- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 5, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

With both presidential candidates having preached change, I’m firmly convinced that we, the common people, will see very little or none.

All candidates make promises, but carrying them through is an entirely different issue. They both seem to forget that Congress has to be factored into the change equation. Congress has become an elite body that is out of touch with the people. Congress has its own agenda, and the No. 1 item is to get re-elected.

Getting re-elected takes precedence over all other things, and as a result, Congress will make no decisions that will jeopardize re-election. The oil embargo of 1973 should have been a wake-up call for Congress to make the country totally energy independent, and long-range plans for this should have been instituted.

What was Congress’ response to this crisis? Speed limits were lowered to 55 mph. Did a law to switch freight movement from trucks, which use 1 gallon of fuel to move 1 ton of cargo one-half mile, to railroads, which use 1 gallon of fuel to move 1 ton of cargo 423 miles, ever pass? No!

That would have been a “hard” decision and would have caused some voters to become unhappy. Any course of action that shows that Congress is “doing things” and that has the least impact on voters is the one Congress follows.

If its members were really concerned about voters, they would have legislated that Congress fall under the same Social Security and Medicare system as their constituents. However, what did they do? They set up their own extremely lavish retirement and all-expense-paid medical plan. It shows whose interests they have in the forefront.

If true change is to come to House of Representatives. Term limits would take the need from Congress to please constituents and permit it to make hard decisions that are needed if our country is to survive.

Congress exempts itself from laws it passes. Change this so that lawmakers have to abide by the same laws as everyone else. Just see how fast Social Security and Medicare would be fixed. Remove Congress’ ability to vote a pay raise for its members and let their constituents have the say if they get a pay increase or decrease when the voters go to the polls.

The country will not see any change that is desperately needed until Congress is changed. How is this change going to be implemented? Perhaps as an amendment to the Constitution? If we are to see real change, Congress needs to be fixed immediately. As posted by someone on the Internet, “If Pro- is the opposite of Con-, then the opposite of Progress is Congress!”

WILLIAM COGGER

N.C.

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