Warren Buffett’s recent quote in an interview on CNBC got my attention.  “I could end the deficit in five minutes.  You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3%, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.”

The same email that introduced Buffett’s quote proposed The Congressional Reform Act of 2011.  It’s contents are seven simple principles.

  1. No tenure / no pension  –  a congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
  2. Congress (past, present and future) participates in Social Security – all funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately.  All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people.   It may not be used for any other purpose.
  3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan – just as all Americans do.
  4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise – Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPA or 3%.
  5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
  6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
  7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.

Since it is unlikely that Congress would initiate such legislation, we should think of a constitutional amendment.  It may not be too far-fetched.  The 26th amendment (granting 18 year olds the right to vote) took only 3 months and 8 days to be ratified!  Why?  Simple!  The people demanded it.  That was in 1971…before computers, e-mail and cell phones.

Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one year or less to become the law of the land, all because of public pressure.

What do you think?