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Cheap Politicians
Creators Syndicate, Inc., by Thomas Sowell

Original Article

Posted By:Photoonist, 10/2/2012 12:40:18 AM

Now that the National Football League has apparently learned that it can be costly to hire cheap officials, perhaps the rest of us should learn the same lesson when it comes to government officials, whose bad calls can do a lot more damage. What do we do when we want a better car, a better home or a better bottle of wine? We pay more for it. We definitely need a lot better crop of public officials. (Snip) No doubt many, if not most, government officials are already paid more than they are worth. But the whole point of higher

Our elected officials have taken care of their ''minimal'' pay by continuously voting themselves perks both overt and hidden and by using insider information to enrich themselves. Pelosi, Reid, Waters? Hello? I will not vote these critters more money as payment seeing as they are thieves in office who are rarely punished for their theft. Besides, the whole idea of Congress (and other positions) was that you didn't stay there forever. I'd like the opposite of what Dr. Sowell thinks this time: force them to STOP becoming rich as ''public servants'' so that they get the hell out after a


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Reply 1 - Posted by: Photoonist, 10/2/2012 12:40:40 AM     (No. 8903454)

....a couple of terms.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: JonR, 10/2/2012 1:04:42 AM     (No. 8903469)

Term limits are our only hope but it will take a national referendum to get them!

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Reply 3 - Posted by: TXknitter, 10/2/2012 2:34:35 AM     (No. 8903501)

Yes, yes, say it Dr. Sowell. Part of the reason we see so little passion on the part of Congress to straighten out Washngton D.C. Is that things are fine and dandy for THEM. If there were strict enforced laws that you do certain dishonest or egregious acts while in office and your pension is affected, things would change. If wrongdoers were fired NOT constantly given the option of resignation, things would change. If you are not legally able to go from FDA Commissioner straight to a six figure lobbying job for big pharma, things would change.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Robinsolana, 10/2/2012 3:03:10 AM     (No. 8903509)

The failed leadership class inside the Beltway has both entrenched itself, enriched itself and beclowned itself.
DC is one of the few areas in this economy lurching toward a second recession, that is booming. Pay, perks and property values are all up.
Empowering and enriching the bureaucrats is the core of Obama's plan and the rest of us are road-kill.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: veritas, 10/2/2012 3:17:36 AM     (No. 8903518)

IMHO, Dr. Sowell's primary purpose with this column is to get some attention paid to the "quality" [?] of politicians. He's too smart to think addressing this one facet of a Gordian problem is a realistic fix.

So, attack here: a. no more "one law for me, another for thee" exemptions; b. use the term-limits law we have [elections every 2 years]; c. no more pocketing of campaign donations [send the money to US Treasury]; d. start hacking away at their long-term perks; e. put honest judges on the bench; f. find ways to shape turnout [good voters vote every time, idiots and corrupt give up over time]; g. force sitting members to use their rules to reject unqualified but "elected" Reps and Senators; h. make Ethics Committees meaningful. There's a start. Note that many of these points reinforce the others. As better candidates get elected, the other points go from "impossible" to "maybe some day" to "I never thought I'd see this day!" But there's no silver bullet.

#2: Three points: a. we already have term limits [we "term-limited" 750 Democrats out of office in 2010]; b. amending the Constitution will take too long and guarantee the incorporation of great mischief into it by the pols we want out; and c. a referendum would be voted on by the same voters who sent all these [pre-deleteds] to D.C. in the first place.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: Trigger2, 10/2/2012 3:34:16 AM     (No. 8903522)

As to the NFL replacement referees, it was my opinion that their bad calls were done on purpose to get the NFL to agree to their overbloated salaries and benefits.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: danu, 10/2/2012 6:28:42 AM     (No. 8903598)

BO is trying to bribe L-M in VA w/ taxpayer $ to break the labour laws; Cantor is silent.
He must be a cheap date.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: kanphil, 10/2/2012 7:50:56 AM     (No. 8903701)

Great post, #5. Can't see much I disagree with. As to Dr Sowell's about how little it would cost to pay every elected fed plus every fed judge a million dollars a year- I think this has already occurred to Soros and his pals and they have done it. Only the promise of a lot of money can account for some of the completely illogical decisions made on both sides of the aisle.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: jeffkinnh, 10/2/2012 11:05:48 AM     (No. 8904100)

I have to agree that I don't think Dr. Sowell really thinks it is that simple. The reason paying for quality works in the market is that there is competition based on proven capabilities. A poseur like BO would be quickly discovered and shown the door. The leadership of the government has largely turned into a beauty contest. Do I like the candidate? We poll on likability because it is so important. Likability is great for a movie star but far less so for a leader. You may respect a leader but they probably aren't your buddy. People say they would like to have a beer with BO. That's the quality of president he is. A beer buddy.

We may NEED a million dollar a year president but frankly, we are getting the kind of president we deserve as long as the electorate is not paying attention to the issues and common sense for governing. If we were doing that, Romney an obviously qualified candidate and WORTH a million dollar salary, would be polling at 90%. The electorate is choosing a beer buddy. We get what we deserve. As long as our selection process is so flawed, what we offer to pay makes no difference.

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