Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Five More Easy Steps to Government Of, For, and By the People

1.  Any federal government official who does not obey a court order (save for an appeal) within 30 days shall be removed from office and banned for life from any other federal government employment.

2.  End costly presidential entourages (two jumbo jets, helicopters, limousines, security personnel) to annual international meetings that accomplish little more than photo-ops and lowest common denominator statements of cooperation. These include the G-7, G-8, G-20, G-35, Asia-Pacific Conference, NATO, United Nations General Assembly opening, and so forth.  Lower-level officials can attend meetings at vastly lower cost and work out the details for a joint statement.

3.  Congressional leaders (Speakers, Majority Leaders, Opposition Party Leaders, and Committee Chairs) shall be term limited.

4.  No Member of congress shall chair more than one special hearing a year to prevent the excessive politicization of important matters.

5.  Congressional hearings shall consist solely of questions directed to witnesses by members and their replies.  Members shall not make opening, politically-charged statements.  All testimony shall be submitted in advance and posted on the Committee’s website before hearings begin.  Any violation of these rules shall preclude the Member of Congress from chairing another hearing for the duration of the Session.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Five Easy Steps to a More Open, Transparent, Limited Federal Government

1.  Limit each congressional bill to one subject.  No riders, amendments, or attachments that are not integral to the subject shall be included.  Any member of Congress who attempts to attach a non-integral addition shall lose his/her right to introduce legislation for the remainder of that Session.

2.  Limit each Member of Congress to introducing one bill per session.  Any member who attempts to introduce more than one bill, even if the first bill fails to be passed into law, shall lose the right to introduce legislation in the next Session.

3.  After 10 bills are passed into law in any Session of Congress, every subsequent bill enacted into law shall require the repeal of a law whose costs shall equal that of the estimated costs of the new legislation.

4.  Congress shall enact new penalties for federal government officials.  Any head of a federal agency or department who fails within sixty days to produce documents requested by a congressional committee charged with its oversight shall be removed from office without pay or pension and precluded for life from any other federal employment.  His/her successor, the number two person in the agency shall have 15 days to comply or face similar punishment.  The process shall continue until all political appointments in that agency have been removed from office.

5.  Any government official lying under oath to Congress shall be removed from office without pay or pension and precluded for life from any other federal employment.

6,  All five measures shall be adjudicated within 72 hours by an Independent Panel of seven American adult citizens that excludes all members of Congress, the Executive Branch, the Judicial Branch, and their employees.  Except for reimbursement of expenses, panel members shall serve for a maximum term of three years without pay and thereafter be precluded for a minimum of five years from federal government employment or eligibility for federal contracts.

(Details of the panel’s selection shall be presented in a subsequent post.)