A Congressman Makes Sense

Have I stumbled upon an alternative universe? There is a congressman actually making sense.

Well, to be more precise, he’s not yet a congressman, he’s Congressman-Elect Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado. Polis is a supporter of voter initiatives and has personally been involved in state ballot measures. He says the initiative process in Colorado and elsewhere “doesn’t work perfectly” but that it is “far better that we have one than that we don’t have one.” That’s certainly true.

Polis argues that “[t]here are some policies that by their very nature are unlikely to ever be implemented by an elected legislature. These are things like campaign finance reform, term limits — types of issues where it affects the members personally. . . .”

One example Polis cites is the open meetings law passed by initiative in Colorado. “The US Congress doesn’t have that,” he reminded radio listeners recently. “Congress literally still has the smoke filled room. . . .”

Polis adds that he is “very interested in seeing what a national initiative system might look like.” As a newly minted member, he is expected to introduce legislation to create such a system.

Knowing how Congress works, I’m not holding my breath, of course. The politicians and special interests won’t want any such citizen input.

But it is refreshing to see someone in Congress be serious about empowering the American people. At every level of government, voters should have a check on their elected officials.

That’s simply common sense.

So is this. I’m Paul Jacob.

10 Comments so far ↓

  1. Dec
    22
    12:54
    PM
    Lynn Cheramie

    Refreshing
    Hopefuly the Washington cesspool will leave him uncontaminated long
    enough to get something worthwhile done
    LRC

  2. Dec
    22
    2:02
    PM
    Joseph E. Miller

    Be careful what you wish for, you might get it. If you really want to restore the intentions of the Founding Fathers, repeal the 17th Amendment. Senators were the representaves of the state governments, not of the people. The People, the Executive, the Judiciary and, importantly, the States were co-equal branches. The states are no longer co-equal, they’re subservient to, the Federal Government. Since Senators no longer represent the interests of the state legislatures, they’re redundent to the House. I am not an advocate of a unicameral system, but when a branch of government no longer performs the function for which it was established, it should be abolished.

  3. Dec
    22
    2:06
    PM
    Joshua Pritikin

    Learn more about the National Initiative for Democracy at http://ni4d.us.

  4. Dec
    22
    2:59
    PM
    Dave Betker

    Don’t think this is a good idea at all. We are, after all, a Republic. Initiatives/Referenda smack too much of true democracy, a form of government that has proven unworkable and precisely what the founding fathers wanted to avoid. I would like to see a sunshine law where ALL meetings must be held in the open but as for ballot initiatives and referenda, they scare the bejesus out of me!!!!!

  5. Dec
    22
    3:43
    PM
    John Honell

    Imagine, a guy named Polis, a transliteration of the perfect form of the Greek “City-State,” trying to improve the way Congress does things.

  6. Dec
    22
    3:59
    PM
    Rubicon

    Sounds like we could have today’s version of “Mr. Smith goes to Washington”? Somehow, I seriously doubt he expects to have to live up to this promise or belief. I suspect he already knows that once in Washington, if he wants to do anything at all for the people of Colorado, he will have to pay homage to the party leader in the House, who has already put even the President-elect on notice that he & his staff must seek her permission before they even speak to a party member.
    Its a great idea & there are those, even Democrats, who still think America is a terrific place & even more terrific idea whose best days are ahead.
    Initiative scares politico’s who are either entrenched or plan to become entrenched in their job that pays outrageous sums to them, provides even more outrageous benefits, & can even be extremely lucrative for family & friends when political clout is expended by these elected representatives of the people.
    Only by action of regular people will national initiative ever be enacted. If the people demand… I said, demand, initiative be enacted, we will get it. But it will be a big fight that powerful people will take, even to the Supreme Court to have over-turned since they know it could seriously limit their power over average people & the gads of money they steal (oops, I mean tax) from the people.

  7. Dec
    22
    9:39
    PM
    meesterbig

    Dig a little deeper re: Mr. Polis, Paul. You will find he is a far-out lefty who authored Colorado’s Amendment 41 a couple of years ago which has cost the State of Colorado untold millions in taxpayer dollars in the courts. Polis is also openly gay and wants to push all sorts of gay-rights issues at the national level. He is what is locally know as a “Boulder liberal”.

