Politicians feel our pain. They’ve said so, so it must be true.
They truly understand that we’re hurting. Even Mitt says he believes that a “safety net” is there to help poor families and that he’d fix any holes in the system if he gets elected.
Politicians are so anxious to prove that they are “one of us” that they’ve recently proposed new legislation making it illegal for them to engage in insider trading (even though it’s always been illegal for everyone else). That makes us equals.
My God, they seem so much like me that I feel like I’ve been reunited with a long-lost relative.
Bullshit. I say it’s time to move beyond lip service and phony promises.
I propose a simple plan that I think Americans could get behind and it’s success would demonstrate a genuine shift toward politicians being able to feel our pain.
We continue to hold elections just as we’ve always done. Candidates will campaign and the people will make their choices. Nothing changes.
Once elected, the winners will be sworn in and they’ll take their posts. Still, nothing changes.
Here’s where we try something new:
After assuming office, each elected candidate will then find out through a lottery system how much their salary will be, how good their benefits will be and what kind of staffing budget they’ll be receiving.
Here’s how it will work: since the current poverty rate (fueled by 58.8% of Americans working for minimum wage) is 15.2%, we’ll randomly assign 15.2% of the Congress to receive minimum wage for their effort. (Roughly 81 of them).
We can apply the same 15.2% standard to Congressional staff as well. I’m not sure how much money or how many people they normally deal with, but under this plan 15.2% of them will now be earning minimum wage. (Remember, this won’t hurt staffing levels since anyone who doesn’t like it can always be easily replaced by someone else who’s a little hungrier to work).
Additionally, since 16.3% of the public lacks health insurance, we’ll randomly remove 16.3% of the current Congressional health care participants from the insured roles and let them fend for themselves. (Roughly 87 of them).
It’s a win-win.
First off, we’ll save a ton of tax dollars by reducing government bloat. Secondly, since the cuts will be randomly distributed (some get minimum wage, others lose health care and yet others enjoy cheaper staffing), lots of different Congressmen and staff will be able to truly relate to Main Street and truly understand and feel our pain.
Best of all, this will incentivize them to reduce these statistics since nobody wants to see a Congressman to have to take the bus to work.