View Poll Results: Do you support Luna's Congressional pay raise jury system?

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    11 68.75%
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    5 31.25%
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Thread: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see post

  1. #1
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    Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see post

    Whenever Congress votes itself a raise, it's always a political hot potato. It does seem strange that they can vote themselves their own raises. Imagine at wherever you work if the employees could all get together and vote, "Say aye if you think everyone here deserves a 10 percent raise." I think it would be tough for such a place to stay in business. On the other hand, I won't say that Congress should never get a raise. All professions should have raises available. So here's my proposal.

    Congress will be stripped of its ability to vote itself a pay raise. In its place, we would have a 12-person jury of ordinary citizens pledged to be impartial. Congress will select an advocate, it could be a member of Congress or it could be an attorney, to make the case for the raise and for how much. When Congress is done making its case, a rebuttal case will be put on by a qualified attorney. This attorney will argue that Congress does not deserve a raise and will cite the reasons why. Both the pro and the con advocates will be given rebuttal time to cross examine and put holes in the other person's case.

    When all cases and rebuttals are done, the jury will deliberate. The jury is free to accept the full raise asked for or to reject it outright or to accept a lesser amount. It's acceptable for the jury to decide, "They asked for 10 percent; we're giving them 3 percent." In order for a raise to go into law, 9 of 12 jurors have to vote for it.

    This system would get rid of a political hot potato issue and would empower ordinary citizens while offering Congress the possibility to get raises. What do you think? Vote on whether you think this plan would be better than how we currently do it.

  2. #2
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    To be honest, I find all the stuff about Congress's salaries to be missing the mark. They don't really care how much they get paid. Virtually all of them were making more money before they came to Congress and every single one of them could get 10 or even 1,000 times as much working somewhere else now that they have been a congress person. They get paid radically less than other people with comparable levels of responsibility. I mean, a senator has more responsibility than anybody outside of government except maybe a couple dozen CEOs and whatnot, but they make like 0.01% as much as those other folks. I think fixating on whether it should be 0.01% as much as their peers in the private sector or 0.0098% as much is just a distraction. And worst case, it could make the situation where the vast majority of politicians have to be rich before they can run for office even worse. IMO our goal should be to pay them enough that they don't really have to worry about their personal finances, but not so much that they would go into it for the money. We don't want the people running our country desperate for money. That just makes them ultra susceptible to corruption and distracts them from what they are supposed to be doing. Seems to be it pretty much hits that mark currently. Also, keep in mind that most of them need to maintain two homes- one in DC and one in their home state- while they're in office. If you take that out, they aren't really making much.
    Last edited by teamosil; 11-10-11 at 12:40 AM.

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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    At first I thought this was going to be a Tea Party gimmick. But then I carefully read the OP, and it seems fair to me.
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    I think congressional pay raises should be decided only by the voters in their district. The options on the ballot should "yes for raise", "no for no raise" and a "pay decrease". Preferably these pay votes should take happen once a year,preferable when ever there are local elections and ballot questions and initiatives.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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  5. #5
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna Tick View Post
    Whenever Congress votes itself a raise, it's always a political hot potato. It does seem strange that they can vote themselves their own raises. Imagine at wherever you work if the employees could all get together and vote, "Say aye if you think everyone here deserves a 10 percent raise." I think it would be tough for such a place to stay in business. On the other hand, I won't say that Congress should never get a raise. All professions should have raises available. So here's my proposal.

    Congress will be stripped of its ability to vote itself a pay raise. In its place, we would have a 12-person jury of ordinary citizens pledged to be impartial. Congress will select an advocate, it could be a member of Congress or it could be an attorney, to make the case for the raise and for how much. When Congress is done making its case, a rebuttal case will be put on by a qualified attorney. This attorney will argue that Congress does not deserve a raise and will cite the reasons why. Both the pro and the con advocates will be given rebuttal time to cross examine and put holes in the other person's case.

    When all cases and rebuttals are done, the jury will deliberate. The jury is free to accept the full raise asked for or to reject it outright or to accept a lesser amount. It's acceptable for the jury to decide, "They asked for 10 percent; we're giving them 3 percent." In order for a raise to go into law, 9 of 12 jurors have to vote for it.

    This system would get rid of a political hot potato issue and would empower ordinary citizens while offering Congress the possibility to get raises. What do you think? Vote on whether you think this plan would be better than how we currently do it.
    I'd be fine with this. Though I think jamesrages idea would be better. I would also go further and state that no one in Congress or the Senate should be allowed to own or make any other money outside of what they get via thier pay for being in Congress or on the Senate. This way that income would be thier only source of money and it would be much easier to find out if someone is taking a bribe. If thier total assets is > than thier income vs how long they have been in office then something is obviously happening that shouldn't be happening. And yes, the same should apply to judges and the presidency. Before GWB became President he was rich but not stinking rich. Now however he is stinking rich, he obviously made some decisions that made his ability to make money more easy/profitable.
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    I can't remember who it was now, but there was some story about a senator whose secretary had written down his personal bank account number wrong on his direct deposit form and he didn't get paid at all for 9 years or something before his accountant noticed... I don't think this would have the impact you guys might be looking for. At least it would only have an impact on the tiny fraction of them that aren't 1%ers.
    Last edited by teamosil; 11-10-11 at 01:34 AM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Maybe we should eliminate salaries altogether, public and private, and go the ultimate free-market route... tips.

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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    They shouldn't be paid at all. They are public servants and weren't supposed to be paid for it as its a public service that they are doing to serve the country. They are supposed to have jobs and what they do isn't supposed to be one.

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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Quote Originally Posted by Henrin View Post
    They shouldn't be paid at all. They are public servants and weren't supposed to be paid for it as its a public service that they are doing to serve the country. They are supposed to have jobs and what they do isn't supposed to be one.
    Have you ever worked in the public sector as a representative ? ....or a congressman ???
    IMO, this is a full time task; the compensation must be appropriate.
    As to the wealth of our congressmen, this bears investigation.
    I trust neither the man on the street nor the people in Washington or Harrisburg to set salaries.
    Then who ??

  10. #10
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    Re: Should ordinary citizens, not Congress, decide all Congressional pay raises?(see

    Quote Originally Posted by Luna Tick View Post
    Whenever Congress votes itself a raise, it's always a political hot potato. It does seem strange that they can vote themselves their own raises. Imagine at wherever you work if the employees could all get together and vote, "Say aye if you think everyone here deserves a 10 percent raise." I think it would be tough for such a place to stay in business. On the other hand, I won't say that Congress should never get a raise. All professions should have raises available. So here's my proposal.

    Congress will be stripped of its ability to vote itself a pay raise. In its place, we would have a 12-person jury of ordinary citizens pledged to be impartial. Congress will select an advocate, it could be a member of Congress or it could be an attorney, to make the case for the raise and for how much. When Congress is done making its case, a rebuttal case will be put on by a qualified attorney. This attorney will argue that Congress does not deserve a raise and will cite the reasons why. Both the pro and the con advocates will be given rebuttal time to cross examine and put holes in the other person's case.

    When all cases and rebuttals are done, the jury will deliberate. The jury is free to accept the full raise asked for or to reject it outright or to accept a lesser amount. It's acceptable for the jury to decide, "They asked for 10 percent; we're giving them 3 percent." In order for a raise to go into law, 9 of 12 jurors have to vote for it.

    This system would get rid of a political hot potato issue and would empower ordinary citizens while offering Congress the possibility to get raises. What do you think? Vote on whether you think this plan would be better than how we currently do it.
    It will take a constitutional amendment.
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