Eliminate lobbyists, pay Congress more
Monday , April 08, 2013 - 2:53 PM
This letter is in response the Mark Saal column of April 7 regarding increasing the salaries of Congress, "Pay more money and get better policians? I don't thaink so." The April 4 column by Daniel Schulman, “Congress needs a big fat raise,” suggests “members of Congress are overworked and underpaid,” and Mr. Saal was outraged by this suggestion. Congress should be paid more money but for different reasons. Congressmen spend most of their time on the job soliciting money for their next re-election campaign.
When they are not doing this, they are taking money from a corporate lobbyist who brings a bill (written by his company), with a shopping bag full of money for a bill he wants passed. If a woman does a similar transaction on the street she is called another name.
There are some in Congress whose primary goal is to become a lobbyist and make real bucks. Congress should get more pay and this is how it should happen: Give each member of Congress “X” amount of money, enough for his salary and his next campaign expenses if he agrees not to accept any money from a lobbyist.
Lawrence Lessig, in his book, “Republic, Lost: How money corrupts Congress—–and a plan to stop it,” explains this proposal in detail. Basically, the Congress can spend their time legislating instead of scrounging for money and this would also remove the scurvy lobbyists from the scene. It cleans the place up little bit.
It is also time, way past time for members of opposing parties to communicate and stop rejecting each others proposals out of hand.