Politico has it bass ackwards (as usual) in an article about a study of the difference between male and female members of Congress. Politico’s title reads “Women lawmakers outperform men.” But how is performance measured in order for the author to come to that conclusion? In part, it is based upon the fact that supposedly women introduce more legislation and “bring home more money” to their districts. Even if true, both of those premises are flawed, if not down-right idiotic.
The “purpose” of having a representative in Congress is not to “bring home more money” to their districts, nor to introduce more legislation. That kind of thinking got us into this mess with a massive and bloated Federal Government dominating our daily lives. The Founding Fathers envisioned a Federal Government with limited power, so that each state would be free to control its own affairs. To paraphrase Mel Gibson’s character in “The Patriot,” why fight for independence from a despotic king thousands of miles away in order to live under the tyranny of dozens of (despotic) legislators hundreds of miles away?
The mark of a good legislator should be that he or she seeks to limit Federal spending, not to increase it. The mark of a good legislator should be that he or she seeks to enact only good legislation, not to enact as much legislation as possible. We need less laws, not more. The mark of a good legislator should be that he or she seeks to reduce our Federal taxes–so that we can keep more of our own money in the first place.
Those Federal tax dollars come from somewhere: if the legislator’s district is receiving more tax dollars than it paid in, then those dollars are being cyphoned from other taxpayers who are receiving no benefit for their taxes. If the money is only what the district paid in the first place, why should the taxes go through Washington in the first place? The better system should be to lower Federal taxes. That would allow each state to raise its own income taxes as its citizens see fit. Instead, the Federal money is laundered through Washington, and when it magically re-appears back in each state it seems like manna from heaven, in effect “free money.” As a result of the trip to Washington, when it comes back that money is more easily wasted. After all, the people of the district didn’t pay for those improvements, the Federal Government paid for them, right? Instead of having our state legislators pay the price for raising our taxes for wasteful pork spending, our federal representatives actually receive credit and are seen as “effective” the more wasteful spending projects that they “bring home.” The system is broken.
Liberals are always calling conservatives “greedy.” But, under our current system, greed is the underlying motive of legislators’ seeking to “bring home more money” for their districts. If a legislator “brings home more money” than what that district paid in taxes, those tax dollars are being taken from taxpayers of other districts who are receiving little or nothing for their money. Isn’t that the essence of greed, taking from others and giving to yourself or your own?
And isn’t it the essence of greed to only ask what your legislator can do for your own district? Under our current system, the race to “bring home more money” just devolves into a pork-fest, a race to see which legislators can root around in the trough and get the most goodies for their own constituents. All legislators, and all citizens of each district, should be more concerned about what is in the best interest of the country as a whole, not what is best for the citizens of each district.
Our system of government is broken, and as a result, our nation is in in massive debt. And much of the reason is because the system is set up so that the greedy people keep sending legislators to fight for more goodies for the greedy people. Both parties are at fault, but the reason is that the system is arranged so that if each legislator doesn’t get in there and fight to “bring home more money” for his or her own district, that legislator might lose his or her job.
What would you rather have? Two U.S. Senators and a handful of U.S. Congressmen, along with all the Senators and members of Congress from all the other states, deciding how your tax dollars are spent; or rather just the elected representatives in your own state? If you don’t like how your taxes are being spent, or how high your taxes are, you can fire the bums at the state level. But you can’t fire the bums from other states–you have no say in the matter. I don’t want some moron Speaker of the House from the most liberal district in California, and some imbecile Senator from Nevada, deciding how my tax dollars are being spent. Even if right now that suits you just fine, what happens when those losers are replaced by somebody that you despise?
Finally, I have no problem with female representatives, and I have no doubt that they can be as effective or more effective than male representatives. My problem is with the author of Politico’s article and how she measures the “effectiveness” of representatives.