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American Mandate: Congressional Reform Act of 2011

Posted by Larry Doyle on January 7, 2011 6:03 PM |

The outline highlighted below needs no real preamble. The fact is this draft should be an American Mandate as it represents the ultimate ‘sense on cents.’ The time is long past due for some accountability in Washington. This mandate is the right start.

Much like the reflection of Capitol Hill in the photo to the right, the members of Congress may want to reflect upon just how elitist the entire body has become. Who in Congress has the balls and the backbone to propose this Reform Act? I am calling out each and every Republican and Democrat alike. Who’s in?? You call yourselves Americans? Let’s see it.

I thank the friend who passed this along and I would encourage others to spread this American Mandate!!


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

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.

Just like each and every other American.

Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 2.5%.

Congress will participate in the same health care system as the American people.

No special exemptions or treatment.

Effective 1/1/12.


Think of the money this will save and the problems that it will much more quickly solve!
Health care. Medicare. Social Security. IRA and pension plan reform and on and on.

The American people did not make deals with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these deals 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.

What do you say, Paul Ryan? How ’bout it, Darrell Issa? Barney Frank? Chuck Schumer? Man up, who’s got the cojones to lay it on the line??

Spread the word and the ‘sense on cents’ within this American Mandate!!

Thoughts, color, comments, constructive criticism always encouraged and appreciated.

Larry Doyle

Please subscribe to all my work via e-mail, an RSS feed, on Twitter or Facebook.

I have no affiliation or business interest with any entity referenced in this commentary. The opinions expressed are my own and not those of Greenwich Investment Management. As President of Greenwich Investment Management, an SEC regulated privately held registered investment adviser, I am merely a proponent of real transparency within our markets so that investor confidence and investor protection can be achieved.

  • Tea Party

    We would hope that some of those representatives supported by our movement would push this reform.

    I vomit when I think of the term, ‘career politician.’

  • Lou

    If not now…when??

  • Pete

    I would suggest for some of the losers in Washington a mandatory one term limit be imposed. How do we get that passed? In fact, perhaps we should also discuss revoking citizenship as well.

  • Pat

    Some outside entity needs to carry this torch. Whether a media outlet or a periodical or a movement. Without an outside source pressuring and leading the way, I see no way this may ever happen.


  • Shirley Cassettari

    These so-called leaders need to be taught a lesson, in order to RE-EARN the respect and trust that was bestowed upon them by the american VOTERS. MAKE ALL THE CHANGES SUGGESTED re their insurance coverage and retirement! Make an ANNUAL check of their IRS responsibilities to BARNEY FRANK, RANGLE, PELOSI, and ALL others ARE CURRENT ON THEIR TAX DEBTS!!!

  • Shark

    What is the average pay for a member of congress?

    • LD

      Base salary of $174k.

  • Bart

    This makes way to much sense if you are dedicated to the American ideal. Unfortunately, no one in Congress for the last 20 years would give this one single moment of thought. Why? Because those in Congress only stand for themselves and the wealthy thieves who have been allowed to steal for generations. Did you forget, Congress killed America?

  • Tom

    Bart, I think America is still alive…at least I know I am. But what is true, is someone in America killed a congresswomen. There is something wrong with that.

    Let’s move forward with an American Mandate because you and me are the only ones that can make a mandate like this possible.

  • LD

    For those reading this, please let us keep our Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ)in our thoughts and prayers. We are all Americans and need to stand together in the face of such a heinous act.

    For the families who lost loved ones today, my sincerest sympathies. I hope you find peace in the midst of such pain.

    God bless all those impacted by today’s tragedy.


  • EM

    How about Presidential Term Limit: One term of 6 years. If appointed to fill a term result of the death, resignation, disability or impeachment of a sitting President, the successor can run for re-election only if he serves less than 730 days.

    Mandatory disclosure of birth records and passport transactions to verify that the WHO is really a citizen as required by Constitution, and has never give up the US Citizenship.

    Of course, I suspect that would put Joe Biden into the White House, but he is pretty weak, so who cares?

  • Jack

    The latest Gallup survey shows just 13% approve of Congress, and yet the re-election rate is approximately 95%.

    Something is wrong here.

    LD… you might say we should be agonizing of this weekend,
    but I see this as just the beginning of people breaking under the duress of relentlessly getting screwed by the powers in control.

