Iowa caucus is a disservice to voters
The state of Iowa does a disservice to America in both having a caucus election and insisting on being the first election every presidential election year. Why should this one state always be the one the pre-screens candidates for the rest of us? And if they are going to be the first state, why have an election system that is so dysfunctional that less that 4 percent of their registered voters participate in it?
I don’t know how this came to be but we can do better and Iowa’s selfishness harms America because it filters candidates the rest of us might like to vote for. Iowa should step aside out of a sense of basic fairness and let other states take turns at being first.
Marc Perkel, Gilroy
Legislators should follow the same rules as the rest of us
Anyone who has seen difficult times knows that there is often some good that emerges from them. America is seeing the consequences of our supposed “representatives” who, whether Congressmen, presidents or union leaders, became filled with grandiose self-importance and power while maintaining facades of doing things for the people. In an anti-establishment response, citizens are no longer moored in a decision as to whether to vote Democrat or Republican. Rather, they grow weary of liberals trying to sell their ideas based on emotional appeal and tired of contradictory conservatives who would have you believe they are “small government,” yet they are OK with adding government involvement in relationships through a Federal Marriage Amendment.
There is a new unity growing in America that eschews how much Democrats like the redistribution of wealth and micro-management of our choices, as well as how the Republicans gravitate toward pre-emptive war and America as an empire. The citizenry is no longer stuck on issues of race that the liberals want to keep alive, nor are they afraid of different beliefs and lifestyles that conservatives wish to marginalize. It is a new, simpler view: Mind your own business and leave us our liberty to live our lives as we see fit, within the law and without hurting others. Let causes be voluntary and privately sponsored. Have our federal government return to that seldom-consulted document: the Constitution. And let there be great diversity and individuality amongst these United States. Let our teachers show their amazing talents by unshackling our school districts from federal mandates and tenure. Let the federal restraints be severed from our states and then let the people demand reform from corrupted state and local officials.
I only see one candidate who shares the vision of the majority of citizens in the United States. Some call his supporters “bots,” yet that is usually precluded by charisma, good looks and a cult-like following. Not so with Ron Paul. People like his ideas. They like his principles. Ron Paul is under major attack by both parties because he is anti-status quo. The power of the establishment is threatened by a return of power to the states.
Our “representatives” like to do things that affect our lives, yet they remain unaffected by the rules and laws they put into play. Obama says we must “sacrifice” and “work harder” as he spends most of his time vacationing and playing golf at enormous expense to taxpayers. The following is one of many ideas, circulated on the Internet, as to how our “representatives” need to feel reform. It is called the Congressional Reform Act of 2011. I pass it on to you thinking citizens for pondering, for America’s “think tank” needs to be its people. I find it an interesting proposal that is perhaps a step in the right direction.
Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1. No tenure / no pension.
A Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they’re out of office.
2. Congress (past, present and 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. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3 percent.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective Jan. 1. The American people did not make this contract with CCongressmen/women 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.
Jan Comstock, Morgan Hill
Now we have the opportunity to elect new leaders
Who are the 9 percent that approve of our Congress? It must include the 1 percent lead by the two Koch Brothers, corporate lobbyists, relatives and paid staffers. The rest of the 8 percent must be folks who are not paying attention.
This year brings the American People an opportunity to elect a 60 percent approval Congress, one that works for America, fixing our crumbling school buildings, bridges, highways, water systems and other essential infrastructure. A Congress that balances our budget and pays down our debt by a fair and balanced approach that lets all Americans know, we are in this together. Together we will help ourselves and other Americans to a brighter 2013.
Frank Crosby, Morgan Hill