I’ve an idea for ending the corruption in Washington. It’s effective, and only won’t be adopted because of how effective it would be.
People elected to congress need to become permanent public servants and thereby forfeit their ability to accept money from all but a very few sources for the rest of their lives.
Sounds weird? Hear me out.
People would run on their ideas, and then if they were chosen to lead they would basically be taken care of for the rest of their lives by the government (as long as they did not break their oaths to the people).
So they need a home. They need college for their kids. And they need good healthcare and retirement and all.
So they’re provided that stuff. Free of charge.
The tradeoff is that they are not allowed to accept campaign donations from anyone. Receiving anything from special interests instantly gets them ejected like a dishonorable discharge from the Military.
It’s basically traitorous. It’s a crime against the people, and against the United States of America.
They’re not enticed to do it, in other words. And those caught giving, or trying to give money to representatives are looked at very similarly. They are enemies of the state.
So it’d be like taking a vow of celibacy, but it would be from material excess. They’d have a really nice home. Nice cars. Their kids go to any college they can get into free of charge, and the retirement is good.
So they’re basically set. And they’re allowed to have like a gardening business or whatever after they leave office, but their every dollar is scrutinized by a special group that oversees corruption in congress, so they won’t be able to suddenly buy a plane and a few vacation homes off their suddenly amazing flower profits.
So here’s the question: why is this not possible?
The obvious answer is that the people who pour the money into congress in order to control them will not allow it.
Does that even sound right?
We can’t clean up our own congress because the people who have sullied it would not allow it.
They would write scripts for their puppets that say things like:
It’s un-American to strip good Americans of their freedom to make money.
Ok, sure, Mr. Lobbyist, but I’ll see that and raise you a:
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Public service is called service for a reason. It has sacrifices.
And it’s not as if you’re being asked to live in a cave with nothing but a robe and a wooden spoon. You’re put up for life. You live a mostly normal life, but the distraction of excessive wealth is simply removed from the equation.
The result would be two-fold:
People would not go into politics to get rich
Good people who entered politics for the right reasons wouldn’t be turned to greed over the span of their careers as happens now
If anyone is wondering about the cost of paying for these peoples’ homes and such on taxpayer money, I ask you a simple question:
Think of the cost of NOT doing so.
Whatever that would cost would be a fraction of what we’re already paying.
We could finance campaigns in a different way. A more centralized and transparent way. People give to funds, and funds are given to candidates to say their piece to the people.
Is it ideal?
No. I don’t like the fall-back position of not trusting peole and corporations to do the right thing. It bothers me. But it seems remarkably obvious that it’s necessary.
Let’s remove the leverage that the special interests have over our government. It’s the only way to restore our democracy.