Congress is Wildly Out of Control, 6 Ways to Fix It

ByJerrol LeBaron

When Congress can add hundreds of pages to a bill in the middle of the night and pass it the next morning; when Congress can bundle bills the way investment firms bundle securities; when self-serving special interests are allowed to have an exorbitant amount of influence over the laws that are passed, it is time to do something about it.

It’s not like we all woke up on the same morning in 2007 and thought to ourselves, “Gee, I think I will work half as hard and be twice as lazy.” That didn’t happen. We didn’t stop working.

Congress unthinkingly passed, revised, and repealed a series of laws that caused our Great Recession. Congress is wildly out of control, and it is time we did something about it.

We need common sense reforms in the political process. They should include:

1) No more adding hundreds of pages to a bill and passing it hours later. The American people need to have enough time to mobilize to protect themselves from self-serving interests and poorly thought out laws.

2) No more bundling of bills the way investment firms bundle securities: one subject per bill. A bill should stand on its merit alone and not be lumped into other bills forcing members of Congress to vote for things they don’t really support. 

3) Members shouldn’t be able to vote on bills where they and their friends stand to profit.

4) No more sweet heart deals or any other sly way of paying off friends and contributors with taxpayer money. This is theft and embezzlement.

5) No more insider trading or other comparable misconduct. No member of Congress should be profiting because of their position in Congress in any way, shape or form. When this is permitted, it inevitably results in compromising and corrupting members of Congress, as well as the political process.

6) Congress should not be exempt from any laws we have to follow. If anything, there should be more laws against members of Congress in order to protect citizens from abuse.

If our members of Congress were to step out of the fray and just stand back and look at the political process with a completely fresh pair of eyes, they would be sickened by the behavior that passes for the norm in the halls of Congress.

Since Congress won’t do anything about it, it is time we did.

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