December 27, 2005
I don't make a million dollars a year but I think every member of
Congress should be paid at least that much. It's not because those
turkeys in Washington deserve it. It's because we deserve a lot
better people than we have in Congress.
of paying every member of Congress a million dollars a year is
absolutely trivial compared to the vast amounts of the taxpayers'
money wasted by cheap politicians doing things to get themselves
re-elected. You could pay every member of Congress a million dollars
a year for a century for less money than it costs to run the Department
of Agriculture for one year.
no point complaining about the ineptness, deception or corruption
of government while refusing to do anything to change the incentives
and constraints which lead to ineptness, deception and corruption.
not going to get the most highly skilled or intelligent people
in the country, people with real-world experience, while offering
them one-tenth or less of what such people can earn in the private
of economics at a leading university earns more than a member
of Congress or a justice of the Supreme Court -- and a surgeon
earns at least twice as much as an economics professor, though
still only about a tenth of what a successful corporate executive
people in the top layer of their respective professions are going
to sacrifice the future of their families -- the ability to give
their children the best education, the ability to have something
to fall back on in case of illness or tragedy, the ability to
retire in comfort and with peace of mind -- in order to go into
A few people
here and there may be willing to make such sacrifices for the
good of the country but, by and large, you get what you pay for.
What we are getting as cheap politicians are often a disgrace
-- and enormously costly as reckless spenders of the taxpayers'
money in order to keep themselves getting re-elected.
the problems faced by the country, the number one priority of
elected officials is to get re-elected. Nothing does that better
than handing out money from the public treasury. Cheap politicians
are expensive politicians, currently costing the taxpayers more
than a trillion dollars a year.
If you have
trouble visualizing what a trillion is, just remember that a trillion
seconds ago, no one on this planet could read or write. A trillion
seconds is thousands of years. That's the kind of money our cheap
politicians are spending in order to keep getting re-elected.
is the key, term limits are effective only in so far as they get
rid of re-election. If the limit is three terms, then two of those
three terms will be spent trying to get re-elected -- and the
third term will be spent trying to get elected to some other office.
limits need to do is make it nearly impossible to spend a whole
career in politics. One term per office and some period of years
outside of politics before running again would be a good principle.
today marvel when looking back at the leaders who created the
United States of America. Most of the founders of this country
had day jobs for years. They were not career politicians.
who took pride in his self-control, lost his temper completely
when someone told him that a decision he was going to make could
cost him re-election as President. He blew up at the suggestion
that he wanted to be President, rather than serving as a duty
when he would rather be back home.
such a dangerous thing that ideally it should be wielded by people
who don't want to use power, who would rather be doing something
else, but who are willing to serve a certain number of years as
a one-time duty, preferably at the end of a career doing something
all the experience we would lose? Most of that is experience in
creating appearances, posturing, rhetoric, and spin -- in a word,
deception. We need leaders with experience in the real world,
not experience in the phony world of politics.
2005 Creators Syndicate