Let’s take a look at that. We might break the poisonous deadlock by injecting another poisonous source of payoffs to those brave critters we sent to Washington.
It’s been proven to work
Way back when we gave a shit about such things, the Hatch Act (1939) and the Anti-Lobbying Act(1919) sought to place limits on federal government personnel regarding partisan political activities and lobbying Congress. And they worked. You could go to jail for bribery or fraud.
But these acts were preventing the free flow of money and we all know politicians favor the free flow of money a full 63% above the freedom of speech.
Something had to be done
In line with the common belief that there’s always a little toothpaste left in the tube, Congress acted. Took ‘em 54 years, but by god they were going to fix what needed to be fixed in order to fix what stood in the way of fixing their bank accounts.
That would bring an end to the outrage of having to work for their puny 174,000 bucks. The “Hatch Act Amendments of 1993” removed the majority of restrictions related to voluntary, “free-time” or “off-duty” activities on behalf of partisan candidates or political parties, while not engaged in their federal jobs and away from federal premises.
Las Vegas was a fools errand. These dudes wrote themselves an amendment that guaranteed #7 black would keep coming up on the Roulette wheel.
Voluntary? You bet, we can handle that. Free-time or off-duty? Hell, Congress invented that. Not engaged in their not Not engaged in their federal jobs and away federal jobs and away from federal premises? There’s this nice little office-building, just off federal land where we legally spend three days a week begging dough by phone.
Not three full days, you understand. We Senators and Representatives wouldn’t like to give a wrong impression.
Congress saw its duty and it done it
Lobbyists came through because spending a buck was a whole lot more effective than actually trying to change someone’s opinion. And then the Supreme Court came through with an opinion that corporations were actually people and subject to free speech, guaranteed by the 1st Amendment. Free speech, in their view meant the freedom to contribute mountains of money.
Now it finally made sense for an already wealthy man to spend millions running for a $175k job.
And so they did
Of the 530 Representatives and 100 Senators, over half are millionaires—and the other half will be before they’re done.
Alongside always more toothpaste in the tube we can now add America has the best government money can buy. Mark Twain adds another quote, nearly a hundred years old: “It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress.”
But a solution is at hand
Pay the bastards to put the bi back in partisan. That’s something they understand. I even have a rate in mind:
$1,000 to have an actual conversation with an adversary. Keep in mind that that is presently a 50-50 split and the adversary tab could run to $500,000. No mind, it’s worth it.
$50,000 to co-sign a piece of bi-partisan legislation.
Another $50,000 to actually vote for it.
$10,000 per day to actually attend the Senate for a full session and $5,000 in the House. There has to be some ranking here for their fragile little egos.
$100,000 ($50,000 in the House) for a piece of legislation actually becoming law on a bi-partisan basis.
That could cost tens of millions, but the cost of a frozen Congress costs—at the very least—tens of millions a day. Cut a single fighter plane from the military budget and you have the money. The dough comes out of taxes but at least this time around we’d get something useful for our tax dollar.
Christ knows everyone in the upper classes has money but you and me. Maybe we’d get a road fixed, a school built or a national move toward solar for a change, instead of another tax cut for Jeff Bezos.
Possibly—just possibly and no guarantees—we’d get some useful work done in Congress.
Image Credit: Texas Tax Talk