Big Brother Smackdown: Career Politicians – Source of Bad Government

While there are many problems facing our country today, the most influential contributor to those problems has gone unchecked. That exacerbation can be attributed only to the people that run our government. More specifically, those that we can consider career politicians. The simplest addage to use would be, “If you’re not a part of the solution, then you’re a part of the problem.”

If the American People want to see, and create, serious change and fix the problems of this country, then there is only one way that can happen:

If you have held any office in the last 10-12 years, on a Federal level -
Pack Up, Go Home.

If you think that statement is extreme, I have to disagree. We have allowed some career politicians to hold office for extraordinary amounts of time. Wiping the slate clean and starting over is an ensurable way of beginning the reformation of our government, which will lead to finally solving the problems that have been compounding from the beginning of this century.

The very foundation and idea of our government is that the people elect our representatives. Limits to time served were put in place, in some offices, to ensure that undue power structures could not be formed, however there are no caps except for the Presidential Office. With the serious problems we have, my view is that anyone who has been in Congress for 16 years, or more, needs to be retired and restricted from seeking similar political office in the future; that is, to say, on the same level they are now.

If a former Congressman wants to run for President, fine, but his Senate and/or House days are over. That is not to mix State and Federal Government, though, going from a state level to a federal level is acceptable. If you think I’m being harsh, I ask you this: How long has your Senator or Representatives on both State and Federal levels remained in office?

Here is a list of currently serving U.S. Congressmen and how long they’ve been serving. (H is for House and S is for Senate. Some have served in one, the other, or both)
These are just either House or Senate members that are currently seated. The list is much longer for past members, and the amount of time they are spending in office is just too staggering to comprehend.

Rank
Name
Office
State
Time in Office
3
John Dingell
H
Michigan
56 years, 217 days
5
Daniel Inouye
H,S
Hawaii
52 years, 331 days
9
John Conyers
H
Michigan
47 years, 196 days
28
Charles B. Rangel
H
41 years, 196 days
29
Bill Young
H
41 years, 196 days
43
Thad Cochran
H,S
39 years, 196 days
44
Pete Stark
H
39 years, 196 days
45
Don Young
H
39 years, 133 days
56
Patrick Leahy
S
37 years, 196 days
57
Max Baucus
H,S
37 years, 196 days
58
Chuck Grassley
H,S
37 years, 196 days
59
Tom Harkin
H,S
37 years, 196 days
60
George Miller
H
37 years, 196 days
61
Henry Waxman
H
37 years, 196 days

Next year, on June 8th 2013, the longest, currently seated, member to hold office will become the longest member to hold office since the creation of our government.

Are you listening?
Can you see the problem here?
Why isn’t anyone talking about this?

If you have been in office 37 - 56 years, you are definitely part of the problem, since you haven't provided a solution.

John Dingell, the Representative from Michigan (my state by the way, and even worse, I just realized he’s the Representative for MY district.), has been in office 56 years, 217 days.

56 years?!?

It’s pretty audacious for us to wonder what is wrong with our country when we have currently seated lawmakers that have been in office anywhere from 37 to 56 years, and we continue to re-elect them. My point is a simple and logical one. In an ever changing world that needs new and fresh ideas in government, how can you possibly expect anyone to be objective and hold the people’s voice in consideration when they have been in office for half a century? There is just no justification for this.

These are Dingell’s numbers as a Congressman:
6 Sponsored Bills (Ranks 127 of 440) – 0 Made Into Law (Ranks 8 of 440)
131 Co-Sponsored Bills (Ranks 341 of 440) – 3 Made Into Law (Ranks 199 of 440)

I have checked on his ‘up and down’ votes, and most of them are good voting. However, as a Senior member of Congress, Dingell should have much higher numbers than that. Apparently, we have been paying him to just show up and vote. It seems that he is campaigning for re-election again this November.

A sitting House member currently makes $174,000.00 a year. This will be a rough number, given that there have been raises in Congress pay over the years, but that’s a total of Nine Million Seven Hundred Fourty-Four Thousand Dollars ($9,744,000.00). This guy has sat on his ass for 56 years and has party-voted 92% of the time and Abstained 3%. We’ve paid him 9.7 million dollars to do so. He may be a Representative of Michigan, but all U.S. Taxpayers are paying his salary.

I realize that I’m only mentioning Dingell and you could respond by saying that that is my problem since he is a Michigan Representative. But, given that there is a range of 37 – 56 years in office of 14 currently seated members, I invite you to check out your own Senators and Representatives to see what their numbers are. Of course, the 3rd highest ranking Congressman (Conyers) is also from Michigan. So, maybe this state needs to take a look at that when they cry about going into Depression every time the Federal Economy goes into Recession.

Speaking of John Conyers: His wife, formerly a Councilwoman of the City of Detroit, is currently serving time in a minimum security prison in West Virginia for bribery and extortion. To the media, the prison is known as “Camp Cupcake.” To local residents, it’s “the college campus.” To Martha Stewart, who served her time there, it was “Yale.”

The Founding Fathers made every effort, in the Constitution, to keep political power bases from forming that would eventually hurt the American People. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, this has come to pass. The blame, however, solely rests in the lap of the collective American People. We re-elect these politicians. We tell them it’s OK for them to spend their entire adult lives in office; and then we, cluelessly, ask why they become corrupt and self-serving.

So, when you read my point about packing up and going home, no, I am not being radical or extreme. Simply put, we cannot fix our government by continuing to have the same people running the type of government that put us in these troubled times.

As November looms closer, take some time to gather the names of your Representatives and Senators in the U.S. Congress. Find out how long they’ve been there. Take a look at their “stats”. Make an informed decision, after reading this blog, about whether your respective politicians should continue working in our government.

There truly is only one way, at this time, to end the bad government of lifetime politicians. That is to not re-elect them. As I finish the Big Brother Smackdown Series, I will also show that I have not been wasting my time with idle ranting and blog posting. I, actually, do have solutions – Good Solutions – which I believe can put our government back on track. One of them involves ridding ourselves of lifetime politicians.

The next installments will be subsets to the Career Politicians Segment: The Supreme Court and Piggy-Back Lawmaking


 The Big Brother Smackdown Series

(aka. Little Brothers Rant)

  1. The Constitution – Federal vs. State Government
  2. Career Politicians – The Source of Bad Government
  3. Political Parties – Democrats, Republicans, and Those Other Guys
  4. People’s Rights as Collateral Damage in The War on Terror
  5. The Clueless Generation
  6. 2012 Elections
    • President Obama
    • Mitt Romney
    • What are you supposed to do about it?
  7. My Solution

 

 

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5 Comments

  1. Little Brother’s Rant: The Big Brother Smackdown Series « One Citizen's Voice
  2. Big Brother Smackdown Series: Federal vs. State Government « One Citizen's Voice
  3. Big Brother Smackdown Series: The Supreme Court « One Citizen's Voice
  4. Big Brother Smackdown Series: Piggyback Legislation « One Citizen's Voice
  5. Big Brother Smackdown: Political Parties « One Citizen's Voice

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