurance companies, if they had to find one.
  • Stop paying lawmakers their full salary after serving just one term, or at retirement. We need to get rid of that pension plan; they've let other companies get rid of theirs. You were lucky to get 40 to 50 percent of your salary after working somewhere for 35 years, but they get 100 percent.
  • Make Congress pay into the Social Security system. They make laws for it. If they spent some of their own money, they might be interested in making it solvent.
  • Stop handing out aid to illegal aliens. If we did, then Medicaid and the food stamp program would have enough money to aid the aged and the poor.
  • Secure our borders.
  • Stop allowing babies born to illegal aliens in the United States automatic U.S. citizenship.
  • Stop the abuse of our benevolent welfare system. We feed children free meals three times a day until they are 17. Churches give away good, clean clothes. Companies buy and donate school supplies. Emergency rooms provide health care at taxpayer expense and the food stamp program is buying food at home. What are parents doing for their children?
  • Have a computer program that cross checks Social Security numbers with fingerprints to stop fraud on many fronts. Use it on voter registration, too.
  • Stop bailing out mortgage companies and banks that give loans to people who cannot afford them.
  • Stop companies from paying CEOs and other executives outrageous salaries and bonuses while doing away with workers' pensions.
  • Stop all unnecessary spending so we will have the money for our nation's security, and to help needy and elderly Americans.
  • Stop permitting anyone to have a photo with their face covered on driver's licenses.
Whoever wins the presidency will not be able to make these changes.

Only members of Congress can do this, as they are the lawmakers.

I don't believe Congress is interested in changing anything, do you?

Norma White of Amarillo is a retired network engineer for Southwestern Bell.

7 comments for this post

Oh should I come up with a list too... this is a good start but I can think of several others that the American people would love to see come about! Its too bad that congress doesn't seek the same change in American that we do!!

Posted on November 7, 2008 at 11:41 AM  

Krissi, please do add to the list.

This column came out before the election. I'm sure that a few more things are on the minds of the American people now that the election is over.

Posted on November 7, 2008 at 12:19 PM  

All good ideas.

Posted on November 7, 2008 at 2:41 PM  

Some interesting propositions here. I agree with a number of them, not others, and think a few actually can't be done by Congress.

As for term limits, we've always had them courtesy of election day. I think the imposition of term limits on the Arkansas Legislature has only empowered the monied interests, lobbyists who have more institutional memory and better connections than the lawmakers do now. I'd rather repeal the state term limits law and encourage better voting habits. I'd also not seek congressional term limits (which Congress would never impose on itself, so there'd have to be a voter initiative).

I'm all for Congress paying into Social Security, pay for their own health insurance, etc. No reason for them to be exempt from any employment law. Raises are more complicated; maybe a cost of living hike indexed to inflation? If it's put to popular vote they'd never get raises, probably, which is unfair in the opposite direction of giving themselves raises.

And I'm a big advocate of eliminating pensions and retirement benefits for elected officials at any level of government. This is public service, not a career (no matter how long you stay in); plus, no real-world job offers you those benefits after such a short time.

The issue of aid to illegal aliens is equally difficult; yes, it would save some money, but likely not a whole lot. Plus, if we don't let them get medical care, for instance, that could lead to widespread disease (if someone had something contagious) or other collateral problems. As for children born in the US being citizens, I'm pretty sure that's written right into the Constitution; I'd rather not mess with that.

Welfare reform is likewise immensely complicated. I got no answers for that issue.

While I can sympathize with the anger over CEO pay, that's not an issue for government to address. That's something shareholders and investors should be dealing with; consumers can vote with their wallets, too. However, there need to be clearly written, and vigorously enforced, laws forbidding unethical business deals that rip off consumers; send some CEOs to prison and beggar a few with ginormous fines, and I bet things will change quickly.

The voting and drivers license issues cannot be taken on by Congress, not easily at least, since both of these things are handled by the states.

And as for stopping all unnecessary spending, well, what I think is necessary you may call frivolous, and vice versa.

Here's the thing I like most about this post: You're not just whining and moaning about how much things suck. You put a little thought into this, and raised specific issues. Thinking: Now THAT is what will get us out of this mess!

Posted on November 7, 2008 at 8:02 PM  
Anonymous

I agree with Norma White's Column, YOU WANT CHANGE? TRY THESE IDEADS".

I think "yobtsvt" has made some good points on her subject.