    • LD


      I will grant you that America is increasingly exasperated by the dysfunction–if not worse–that emanates from Washington. I try to address the most egregious aspects of that here at Sense on Cents.

      However, I do not view this weekend’s tragedy in Tucson in that light. A review of Loughner’s background highlights that he is a 22 year old high school dropout and drug user/abuser. Do not discount the power and influence of malevolent forces here. Let’s not give him a pass and allow others to impugn those who are calling for real reform in Washington and our state capitols.

    • Bastion

      It’s not really that hard to see what’s “wrong”.

      The approval rate is so low because everyone is disgusted with EVERYONE ELSE’S representative. They LOVE theirs, because their representative brings home the bacon…uh, pork.

      So, 95% get re-elected because their re-election is a result of them being accountable to their constituents. But as a group they have a 13% approval rating because now they are accountable to everyone, and as they say, you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all the people at any time!

  • Eric Tucker

    Term limits = Balance of power in Congressional Committees.

    This would be helpful for the taxpayers, but bad for big businesses and their lobbyists.

    I believe in capitolism. And, I also believe that those who get rich off the sweat of the working man/woman, owe them social support programs in the form of unemployment protection, food stamp/voucher programs, fair housing, adequate health care and retirement security.

    I guess that makes U.S. politicians the penultimate socialists. They do little work and then get the best of every social program avialable: Pension, health care, free postal services, travel vouchers and “get out of jail free” cards. All they have to do is raise enough money to get elected to office.

    When americans realize that the only ones screwing them is themself, they might take responsibility for how we got where we are as a nation and work together to make the changes that will help us be proud of our government once again.

    • fred


      You don’t get it, to use your term “penultimate socialism” doesn’t work anymore and it hasn’t for a long while. We just can’t afford it.

      As we go deeper and deeper into debt, we lose control of our destiny and imprison our children and grandchildren.

      The MBS Crisis was nothing but an attempt to keep “penultimate socialism” going without acknowledging the real problem facing this country, WE’RE BANKRUPT. Even after the MBS “wakeup call”, we continue to try to financial engineer our way out rather than work our way out.

      The citizenry’s sense of entitlement must be replaced with a sense of embarrassment, we must become a nation of givers rather than takers, of producers not consumers. We must stop trying to solve our problems by throwing money at them, we must give of our attention, our time and our effort. Oh the horror.

      For every $1 we give gov’t, we get .50 back, so rather than relying on gov’t to solve our problems let’s look to our entrepreneurs, our local communities and to our own families.

  • alex


    I am very interested in this subject and would love to spread the word. I guess the one thing I am missing is what we can do once the word is spread. Is this something that is actually coming up for vote? Is there someone in the government we can write to show we support this?

    I know these questions may seem obvious but, embarassingly, I haven’t been very involved in the past. I am now at a point in my life where I am starting to realize how important it is for each and every one of to be as involved as possible.

    Thanks for you time.

    • LD


      Thanks for your interest. How can yo help? Do just what you indicate needs to be done and spread this story to all your contacts and ask them to do the same.

      Write to your own representatives.

      You are right. We ALL need to get involved.

  • KS

    This is a wonderful idea!! I’m behind it all the way. The $60 million dollar questions is: How do you get a lawyer-politician-Congressperson-Legislator to draft and push through a Bill that would take something from their own pocket?!? It’s the old Fox guarding the Hen-house problem. I will most definitely write my Rep’s!!!

  • RB

    I’m all for term limits. However if we want to be taken seriously, then we need to pay more attention to what we’re espousing. Many of the points in the “Reform Act” above are either vague or incorrect. Actually, the basic content of this post has been circulating on the internet for years and its errors pointed out repeatedly – the most disappointing part of that is people continue to re-post it without revision. For example:

    2. No tenure… Congressmen are not given tenure (“the right to permanent employment until retirement”)
    3. Congressmen have paid into Social Security since 1984!
    4. Since item #2 above already proposes elimination of a Congressman’s ability to participate in the existing federal pension plan (which also covers other federal employees), #4 is redundant (though it does sound really mavericky!)
    6. “…Congress will participate in the same health care system as the American people.”
    Most working “American people” are covered by an employer-sponsored health care plan. Congressmen are covered by the same plan available to other federal employees, which is offered by their employer – the federal government.
    Now please don’t reply to this post saying that I missed the point. I believe that some of the ideas proposed have real merit – however I also believe that as responsible citizens who want to be taken seriously it is our job to separate the facts from the crap before we climb on-board.

