Someone recently sent me an e-mail with this information in it and I thought it worth sharing so you can ponder it:
When a company falls on difficult times, one of the things that seems to happen is they reduce their staff and workers. The remaining workers must find ways to continue to do a good job or risk that their job would be eliminated as well. Wall street, and the media normally congratulate the CEO for making this type of "tough decision", and his board of directors gives him a big bonus.
Our government should not be immune from similar risks. Therefore: Reduce the House of Representatives from the current 435 members to 218 members. Reduce Senate members from 100 to 50 (one per State). Then, reduce their staff by 25%.
Accomplish this over the next 8 years (two steps/two elections) and of course this would require some redistricting.
Some Yearly Monetary Gains Include:
*$44,108,400 for elimination of base pay for congress. (267 members X $165,200 pay/member/ yr..)
*$97,175,000 for elimination of their staff. (estimate $1.3 Million in staff per each member of the House, and $3 Million in staff per each member of the Senate every year)
*$240,294 for the reduction in remaining staff by 25%.
*$7,500,000,000 reduction in pork barrel ear-marks each year. (those members whose jobs are gone. Current estimates for total government pork earmarks are at $15 Billion/yr)
The remaining representatives would need to work smarter and improve efficiencies. It might even be in their best interests to work together for the good of our country! We may also expect that smaller committees might lead to a more efficient resolution of issues as well.
It might even be easier to keep track of what your representative is doing.
Congress has more tools available to do their jobs than it had back in 1911 when the current number of representatives was established.(telephone, computers, cell phones to name a few)
Congress did not hesitate to head home when it was a holiday, when the nation needed a real fix to the economic problems.
Summary of opportunity:
$ 44,108,400 - reduction of congress members.
$282,100,000 - for elimination of the reduced house member staff.
$150,000,000 - for elimination of reduced senate member staff.
$59,675,000 - for 25% reduction of staff for remaining house members.
$37,500,000 - for 25% reduction of staff for remaining senate members.
$7,500,000,000 - reduction in pork added to bills by the reduction of
$8,073,383,400 per year, estimated total savings. (that's 8-BILLION
just to start!)
Big business does these types of cuts all the time.
If Congresspersons were required to serve 20, 25 or 30 years (like
everyone else) in order to collect retirement benefits, tax payers could save a bundle. Now they get full retirement after serving only ONE term.
Personal Comment: You learn in basic college management classes that when technology is introduced into the workplace and efficiencies are achieved that the first place cuts should be made is in middle management. No one would seem to be more "middle management" than our Senators and representatives. They need to learn to work smarter and not harder, like the rest of us have had to do with the going gets tough. I would bet that there haven't been a whole lot of staff cuts over the years up on capitol hill. Not that this idea would ever get off the ground but is interesting to think about.