  8. Dec
    23
    1:12
    AM
    LUGNUT

    BALLOT MEASURES IN COLORADO HAVE BEEN A DISASTER..MOSTLY SPONSORED BY BIG MONEY LIBERALS AND ENVIROMENTAL ACTIVISITS.BIG MONEY PAYS TO OBTAIN THE SIGNATURES AND THEN ADVERTISES THESUBJECT LIKE ITS AGAINST MOTHERHOOD TO VOTE AGAINST IT.. THEY GOT AN ANTI-TRAPPING ISSUE PASSED A FEW ELECTIONS AGO AND NOW THE COYOTES ARE EATING THE PETS AND BITING THE CHILDREN ON A REGULAR BASIS.. THE AVERAGE VOTER CAN BE SOLD ANYTHING WITH ENOUGH ADVERTISING..AND WHEN IT GETS PASSED,THEN WE LIVE WITH THE UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES…THIS LAST ELECTION HAD 18 VOTER MEASURES,IT HAS GOTTEN OUT OF CONTROL AND NOT A GOOD IDEA..

  9. Dec
    23
    4:11
    AM
    Michael Grant

    The ballot initiative process proposed by The National Initiative is designed to fix a lot of these big money problems. Mike Gravel, it’s principal creator, looked at many different ballot measure states including Switzerland. To remove the big money from the equation, only people are allowed to sponsor initiatives, and all funds for or against an initiative must be disclosed and only come from individuals. Don’t let one instance of bad implementation ruin this idea. By not allowing ballot initiatives, you ROB yourself of your right to vote on specific issues that effect your life. Ballot initiatives also play a vital important role of a balance of power between the people and the elected officials–does not replace the elected officials.

  10. Dec
    28
    10:57
    AM
    Dick McDonald

    The Rise Up America Plan

    The Rise Up American plan does for the poor and middle class what the “Trickle Down” Theory did for the rich – it makes them wealthy. It is a simple concept, It redirects the 15.3% presently paid to the government by individuals (and in the case of employees, their employers too) in the form of payroll taxes into personally-owned investment(pension)accounts that will grow into millions over the their working life. The funds are invested in safe indexed stock funds whose annual rate of return has been averaging over 12% for the last 30 years.

    The average American household makes over $40,000 every year and pays over $6,000 in payroll taxes. If that $6,000 is placed into a personal investment account, it will grow to $3.2 million over a 40-year investment period at just a 10% rate of return. The income off that nest egg will generate a retirement check of over $25,000 a month leaving the nest egg to be willed to the family. Under Social Security there is no nest egg investing that $6,000 a year for 40 years and the monthly check from Social Security runs just slightly over $1,000 a month.

    However, adopting the Rise Up American plan doesn’t just make Americans wealthier and retirement more secure. It will reduce the size of government by half; generate the biggest tax cut in history; pay off all unfunded entitlement liabilities; reduce the $9 trillion national debt to $5 trillion; economically emancipate women and minorities; infuse enormous sums directly into the capital markets thereby accelerating the growth of the economy; reduce crime, poverty and gangs; eliminate the need for government pensions and Medicare; eliminate the need for business to fund retirement needs; increase the net worth of America and Americans geometrically; and more.

    As taxation perpetuates consumption by diverting capital to the government for redistribution to less fortunate, the public has less capital to invest in growing the economy. As supply-side capitalism is fed by investment of capital, the diversion of over $1.3 trillion a year in payroll taxes into personal accounts that are immediately invested in the capital markets will explode the growth of the economy. Instead of the $23 trillion in stocks and bonds American households presently hold we could have been holding $544 trillion had we had personal accounts for the last 40 years – 170 million households worth $3.2 million each.

    The Rise Up America plan will stabilize the value of the dollar too. It does so by creating assets rather than printing money to stimulate consumption or fix fiscal or monetary problems. For example, lowering rates recently did nothing to increase the intrinsic value of real estate – it merely stimulated consumption and caused the dollar to fall 40% in value by this massive expansion of the monetary base. Under Rise Up, the assets created are greater than the dilution in the monetary base should the transition to personal accounts be financed off-budget as we recommend.

    Without Rise Up the solutions offered by the political class are painful – raise taxes or cut benefits while asking citizens to cut consumption and save for their retirement. Rise Up says that we do all of it painlessly and profitably by enacting personal account legislation that replaces the funding method for Social Security and Medicare and at the same time provides ordinary Americans a pool of capital to “save” and grow into millions to achieve the American Dream. Rise Up delivers the dream of financial security not dependent on help from the Federal government. It is the social and economic solution to many of America’s ills.

    See http://www.ownershipsocietyinstitue.com
    http://www.riseupamerica.us

    For a short video presentation see –
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z8y2ex9uLM

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