  • Blair B

    GREAT idea. LOVE term limits. Service to country doesn’t seem to include career politicians. Very many Americans don’t have employer sponsored health care, most American’s don’t have comparable quality insurance. Honesty, justice, openness to discuss not argue, no name calling, WHAT CONCEPTS!!!!

  • Andy

    Pretty much everything in this proposed act is in error, and borders on the nonsensical. This is a pretty good analysis:

  • phyllis

    Long overdue. No more talking out of the side of their mouth. Time to get down to the business of taking care of tnhis country.

  • James Dylan

    this is very impressive, i see this as a great chance to strike back as a whole and if this could get passed everyone could see a great change, as i serve this country i am disgusted by the fact of knowing when i retire after 20 long hard back breaking years i will only recieve half of what i get paid, while these slimy back stabbers in office sit in the comfort of an air conditioned office in the safety of the states and their sweet little homes protected by us who are all over the world because of their opinions fighting for what they think is right and we all know is wrong and they get to keep getting paid every last dime when they retired just like they were while in office, so i agree with this “american mandate” i solute you mr. Doyle. but i dont expect to ever see this

  • E Morrissey

    When is the constitutional convention?

    • LD

      Water is well past the boiling stage. Watch the steam rise and spill over big in the 2012 elections. From there who knows what may happen.

      Hell hath no fury like ….(fill in the blank)

  • Our national and global standard of living is sinking: The housing crises is progressively worsening,and the crises is fast spreading into commercial real estate holdings. Manufacturing jobs producing exports are disappearing, technical jobs are outsourced, and chiefly non-export service jobs remain. As a result, we are seeing alarmingly growing deficits in commerce and industry.

    World hunger has increased 70% in the last 10 years, and in the global marketplace, labor and oil are commodities ruled by supply and demand; and the price of oil has gone up while the cost of labor abroad has gone down.


    Cutting federal taxes and services is not an option! Indeed for our political systems are breaking down and not coping with the crises and everything seems to be getting worse.
    If anything can be done to rebuild our national and global economies, it must be facilitated and implemented by our working middle class( the backbone of what Americans call our democratic society.

    We should all consider we need to look at the whole forest and not just the trees.
    Otherwise no matter what we do we are only treating the symptoms and not curing the disease!
    Good people getting cheated out of their homes by banks, is actually just one of the symptoms of a massive economic slavery. First world governments and individuals have developed a deadly habit of overuse of credit with disastrous results. Most of us rely on credit and for this reason we can never catch up with our debt, and must pay for everything three times, thereby making mega-banks wealthy and giving them power.

    Analysis shows that the current housing “crises” was no accidental calamity but a carefully engineered political and economic strategy designed by world financial institutions to keep the working middle class in debt, under control, powerless, distressed and distracted! We are all Lemmings running together over the cliff!

    The current “crisis” is nothing less than a mega-bank financial industry stranglehold, where financial predators have cleverly taken over every aspect of our national and world economies and governments. By uniting together…..we have the power to see that these monster controlling entities broken smaller companies so we can return to healthy and productive society and a fair marketplace governed by real justice, fair dealing, and return to our formally benevolent constitutional and democratic principles.

    The current status quo, for which the mega-banks have dug in their heels to maintain, is anti-social, anti-free market, and anti-human, and there is a fairly simple way we can break their stranglehold.


    Have you ever noticed almost all homeowners we try to help are actually still patronizing the banks that are stealing their homes?
    And where do you keep your account….and just why are you doing business with them?
    Ask yourself just what would happen if absolutely everyone-everywhere just suddenly just stopped doing business any of these mega-banks?

    Nothing about this scenario can change if our world financial institutions are not regulated and broken up into much smaller companies. We should not patronize these giant monopolies but cancel all our credits cards, keep our money in small neighborhood banks and buy food in small mom and ranch markets market. If we all only patronize small business we can gradually take away corporate power thereby strengthening and funding small business and keep our attention directed to building strong local communities.

    Hey, did you ever read this famous quote?

    J. P. Morgan; US financier was born on Apr 17, 1837,
    “He formed U.S. Steel, 1901 which became the first billion-dollar corporation in the world.”

