Kick Out the System - Not the Congressmen

Richard Salbato July 25, 2012

We sent a lot of good men and woman to congress in the 2010 elections but it seems they have not gotten anything done. What most people do not know because they do not pay attention to how congress works is that they have worked hard to do what they promised. I am going to explain why this happened but before I do -  it would be good to read the fiction story that follows because it explains how government works in a cute way.

The Night Watchman

Once upon a time the government had a vast scrap yard in the middle of a desert. Congress said, “Someone may steal from it at night.” So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job.

Then Congress said “How does the watchman do his job without instruction?” So they created a planning department and hired two people, one person to write the instructions, and one person to do time studies.

Then Congress said, “How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?”  So they created a Quality Control department and hired two people. One was to do the studies and one was to write the reports.

 Then Congress said, “How are these people going to get paid?” So they created two positions and then hired a time keeper and a payroll officer.

 Then Congress said, “Who will be accountable for all of these people?” So they created an administrative section and hired three people, an Administrative Officer, Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.

Then Congress said, “We have had this command in operation for one year and we are $918,000 over budget, we must cut back.” So they laid-off the night watchman.

Example …

NOW slowly, let it sink in … Does anybody remember the reason given for the establishment of the DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY during the Carter administration?

Anybody?   Anything?   No?  Didn't think so! Quietly, we go like sheep to slaughter …

Bottom line is, we've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency ... the reason for which not many persons who reads this can remember!


It was very simple... and at the time, everybody thought it very appropriate. The Department of Energy was instituted on 8/04/1977, TO LESSEN OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL. Hey, pretty efficient, huh???


(THIS IS WHERE YOU SLAP YOUR FOREHEAD AND SAY, “WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?”) 33 years ago 30% of our oil consumption was foreign imports. Today 70% of our oil consumption is foreign imports. Ah, yes – the good old Federal bureaucracy.

NOW, WE HAVE TURNED OVER THE BANKING SYSTEM, HEALTH CARE, AND THE AUTO INDUSTRY TO THE SAME GOVERNMENT?  The same Government that managed to bankrupt Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and every program and department they ever created.


Signed....The Night Watchman


1. Authorizing Government Expenditures:

According to the Constitution only the House has the right to produce a budget of how it spends money. Then it sends this to the President and his department spends the money according to the Houses mandate. It’s a good system if done correctly but it is done without the effort it needs. Of the over 90 agencies of government like the department of energy, no one knows how they spend their money. If congress authorizes five billion to that agency, the government gives them a check for five billion and they spend it anyway they want without accountability to anyone. No one has any idea how these agencies spend their money and that is why 40% of government money is wasted.

Congress should approve every pay check and purchase before it is made.

2. The Senate Rules

Over the years the Senate has evolved into a system where one man can keep any bill from even being voted on. This is not democracy but Senatorial Dictatorship and is not even constitutional. The other thing is that he and he alone can decide amendments to the bills or not. The other stupidity of the system is that for a senator to vote he must be on the senate floor. I remember on a very important vote one sick Senator had to be flown in to Washington on a private jet at tax payers expense on the day of the vote and carried in on a hospital bed so that he could say yes or no. The house has sent thirty bills to the senate in the last two years and because of their system of one man rule, not one of these bills was even voted on in the senate.

Let me show how stupid this is by using business. When the market crashed in 2008 businesses cut back expenses by laying off people, streamlining their systems, buying more efficient computer systems, reducing travel by having computer conferences and sales meeting, and bringing in robotic systems. By 2010 volume went way down but profits went up and all these businesses are still making money even with very low volume.

At the same time as Government income went way down the government expenses went way up.Ideas to Save America: 6. Repeal the 17th Amendment

3. The Presidential Powers

If you study the four branches of government in the constitution, you will see that the Presidential department has the least amount of real power except in emergency military action.  However, Obama thinks he is a King, and has done hundreds of things without going through the congress or any legal authority. Congress would deny him the money to do these things like paying the Czars but because of the way money is spent they do not even know where he takes to money to pay them.

4. The wasted time in the House

The house opens at 9:00 AM and the first thing they do is have speeches from members for 4 hours and while these speeches are going on no one is in the house at all.  This is a complete waste of time. When a bill is introduced in the house each side is given several hours for more speeches. Then the bill goes in for amendments and sometimes a 5 page bill becomes a 100 page bill. Then they vote on this 100 page bill that almost in one has read. This new bill which may be about a farm bill now has attachments that have nothing to do with farms. It may be a bill that you really want badly but you can only vote for it with these ridiculous attachments. I will show a simple solution to this problem after a few more stupid things congress does.

5. House represents the people

When the house was envisioned in the Constitution the ideas was that the people would know face to face the congressman, about one congressman per 10,000 people. Today the average congressman represents two or three million and few have ever met them face to face. Of course we now have 330,000 ,000  people and the house would not hold that many congressmen. Why then do we have to send congressmen to Washington?

Consider what I said above about businesses that have made money in spite of very slow business. With modern computer systems a congressman can vote in his home office, say in San Diego, he can write and submit bills, he can have face to face meetings with other congressmen by computer video, and can meet with his people daily. In this way we could at least double the number of congressmen. Ideas to Save America: 5. Get Congress out of Washington

6. Pork Barrel Attachments

The biggest problem in Washington is Pork Barrel attachments to bills. The congress will never give this up because that is how they get money to run for office and that is how they leave office as millionaires. Bring home the bacon is the cry of elections and this is a major corruption of even good people.

However, it is easy to solve this problem and also all other attachments that have nothing to do with the original bills. I hate the word “Comprehensive” because that simply means if you want this you have to accept that.

The answer to this problem is not the Line Item Veto, but the Line Item Vote.

Get rid of them all because in every case they have made things worse every year. I have forty others I would get rid of or reduce.

Ideas to Save America 7. Education


Other Ideas:

The meaning of "Freedom"

Most Important Day of my Life - 11-2-2012

Ideas to Save America: 2. Social Security

Ideas to Save America: 3. Medicare

Ideas to Save America: 4. Double GDP

Ideas to Save America 8. Legal Systems

9.National ID Card - Get Over It

10. Fair Tax, Flat Tax or Sales Tax?

11. Do Not Pass Obama's Financial Reform Bill

Poll Watchers Needed