THE BLOG
07/07/2011 01:31 pm ET | Updated Sep 05, 2011

Buying Back Our Employees in Congress

Would you knowingly hire someone who was going to spend most of the time working for someone else instead of you?

Hell no, you wouldn't.

That is precisely what all of us are allowing to happen with our employees in Congress. We pay them to do the work of the people, but apparently we don't pay them enough to do things like outspend their opponents to get elected. So by the time we hire them (vote them into office), they're already working for someone else, and they'll spend at least half their time "in office" working for third parties with direct conflicts of interest with our own — all on our time and our dime.

So the practical question is: How much does it cost to buy back our employees, and by extension our democratic enterprise? Ten billion? Twenty billion? 

Yes, this has been called "campaign finance reform" in the past and so far it's failed wildly — partly because we give it that weak name instead of calling it what it is.

At this very moment, Congress is going back to Wall Street for campaign money. How could they possibly do that, you ask? Because if they want to have enough money to win, they have no choice. 

It's our fault for being such bad employers, for failing to notice that everyone working for us was actually working for someone else, or failing to care enough to do anything about it other than decry their lack of morality.   Buying our employees in Congress back will take 10, 20, 30 billion dollars — however much it takes to satisfy our public servants that they can buy enough time on our privately owned public airwaves to compete for our votes. So we must write them a letter.

Dear Congressman/Woman/Senator _________________ 

In addition to the generous salary and benefits we provide to you, we are upping the ante on those you've been working for behind our backs (yes, we know all about it) by making $X billion available to you. We believe that this new outrageously generous amount is sufficient for you (and those running against you) to make your messages and platforms known to all voters in all media (on the assumption that with equal funds you'll be capable of competing on substance). While you're at it, go ahead and get yourself a nice steak dinner at Morton's. There, is that better? Good. Now get back to work.