I sure would like to organize a movement to make some of these changes come about. Starting with limiting Congress from serving more than two terms.

We the people need to become involved.

Posted on November 9, 2008 at 4:04 PM  
Anonymous

I just have to make some comments here:

As for term limits: We do need term limits as those that seem to cause the most trouble in Congress are the long term career politicians. As of now there are certain state politicians that seem to have control of Congress to such an extent that nothing can get done unless it's their agenda. I believe two terms (12 yrs)limit for Senators and six term limit(12 yrs)for House members is enough for any of them to line their pockets as they are going to do anyway.

I'm all for Congress paying into Social Security: Absolutely and while we're at it they should only be allowed a nominal retirement of, lets say, $10k a year if they have served their full term limits plus Social Security when they are eligible. That's a reasonable amount and very generous for no more years that they would be allowed to serve. If they do not serve full limits, no retirement. They can go to work for a company and put money into a 401k or IRA just like the rest of us has to do. Just because they are elected to serve the people doesn't mean they are better than any other citizen of these United States of America.

Raises: Cost of living hike indexed to inflation just like the rest of us!! No Exceptions.

The issue of aid to illegal aliens: NONE PERIOD.
This would not even be on the table if our government had done it's job to start with and stopped this atrocity that has befallen us. It might take 20 years but the borders should be closed securely NOW and all illegals should be sought out and arrested for deportation with no exceptions and no matter what the cost. If they have children born in the USA they should go with their parents until they are of legal age and then be allowed back in but only if they are proficient in speaking English so they can become productive citizens.

As for Anchor Babies, in the US being citizens:
I am absolutely SURE it is written in our Constitution and it should be amended to stop this practice. When this was written the founders were thinking of legal immigrants children not illegals in our country. We should all be putting pressure on our politicians to make sure this is put on a ballot in the US for vote so this can be corrected and corrected now!

Welfare reform is likewise immensely complicated: NOT! I have an answer for this since you don't. It must be done. If the Democrats want change then they should be given change. Get the deadbeats off of the welfare rolls and put them to work for our communities. There are plenty of jobs to be done in our cities, counties, state and country. If they draw a check because they can't find a job, give them a job but for crying out loud quit paying folks for sitting on their butts!!!

While I can sympathize with the anger over CEO pay: If they are going to bale out these companies, they should be required to fire the CEOs with no benefits and replace them with someone else. Heck, maybe the janitor. He/she can probably do as good a job as the CEOs of these companies that have stolen so much for the stock holders and put the companies in bankruptcy.

The voting and drivers license issues cannot be taken on by Congress: And why not?? Congress can mandate requirements to organizations, states, counties and cities when they receive Federal Funds so why can't there be a Federal requirement for all states to have citizenship and address validation in order to obtain drivers license or photo and fingerprint IDs? All voters should be required to show valid drivers license or their photo fingerprint IDs when voting. Registration should be required to be done no later than six months prior to the next upcoming election in order to stop what we have seen in this last election. If someone really wants to be part of the election process, they will register in this manner. There is no excuse for a citizen that wants to vote to not register in this amount of time before an election!!

as for stopping all unnecessary spending: Let's start with pork barrel spending such as earmarks. We allow the politicians to technically buy votes from their states by grabbing money without any oversight as to the projects they spend it on. If the elected officials state needs money, it should be in the form of a bill, etc. that is made public but at least go through a more formal channel other than an attachment. Attachments to other bills makes it to easy for corruption without oversight.This must STOP!

Here's the thing I like most about this post: You're not just whining and moaning about how much things suck. You put a little thought into this, and raised specific issues. Thinking: Now THAT is what will get us out of this mess!: I agree and if we don't all get together and start sending emails and making phone calls to our elected officials, we will never get anything done that this country needs. There will only be "business as usual" and that has to be corrected. If the Democrats voted for change then change should be in order. It's going to be very interesting to see how long it's going to take before most of those that voted for Obama are going to jump off the bandwagon and disavow any voting for him if
"their idea of change" is not brought about.
HOPE and CHANGE, yeah, but will it be for the
better? I am Soapbox Sam and I said that. :-)

Posted on November 17, 2008 at 9:00 AM  
Anonymous

There are two things that need to be done that would restore this republic within four years.. Both would limit the voting franchise. 1: If you have been on welfare anytime in the last 5 years, you do not vote! 2: If you work for the government you do not vote! And I mean from the federal level to the local level.

Posted on November 18, 2008 at 12:45 PM  

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