Here's my vote: Lets change the entire way government employees get paid! We will make it entirely public. And by public, I mean entirely....completely...public. They will not be able to accept funds from individuals or organizations. The government will not even write the checks. It will be entirely public and punishment for circumnavigating the system to accept bribes and kick-backs will be severe. Even candidates running will be subject to strict financial rules to eliminate a person from winning because they had deep pockets...merit will be the deal of the day. And it will be entirely in the people's control.
We, the people, should start a bank. It will be a bank of the people, but not for the people. In this bank there will be a huge directory. Every project and division of the government that draws a check will be listed. The individuals will go into the bank (more likely log on online), select the public sectors they wish to have their money, and donate. It should be flat-tax based. Each United States citizen will be obligated to donate 15% of their annual income. 5% of this will automatically be pulled to cover peace-keeping public services like police departments, firemen, soldiers (though that particular section would need very heavy elaborating), etc. The remaining 10% of each person's income will be divided to the individual's discretion.
The executive, legislative, and judicial branches will not receive an automatic portion of the funds. They will get what the people say they can have. Schools will not get an automatic portion. They will get what the people say they can have. The Department of Transportation will not get an automatic portion. They will get what the people say they can have. And so forth and so on. It will be done via computer and calculated monthly. What the people feel about the government this month, the government employees will take home next month.
Why do I think this is necessary? Recent events are a great example. A great many soldiers, as well as numerous other government employees are being faced with not having a paycheck for an inestimable period of time (though it will likely be resolved within a number of days). They're still going to get paid, but they won't know for sure when. Even if the threat is likely to be resolved within a day or two...or hours, even...the affected people are still human. One moment of uncertainty can destroy a lifetime. I doubt it will be that extreme with anyone our nation currently employs, but it will damage them all to some degree. This a side effect of being human. Uncertainty is terrible.
But I don't really feel sorry for those affected. I am compassionate, though. I understand even though I know the damage will likely be minimal...I'm one of those people who thinks people should always be prepared. Not “end of the world” prepared, but at least “I've lost my job for a month or two” prepared. Compassion and sympathy are not to be confused. In the end, though, it is entirely unfair to the people who are faced with the uncertainty.
Why is it unfair? That's a lot less explaining...but I'll rant a little, anyway. Our legislators in this great nation can't decide anything and nothing they decide will ever...and, when I say “ever” I mean it in the most literal form...have the best interests of the people of this nation at heart. They think they have our best interests at heart, but the best interests of the common man in the United States can never be understood by a career politician or bureaucrat. Nine out of ten people running our nation have never been part of its infrastructure...that one extra person is a mayor somewhere insignificant. These are the people haggling over budgets. That have not been able to make up their mind despite having been given well more than enough time to figure it out.
The unfairness of it all lay in the fact that many hard working Americans are going to have to face this particular uncertainty not because they have done their job poorly, which I would find acceptable, but because our legislators have not done theirs at all. But the legislators will have their checks. They will not face this uncertainty.
I have always believed that the government has to be, at its core, made of the people to be able to serve the people. People should go to Washington for a couple years, serve their time, then go home. Back to work. Back to the people to be of the people. Then his neighbor will go. I believe that this is what it was meant to be. Somewhere along the way it became about careers and money. I think if the money was not in it, because the people were unhappy with their performance and thus not putting the money in their accounts, then only the qualified would apply, and things, while they may not improve, will be the way they were meant to be.
It would also amuse me to no end to see how much policy changes after congress has to split $20 five hundred and some odd ways...because that's all the damned work they have managed to do since I have been alive.