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It is also available as a book with added comments and thoughts. It is a fundraiser for Multiple System Atrophy research - the disease that killed my wife and the catalyst for the blog. Please consider buying either a Kindle version from the Kindle store or a paperback version from Amazon. The title is "Living With A Snowman" by Scott Poole. It is available for purchase HERE.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Houston (and Miami, L.A., New York City, Winston-Salem, etc), we have a problem!

People, we have a real problem with our government. I can see a lot of you clicking away - "He's getting political again". BUT WAIT - READ ON. This not specifically a political problem, at least not a political problem specific to one party. We have a systemic and pervasive problem with our elected "representatives" in government. It affects the government at all levels. It is much more of a problem as you get farther away from the voters - ie Washington vs your town hall, but it is a problem everywhere. 

It is to the point now that if you are a member of one party, anything a member of the other party comes up with of any significance is said to be wrong. I know this is a bit of an overstatement; but I submit, not much of one. There are still a few important issues that are worked on in a bipartisan manner, but not many and usually not by the "leadership" of the parties. As I said above, this is not a Republican problem nor a Democrat problem. Both parties have gotten to the point of doing this. The way you can verify it is by reading and paying attention. Both Democrats and Republicans in the past eight years or so have had a plan for something brought up that was ridiculed by the other party. Then, years later with the other party in power, the same idea (or almost identical) is brought up by the party that ridiculed it and it is ridiculed by the original party! (read that again if you have to, it is a but meandering) The main problem with this is nothing gets done! All time is spent in blasting the other party's ideas or on reelection.

The government is being run by people that seem to be totally disengaged with the population, except for the six months prior to elections. At that point the promises made are fabulous. Every problem we have from border security to welfare have a solution. Then, when elected, they go back up and do the exact same things! Again, this is Republicans and Democrats. The sad thing is, we (the voters) let them get away with it. Why would a politician do anything differently when they can do this over and over. All you have to do is talk the talk during the campaign and then walk however you want when elected. Then repeat and you get elected again, and again, and again...

Let's go to the graphics:

FYI, in 2008 - 87% of House incumbents were reelected. In 2010 - 91%, so it was statistically the same as historical data.  In the Senate it was 91% in 2008 and 84% in 2010, so also statistically the norm.

Interestingly (at least to me) was that the Senate has averaged a bit more turnover than the House. FYI, that goes totally against what the framers of the Constitution were looking for. The House of Representatives was to be the "people's chamber" with two year terms. Well, the terms are still two years, but people keep coming back! This is a fairly recent phenomenon. Until the mid-20th century most politicians in both the House and Senate served one term and went home. Then, somewhere during the great depression and WWII era, politics became a career. Woe is us.

There are two answers I see to this problem. The easiest lies with US, the voters. We have to vote the incumbents out! It amazes me that some of these people are voted in after legal problems, scandals, idiotic statements, and going against almost all significant campaign promises. But again, why should the politicians worry about it when they know they will be reelected. We must hold them accountable! Actually the real answer lies in term limits. Jobs in government should NOT be careers, at least not the elected ones. (I am actually a fan of rolling the bureaucracy as well. Some of the unelected bureaucrats have WAY too much power) A House member should serve eight years or so MAX. A senator, maybe the same. Now, this would require a constitutional amendment, but it is critical.

We the people - must act. Nothing is being done in Washington or most state capitals; or at least not the will of the people. It is on us now.