National Policy Commission

Seniors CAN call for congress to form a non-partisan policy commission to give recommendations for legislation to address longterm goals and priorities for the country.   We think this is important because as things currently stand, our legislative process is dominated and controlled by special interest groups that represent the wealthy class.

The median wage earner in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s had a higher standard of living than today.  Whereas the income of the median wage earner has gone down, the income of the wealthy class has increased enormously.   Legislation over the last 45 years has favored the rich over the middle class to the point where the median wage earner has become part of the working-poor class.  The American Dream has only worked for a small percent of the people and left most far behind.

We feel that the idea of non-partisan commission could be advanced if people such as Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, President Clinton, Mayor Blumberg and others were to endorse and work towards its implementation.  They have the resources and status to make a long term commitment to rebalancing this nation’s priorities such as:  an expensive criminal justice system that in many cases destroys those who are imprisoned for minor offenses, an expensive military-industial complex,  an expensive healthcare system that wastes so much and delivers so little for the money spent,  a college system that is burdening so many  with huge debts, and a tax structure that enables the wealthy to use loopholes to avoid paying a reasonable tax rate.

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4 responses

  1. laurie mazzarella | Reply

    I love the idea of a non-partisan commission that can make suggestions for the future of this country. How can the current big money system with intense lobbying be wrangled into going for something like this though? I think Bill Gates, Mayor Bloomberg, etc. are great initiators and would be natural leaders in something like this. However, can they really take on all the big corporations and money people who have such influence in Washington, DC and have for so long? How would this be done?

    1. The most direct or quickest way would be for the President to form a Blue-ribbon panel or commission. If his political advisors or influential people could sell him on the merits of the idea he might just do that. The task would be to contact these influential people and first sell them on the merits of the idea and for them to influence the President. A gentleman where I am staying said that I should take six months to a year and work on it. Any ideas?

  2. Robert Livingston | Reply

    Commissions are nothing more than the appearance of doing something without really doing anything. Politicians love commissions! That is, they love everything but the recommendations, which ultimately require policy changes necessary to end the conditions or issues requiring a commission in the first place. Examples abound: every time there are race riots in Chicago, Detroit, or LA, a commission is formed to eventually restate what the first commission stated. The same is true concerning every significant social issue. Don’t agree. Check out America’s social history.

    Is there a better way to deal with our problems? Of course. Let’s take two examples. How do we end “wars of choice” against countries which did not attack us or represent an immediate threat to our national security? Answer— bring back the draft. With the conscription of young men and women, it would not be possible to fight Middle East wars for ten years. The “soccer moms” would march on Washington. The draft, rather than encouraging military adventures, would restrict them. And that, of course, is why “war hawks” are against the draft.

    Another example— political I’m-fighting between the Tea Party, our homegrown fascists, and more thoughtful folks in Congress, especially where a minority within a minority would take the country over a fiscal cliff to end the Affordabe Health Plan. How do you stop this adolescent behavior. Easy. Make sure Social Security checks are not sent if the budget and national debt ceiling are not discussed in a rational manner. If you think “soccer moms” are trouble, wait u til you see pitchfork carrying seniors heading for Washington.

    Commissions… Not necessary. Poison pills to stop dangerous behavior, yes.

    1. I agree that bringing back the draft and holding back Social Security checks would stop dangerous behavior. You did say “better way” and “easy” which is problematic. How hard would it be to get legislation passed to bring back the draft and to withhold Social Security checks? I also feel that commissions have not had the desired results because they are only advisory and have no authority. The Bowles-Simpson Commission was bi-partisan where it should have been non-partisan. Half were Republicans and half Democrats and there was a two-thirds threshold (or was it three-fourths) to agree on the final report which couldn’t be reached. I am in favor of a constitution amendment that would provide an initiative/referendum provision, which is what twenty-four states already have. If enacted, this would allow the people an opportunity to pass legislation that Congress refuses to address. It might be seen as a stick to prod Congress to act on the behalf of the people instead of on the behalf of special-interest groups and themselves. I have given this quite a bit of thought and will attempt to start a grass-roots effort toward this goal. Greg

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