Thursday, July 19, 2012
July Politics - To our elected representatives "Hey, you work for us!"
It's July and the people in Washington are all busy working on re-elections (both their own and their party). Not sure if you ever take a look at CSPAN but there's a lot of speeches being made to an empty House and Senate. I guess the incumbents need to get some face time to convince the folks back home that they're doing a good representing their interests. So, can someone explain why nothing is being done there? It seems the only votes that are being taken involve subsidies (farm subsidies are being voted on this week - gotta pay those peanut farmers off) or Obamacare. Not much else going on there. So, what are they up to? We know that a certain representative in the mid-west is in touch with his constituents; they have an annual town hall meeting to feel the pulse of the people he represents. Wait, once a year? Why not once a month or once a week? He has an office there, in the home district? What is it being used for? Didn't he hear about video conferencing? That would permit him to sit in his Washington office and meet with his voters using the Internet. And that's the point of my note today. These representatives work for us; you and I. Not the party, not each other, not the Congress. They are our employees. And it's time for the bi-annual performance review - Elections. In the private sector all managers, executives and board members are subject to performance evaluations. As seen with developments in Tech, CEOs are routinely sent packing when they fail to do the job. In the public sector we call these reviews "elections". And it's time to conduct the reviews. So, what kind of criteria do we need to use? Let's start with passing laws that relate to the economic direction of the country. With the fights over tax cuts, debt ceilings, student loan rates I would give them an "F". On attendance I'd give them a "D". They're there for those late night, empty room speeches and the State of the Union address but they don't seem to be around to talk to their constituents. And let's not forget their inability to cooperate with their peers in working through legislation. Holding hearings that produce pompous statements doesn't get the job done. I'd give them an "F" for their inability to get the job done. In the private sector, a bad review would be cause for termination. Time to send some of the incumbents home for the same reason. We need to remind these elected representatives who they work for. So, if you get the chance to see your representatives in the coming weeks, ask them about how they spend their time, ask them if they think they are doing a good job and hold them accountable for what they've done as well as what they have not done.