    J.P. Morgan illustrated the current brilliant financial institution strategies in this famous 1913 Quote:

    “Capital must protect itself in every way… Debts must be collected and loans and mortgages foreclosed as soon as possible. When through a process of law the common people have lost their homes, they will be more tractable and more easily governed by the strong arm of the law applied by the central power of leading financiers. People without homes will not quarrel with their leaders. This is well known among our principle men now engaged in forming an imperialism of capitalism to govern the world. By dividing the people we can get them to expend their energies in fighting over questions of no importance to us except as teachers of the common herd.

    U.S. BANK MERGERS THAT TOOK PLACE IN THE FALL OF 2008-had everything to with the catastrophic economic woes that followed . In 2008 – Four major financial institutions; J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and government owned Citigroup took over a massive % of our total banking interests with disastrous results . The mega-bank mergers grew Bank of America’s asset base 51 percent, Wells Fargo’s 138 percent, and J.P. Morgan Chase’s 43 percent.

    These U.S. bank mergers created an immediate monopoly than is now bigger than the U.S. government and even more unmanageable – they appear to be impossible to regulate. Like public utilities; water, electric and phone service; when we allow several large companies monopolistic share of the marketplace it raises barriers to entry for competition. The result is a progressively worse scenario and massive and progressive economic consequences.

    The avaricious determination of these financial giants to economically control our local and global economies and manipulate our populous to their advantage, by attractively packaging and selling credit to maintain their status quo, is producing distressing inequalities in our local and global economy that block all future potential for middle class recovery. A progressive transformation into heavily monopolized and controlled wealth is managed and controlled to benefit mega- financial institutions is maintained at the expense of all members society everywhere in general.

    EXAMPLE: The U.S. government has tried unsuccessfully to deregulate the financial industry and except for top members of the industry itself, these efforts have utterly failed. Quite the contrary, debt, which is the life blood of the financial industry, is progressively draining the life force out of the U.S. and world economy. The financial industry should be serving the needs of the local and global marketplace instead of unilaterally serving its own interests; and dictating to our local and national economies and controlling our politics and judiciary with disastrous results.

    After all if water companies were allowed monopolize, we would all soon be paying $100.00 per gallon for our water.

    The failure of Congress and the Justice department to include banking in the scope of industries where monopolies must be regulated and controlled has left the financial industry in charge of itself and allowed these monopolies to degenerate to uncontrolled private interests who freely play to their advantage what little is left of government financial regulation.

    Now is the time for every individual who has been hurt by the economic crisis to stand up so please forward this email to your friends, neighbors and colleagues.

    Lets All Fight Back!

    Hold Congress and Wall Street accountable for their greed and recklessness.
    they will fight our activism by sending an army of lobbyists to Sacramento with briefcases full of campaign cash. But with enough people demanding pay back, we can finally hold the banks and congress accountable for their excesses and greed.

  • carol

    I would like to know who in Congress supports a Congressional Reform Act? What can or has been done to get this started. Is this something the TEA Party can champion?
    They have infastructure already in place and can pull it off quicker. We as a Nation are running out of time against these global elitists.

  • Bruce

    Well Carol
    Once the Tea Party gets in and sees all the candy… Gets oriented and knows the rules. They’ll be like any other politician – an Incumbent!

  • jackie

    I can’t believe the small number of supporters for this act. this should have been done long ago, and while it may not fix things it certainly is the right thing to do and should be acted on by the public. let’s stand together in support of this issue. the abuse by congress is just wrong. they are voted into office as trusted leaders for the people and look how they have taken advantage of their position. shame on them!

    • Bastion

      As noted above, this “Act” is nothing but a viral Internet pipe dream — nobody’s voting on this! It is also missing the ball on many, many facts.

      Most of it is junk, but the only thing of merit to discuss is term limits. Any person capable of critical thought should be torn by this subject, though. It far from the obvious “right” thing to do.

      Long-entrenched representatives are a huge risk for corruption. That is clear. But they are also very experienced, know people, and know law — i.e. their actual job. In the private sector, when you have a skilled, experienced, networked employee, you try to retain them, not arbitrarily fire them on a schedule.

      I think the end analysis for me is that I would like an alternative solution that addresses the corruption but doesn’t force the good, honest public servants into an early retirement.

      But what is that solution? You don’t want an ill-conceived, throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater solution like term limits…

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