I put together a petition that I intend to introduce on petitions.whitehouse.gov as soon as the Gummint gets around to sending my login confirmation, which I should've had well over an hour ago. But then, it's really not in the Gummint's best interest to actually make it easy for people to petition them, is it? That would make them actually *gasp* beholden to us.
Anyway, here's the text. Just thought I'd share.
We, the undersigned, feel that the United States Congress has far too long abused its authority and power over the people, and believe that Congress is the single largest cause of economic bloat and problem in the nation. We the People feel that serving in the United States Congress should be viewed as an honor and not as a day job. This was the intent of our great Founding Fathers. Instead, employment in the Senate and House of Representatives has become a vehicle for making outrageous sums of money at the expense of the public our representatives were elected to serve, and supporting the Few in the form of Special Interests, rather than the Many, in the form of the People of the United States. As such, due to their continual failure to do their duties in supporting the interests of the public, while continually seeing their salaries and benefits skyrocket, We the People of the United States (hereafter "We the People" or "we") hereby request the following changes be made in the United States Congress:
1. Salaries of all Senators and House Representatives be immediately reduced to $75,000 per year. This is roughly equivalent to (and slightly higher than) their original salary of $3,000 in 1855, adjusted for inflation. This should include the salaries of the Speaker of the House, and the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders, who we do not feel deserve extra pay based upon a title that should be reward enough.
2. FURTHER, we request that any future alterations to Congressional salary or benefits packages require the approval of the People through a broad Voter Referendum. Most working individuals count on their employer to grant raises; the same should hold true of Congress, whose employers are considered to be We the People.
3. FURTHER, we request that all current Senators and House Representatives see any pension and retirement benefits immediately removed, and any future automatic or assumed retirement or pension benefit programs for the United States Congress ended. To whit, we request that Senators and House Representatives no longer be covered under the Federal Employees' Retirement System Act of 1986. From the adoption of this change forward, all Senators and House Representatives will be required to pay into a 401K program for retirement benefits, as most of the working public must do, if they desire such benefits, and will be required to pay into Social Security at the same rates as the working public.
4. FURTHER, we request that all Senators and House Representatives immediately lose their federal healthcare program benefits, and that these programs be immediately terminated. Henceforth they will be required to seek healthcare in the private sector or under the new Affordable Healthcare Act.
5. FURTHER, we request that the "soft retirement" model whereby members of Congress "retire" directly to Lobby Organizations and Think Tanks, based on their behavior/voting record in Congress, be immediately ended, and retired Senators and House Representatives be forbidden from joining Lobby Organizations and Think Tanks upon their retirement.
IN SUMMARY: We feel that Congress neither deserves nor is entitled to the high rate of pay and outstanding benefits they receive, which places them as a social elite above the people whom they serve. We request that the above steps (severe reduction in pay, healthcare and retirement benefits identical to the majority of the working public, loss of soft retirement, and the requirement to ask We the People for future pay and benefits adjustments) be taken immediately to rectify this situation and that Congress acknowledge that they in fact work for We the People by also acknowledging that these changes are what We the People desire, and that as such Congress beholden to and required on principle to implement such directives.