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We all know how Congress has repeatedly failed to contain its spending and reduce costs, dump unworkable laws and take useless junkets. Since Congress cannot regulate itself and it certainly thinks regulation is a necessary evil for everyone else I propose the following to remedy this outrage.

Currently the justice system has a system where juries of everyday citizens convene to administer decisions on the guilt or innocence of people who are suspected of violating human rights. Why don’t the Legislators utilize a similar system to monitor whether or not Congress is doing its job or simply doing what they want without any oversight by the people who employ them? Waiting for an election to weed out Ineffectual or corrupt politicians is a crap shoot the way it is done today. Each congressman or woman has many ways to dodge and avoid any responsibility as they simply spout about what they have done and avoid what they know voters would not approve of. It is time to make legislator accountability real and effective. Here is what I propose.

Every year there would be a review by a list of citizens who would ask the congressperson such questions as:

What cost savings have you introduced or voted for?
What spending programs have you initiated or voted for?
What have you done to reduce the federal deficit?
What are your efforts to reduce the national debt?
Have you worked to pass any legislation that would turn out ot be personally beneficial to you?
What is your primary objective ? To eliminate unnecessary laws or increase laws as a scorecard of your achievements?
What is the increase in your net worth since being elected to Congress and what besides your salary has contributed to this increase?
What do you think are your greatest strengths /weaknesses?
How many votes have you cast out of votes called for?
What have you introduced to make Congress more efficient?
How long have you served in Congress?
How long do you intend to remain in Congress?

These are questions that an employer might ask an employee in the world of business. These are questions an employer could reasonably expect an employee to answer honesty and completely. Since Congress works for the taxpayer shouldn’t congressmen and women be expected to provide their employer with up to date information on what they are doing to earn their salary?

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If a pool of taxpaying citizens were formed much as a jury pool is gathered and from this pool drawings were made to select participants to review Congresspeople, why wouldn’t this be a better way to hold Congress accountable in an ongoing basis?

If the participants filed a report that showed the person interviewed was dishonest or had not performed well this could be presented at reelection time for voters to consider. If the record was clean and the congressman could show achievement, savings or reduction of unnecessary regulations this would be an endorsement for continuance as a congressman. If the records showed the congressman overspent, underperformed or was simply incompetent this would be available to the voters for consideration of voting him out of office.
Congress has proven they are not capable of self policing of their activities by the outrageous debt they have accumulated, the regulations they have piled up and the waste they have not reduced. They have proven they are not to be trusted and have made no effort to correct their misbehavior. This means it is time for their employer to implement a way ot see that they are accountable to those that pay for their inability to regulate themselves and their activity. This system could very well be instituted in their mass of regulations. If they refuse to listen and not comply this could be a bell wether for reelection or not. Only the American taxpayer can demand accountability. Any well run business reviews their employee’s performance and rewards or punishes as appropriate. Why should not our lawmakers face the same critique? If you agree this might work I encourage you to approach your representative and see his or her reaction. If accountability is truly their concern you will know immediately .

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

Dale Netherton

Author of four published books, former Marine, forester, former plant services manager,former KT facilitator, former campgound builder and manager, handyman now retired to writing , chess , golf and fishing. ISU graduate, M.B.A. from Nova University and longtime supporter of ARI.


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