Toward a More Effective Congress

As a result of the grandstanding and squabbling in Congress, the latest polls reveal that more than eighty percent of Americans disapprove of the performance of Congress and believe that Congress doesn’t care about the welfare of Americans in general (a stated goal of the Constitution which Congressmen swear to uphold). And it has become increasingly clear that Washington has become so remote from what is happening in the rest of the country that it might as well be located on some desert island.

What could make Congress more aware of and more attentive to the needs of the country as a whole and their voting constituencies in particular? Perhaps we need an amendment to the Constitution which would forever fix Congressional salaries at a level equivalent to the median income of all Americans. Then, when Congress votes for something which causes economic decline, the Congressmen themselves would be forced to share the pain experienced by Americans as a whole. In other words, they would no longer be able to ignore the undesirable consequences of their actions. Then if Congressmen want a pay raise, they will have to vote for things which will benefit the rest of the country and create a rising tide which will raise their boat with everyone else’s.

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