I think both sides would give me a standing ovation.
Good evening esteemed members of the House and the Senate.
I want to be honest with you. We will be making some long-needed changes here in Congress.
Effective this coming Friday, if you are a millionaire, or have significant income streams from businesses, trusts or elsewhere, you will receive no salary.
You will receive no bonuses.
Coming Friday, your generous insurance packages from health to life to home and car and airplane, all those accounts will be closed. The taxpayer will no longer be forced to carry you. I suggest you begin looking for a new insurer, and in fact I demand that you get your insurance with the companies and the regulations that you left for everyone else. When I say everyone else I mean of course the population in general and in particular your constituencies. And if by constituencies you think I mean your pool of lobbyists and advisors whose pockets you pad with funds so freely given by the public, then you are incorrect. If these arrangements put you in danger because of a medical condition, we will make arrangements temporarily. Remember no one is there to help your voters, when they have emergencies they don’t have rich backer to help them out. Live the lives they live. If you think it isn’t fair, then change it for everyone, not just for yourself.
You will no longer have a staff or an office staffed by people all on the dole. You will get one assistant and that is it. You will work from the offices provided for you here or at home. So, make your own copies.
As a member of the House or the Senate, you will never ever sit in First Class or in Business Class. You will book seats on one airline at a time, and you will pay for the ticket and expense it with the Congressional Budget Office. You will sit in the back and in the middle seat. You will sit among the hard-working people you supposedly represent and not in front of them. You will book rooms in the same hotels and motels that business travelers all over have to use.
You will get no limousines or special guards. You will drive to work through the same traffic regular citizens have to drive through. You will have an official government secured web access but everything else you do online is yours alone. If people run you out of a restaurant, then be a better legislator. If someone hacks into your account, then make an appointment at the Genius Bar and wait like everyone else.
You will show up at work at 8:30 in the morning and work a full day and then go home or retreat to a second work space. The 138-day work year is over. You will work five days a week and 8 hours a day for four years. After which you will retire with no pension provided by the taxpayer. To win a second term you have to get 75% of the vote. Otherwise, go back home.
You will account for every single penny offered you but will take none of it. If you or an agency acting on your behalf accepts money or favors for legislative votes, you will go to jail for up to ten years. By executive order Citizens United is suspended indefinitely. That said, you will by the end of next week put on your webpage your total personal worth, and the worth of your campaign, and the source of it all. You will vote the platform you ran on. If you have a change of heart then we will sponsor and organize a referendum to set a special election so your poor voters can get what they paid for.
There will be no special parking spots set aside anywhere or gym memberships. The taxpayer will reimburse you for you parking fees.
All campaigns will receive the exact same degree and value of digital marketing assistance and some television and radio and out of home and other marketing platforms. Everything else can come from your friends and organizations and corporations. Account for every single penny of it. Any misleading or outright lies will result in all campaign messaging to be pulled immediately.
If you are sued and need legal help the help will be provided on a case by case basis. If you got drunk and robbed a liquor store, then you can pay for your own lawyer.
From this Friday moving forward, you will no longer be shielded from the effects of your own legislation. Laws you pass will apply to you appropriately. You will live life like the Americans who you represent and often hide behind.
Thank you and be at work tomorrow by 8:30. We have a lot to do. We have over 300 million people counting on us. This esteemed legislative body failed them for so long. Let us fail them no more.
President Catfish Russ