Posted 10 months ago on July 19, 2012, 5:02 p.m. EST by rgagnon
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
I wonder if, as a country, enough people have access to the internet that Congress can be done away with and have a direct representation of the people into the government. It's hard to feel that the politicians we elect actually represent the people. The greater sense is that they represent the wealthy people that can afford to get them elected. To stay elected, politicians use federal money to fund state projects that states should pay for. That game of staying elected costs taxpayers in higher federal taxes. The historical reason for Congress to exist comes from the inability of an 18th century populace to directly make their feelings known remotely. The internet now makes that possible.
The Senate, Supreme Court, and Presidential offices would still exist. Congress is supposed to represent the quantity of people in the United States with the number of state representatives being based on the populations of those states. Instead of being represented by elected representatives, the technology exists for the vast majority of the country to directly represent themselves. The Senate represents the unity of the country with each state having the same say in how the federal government spends money. In theory, the Senate ensures that only laws that are good for the entire country are passed. In practice, human nature takes over and one hand washes the other as backdoor deals are made to pass each other's bills. It's a balance that's still needed however imperfect it is.
One way to constrain federal spending is to require that, whoever votes for a bill, pays for the bill through higher taxes. One of the biggest problems with the government is that there is no sense of personal responsibility for spending money. In fact, the more federal money a politician brings into their state, the more likely they stay elected. There isn't the remotest incentive to reduce federal spending. Since few people want higher taxes, spending would sharply decrease. When spending federal money comes out of the pockets of the people who want to spend, it's an easy bet that it's for something that they really want.
The main question I have is whether I trust the general populace, which can name more reality TV stars than presidents, to do a better job than our duly elected officials. I'm not sure. It's hard to imagine that it could get any worse. It would have been a lot harder for the Legislative Branch to bail out Wall Street and banks if the people being screwed by them had any say in the matter. The rich would have a lot less influence over the government. It's a lot easier bribing a few hundred elected officials than 300 million people. I would be pretty sure that the huge list of tax loopholes that allow the rich to avoid paying a fair share in taxes would quickly disappear.
Maybe it's time to put "We the people" back into the Constitution.