NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION
HOPEFULLY THIS COULD BE A THOUGHT PROVING DEBATE!
This country was built around a rallying cry “No Taxation without Representation”.
Now I believe the new rallying cry should become “NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION”.
Fundamentally this country is built on the backs of free market workers and companies who pay taxes. These taxes pay for our military, teachers, DMV workers, postal workers, bus drivers etc.etc. While these groups also pay taxes they are simply returning part of the money that was paid originally by the free market workers.
So if we were to rally around “NO REPRESENTATION WITHOUT TAXATION” all citizens who had not yet paid a specified level of taxes would be barred from elected office. These would be people we could believe had walked a mile in our shoes. So people who had only worked in public service and never truly competed in the free market would be ineligible to hold office. For them higher salaries are simple, higher taxes! Of course, if they had such aspirations they could quit and work 5 years in the public sector.
So you say what about spouses who don’t work?. Obviously households consist of more than one person. Clearly a spouse (gay or not) who was part of a free market household would qualify.
What about military? Obviously no other form of government service is revered as highly as military service. Even better the leadership lessons learned here carry over exceptionally well into both the public and private sector. BUT, I would again submit coming right out of just a military background into public service would be too abrupt. I still submit that 5 years of private sector experience should be a requisite for public service.
Now for the really difficult question. What level of public service would you have to perform to qualify for public office? Should 5 years as a gas station attendant suffice to become a Senator.? While I embrace the story of every child being told you can grow up to become president, simply getting votes from your peers is not enough. We need some form of filter to ensure the requisite skills. Education by itself is not enough. I submit having to earn a living in a competitive environment should be a required skill set.
I would propose the filter should be you cannot run for any office that pays more than 15% of the average of your previous two years income. So this rule would still enable people to work 5 years at a lower wage and become a career politician. But they would have to work their way up. City councils, mayors, state representation first. Alternatively private sector professionals earning $150k would immediately qualify to run for national office.
Alternatively, owners of large farms or commercial properties could qualify by counting their real estate taxes as part of the qualification.
While this sounds like only successful people would serve, it also means that such people were forfeiting something to go into public service. I believe the results would be better than the ones we see now.
P.S. People frequently ask me about term limits. I am in favor of them, but not for POLITICIANS. Rather, I believe we should term limit employees of professional lobbying organizations. Ex public service people should not be allowed to join such organizations for a period equal to their public service record. If we actually put in term limits on politicians, the newbies would be “prey” for these professional organizations.