Members of Congress represent the citizens of the United States and make its laws. This is a difficult job deserving of compensation, but Congress has used its authority to garner compensation and privileges for its members commensurate with a privileged aristocracy. We the people should stand up to help Congress remember that we expect them to be honored and humble servants of the people.
The points below outline reforms to roll back the excessive privileges members of Congress have voted for themselves. An Amendment to the Constitution or major bill will bring Congressional payroll spending in line. More importantly, this will remind members that Congress is not a ticket to wealth, but rather a service that any American should be honored to enjoy.
Proposed Congressional Reform Act
1. Congressional compensation ends with the term of service.
A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no government pay when they are out of office. Tenure and Pension benefits shall not be provided to members of Congress. "Defined Benefit" payout plans are excluded. "Defined Contribution" matching plans shall not exceed the Roth IRA contribution limitations for the general public.
2. Congress shall have no entitlement programs outside of those available to the general public.
Congress shall not have health care or social security options outside of those available to the general public. In particular, all funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system directly and without re-purposing. Members of Congress will provide for their own health care according to the private, public, or other programs available to the general public. The current Congressional health care system shall be dismantled (with reassignment or elimination of funding, personnel, and resources).
3. Congress shall use the prevailing indices for inflation (e.g., CPI, etc) as an upper limit for any future Congressional pay raises.
This is consolidated and adapted from similar popular suggestions. The changes here simplify the concepts and make them more appropriate to a bill or amendment. The Congress should not be an aristocracy, but rather a representative of the people. Whether a person opts for a career in public service or serves for a single term, it is incumbent upon them to do so with humility, not hubris. They should be called to the position by a sense of duty rather than the allure of a big set of paychecks and benefits. Signing and forwarding this petition is your way to remind Congress to set a better example by eliminating the special pay they have appropriated for themselves.