Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Letter to the Editor Repeal the 17th Amendment

Letter to the Editor Repeal the 17th Amendment; Star Democrat

The so-called Gang of Six in the U.S. Senate is working on a proposal to reduce the federal deficit by modest, phased-in spending cuts coupled with significant (and mostly immediate) tax increases.

The plan is nothing more than a sham designed to make us think they are doing something for us when in fact they are trying to secure their own re-elections. The dirty truth is that the Gang is actually trying to prevent programs from being cut.

That's because every government program, even the ones wildly derided as wasteful and unnecessary, have constituencies that support them. The Gang of Six doesn't want to do away with programs for two reasons:

First, every program being cut benefits some group of voters who the senators don't want to risk alienating.

Second, most programs have special interest groups who lobby for their continued existence by holding endless fundraisers for the senators.

The senators don't want to bite the hands that feed them; they need help to get re-elected.

We should change the way we elect senators by repealing the 17th Amendment.

The 17th Amendment ended the practice of state legislatures selecting senators and began their direct election by the populace instead. Prior to it, senators were accountable to the state governments, not to Washington special interests who fund their expensive campaigns.

If we can get back to the original arrangement, then the powerful constituencies who suckle at the teet of momma government will fade away as their power to virtually guarantee senators' re-elections recedes.


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