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A Limited Government Amendment to The US Constitution

A Limited Government Amendment to The US Constitution

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Published by Bill Reulbach

I recently read an interesting article called, "A Limited Government Amendment to The Constitution," which had some good points, but I thought it should be taken a bit further.

I recently read an interesting article called, "A Limited Government Amendment to The Constitution," which had some good points, but I thought it should be taken a bit further.

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Published by: Bill Reulbach on Dec 19, 2012
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09/17/2013

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There has been a lot of talk, in recent years, and especially in the past few el ections about reducing

the size of our Federal Government. Wasteful spending, al though decreased, has not been brought to the levels necessary to adequately red uce the deficit. I recently read an interesting article called, “A Limited Government Amendment,” whi ch, if enacted by amending our Constitution, could drastically reduce the govern ment’s ability to spend in relation to it’s collection of revenues or spending and s till properly function. Although in it’s initial proposal, it makes some very good arguments and overall, it would in fact, bring us to a more manageable government, it does not adequate ly address the most serious area of wasteful spending, which is the Congress its elf. I propose that the House of Representatives which has a total of 435 members, or iginally set up by our founding fathers, according to the size of the population in each state; be reduced to the same number as the Senate, which has only two per state. Since the population of each state are constantly changing each year at a more rapid rate, it would seem that the original reasoning used in creating the House are no longer applicable and the financial savings to the American pe ople would be enormous. The salaries of the average member of the House of Representatives is &174,000 a nd up to 223,000 for the Speaker of the House, with party leaders receiving appr oximately $193,400 per year. They all receive pensions after only five years of service, including Social Security (which they contribute nothing), a monthly pe nsion based on years of service and an average of their three highest years of b asic pay, as well as a Thrift Savings plan (like a 401K) where they can deposit up to $17,000 with the government matching that up to 5% of pay. They are allowed to retire at age 62, with full benefits (including Social Secur ity, even though the majority of federal employees do not put into Social Securi ty either, and are unable to use their earnings in calculating their Social Secu rity benefits. Most Americans have to wait until they are 66 to receive full ben efits). Each House member gets what is called, “Member’s Representative Allowances (MRA) to support them in their duties. This allowance averages out to approximately 1.4 million per member (in 2010), but ranges from 1.35 million to 1.67 million. Their personal allowance was $944,671 per member for up to 18 employees of suppo rt staff with the highest of these earning approximately $168,411 per year. Their own personal Health and Life insurance is pretty much paid for by the Amer ican taxpayer, even though most Americans find it hard to afford adequate covera ge themselves. This is coverage not only for House members, but for their famili es as well. It should also be noted that these figures have risen in recent years as Congres sional spending on itself as gone up as much as 89% on average. Americans have been repeatedly asked to do more with less, while Congress, and e specially the House of Representatives have gone along unchecked. In the states with more representatives, we have House members doing little if a nything, which accounts for their lowest approval rating of any previous Congres s, somewhere around 10%. Most members just add their names to bills or proposals introduced by other more productive members, thinking that they have contribute d something, where in fact they have done nothing. There is also duplication of services, by that I mean, two representatives doing the exact same thing which c ould have been done just as easily with one. If the Senate is able to represent their state with only two people, then the House should be able to accomplish it’s work equally as efficient, if it had to. Again, realizing that the population of the United States cannot be accurately c alculated, with many citizens moving or having dual “home” states, etc; it no longer seems necessary or fiscally sound to continue with the size of the House of Rep resentatives as it is now. Literally billions of dollars could be saved each yea r and the size of government sufficiently reduced if this were done.

If Congress won’t reduce it’s own waste, then it is up to the American people to do it for them. Everyone wants smaller government, so downsizing the House of Repre sentatives would be a great place to start. In our modern age of technology, communication, and overall lifestyles, our own representation of this magnitude in the House of Representatives is not only unn ecessary, but no longer fiscally responsible. The American people have called for a leaner, more efficient government, so cons idering the lack of effort in the House, their arrogance toward the needs of the people, and their continuous wasteful spending, an all out effort should be mad e to change their size and the way they mismanage our finances. I would strongly support the “Limited Government Amendment” to our Constitution if i t included the reduction in size of the House of representatives, a move that w ould not only save billions of dollars in years to come, but make our government more efficient and would better serve the needs of the American people in the 2 1st Century.

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