A friend of mine just emailed me this thought and proposal. It was one of those emails that you are instructed to send on to x number of people and then the world will change. I'm not a huge fan of those emails so I didn't forward it. However, I think it's a good idea, what was contained in that email.
In short, the concept involves moving our civil service positions away from profession and toward service. It often isn't the right answer to just go back to a prior way of doing things. So I'm not sure we should simply revert to the early ways we did governance. It's also not usually the right answer to leave things the way they are (unless they became that way naturally... sometimes that is a good answer). Some of the ideas below are good ones, I think. One other thing I think is that the Church would probably achieve it's mission more fully if we weren't only using a professional model for our pastors.
Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1. Term Limits. 12 years only, one of the possible options below.
A. Two Six-year Senate terms
B. Six Two-year House terms
C. One Six-year Senate term and three Two-Year House terms
2. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
3. Congress (past, present & 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.
4. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
5. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
6. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
7. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
8. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/11.
The American people did not make the current contract with members of Congress. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves.
Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.