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The True Cost of a Congressional Seat
I get the same reaction, virtually every time I mention having over 10,900 Congressional seats.
Are you Crazy?
I don't purport to understand every single issue incumbent before Congress at any given moment or session; far from it. In fact the OPPOSITE is the truth. I don't fully understand the daily ins and outs of Congress, nor am I crazy. In fact, I am the only sane man left on the planet, if I'm the only one who can see that having more Congressmen instead of the status quo, (435) is better, not worse!
Having more Congressmen
There are a host of benefits, but consider the old adage that;
"The Power in any given (political) Office is directly Proportional to the number of constituents represented BY that Office."
That tells us all we need to know to realize the facts as they are, that:
SHRINKING the SIZE of the Office is NOT making BIGGER government, it is making MORE RESPONSIVE government. Here's how;
So think about it as a whole, because in addition to all of this, the simple costs involved with travel to more than one office, all the staff, the cost of addressing the concerns of almost 800,000 people, expensive suits to impress the television public, fancy retirements, financial and medical benefits, check floating, free stamps, fancy schools for their children and the associated financial gain, just from being a Congressman, (Books, speaking tours, huge Hollywood-like notoriety, etc.)
It makes complete and utter sense in ANY language, from ANY angle you want to look at it;
Supporting the office of almost 11,000 Congressmen will be LESS expensive or the same cost as feeding the "Swamp" where the current 435 now wallow. It is currently estimated that each Congressman is costing the American people about;
$2.6 billion/year total x 435 /10,900 = $103,761.46 to fund every one of our new Representatives and have that money stay in their local community too!
There you go. That should be PLENTY of money to fund one Congressman and his staff for a year. There is NO COST INCREASE associated with having almost 11,000 Congressmen, instead of 435. PERIOD!
The list could go on, but let's put this one to bed and decide once and for all, that this point is moot and the issue is dead. THE COST IS THE SAME if not less!
Nice essay. Not much in solutions, but different. Try this on and see how it feels. Leave the representatives numbers the same, (Constitutional), but instead of allowing either Representatives or Senators to vote on their pay and benefits, "Pay the Elected Volunteer Citizen", the AVERAGE WAGE and BENEFITS of those who they specifically represent in that District!
Not meant to be solutions based. This was about settling the argument that more Representatives would cost way more. This is simply not true, so I decided to comment on the subject.
The Constitution calls for the States to each have Two Senators, and Representatives based on a fixed number of people within the total population of the State. The only means I am aware of to change this is with a full Continental Congress.
"The Constitution calls for the States to each have...Representatives based on a fixed number of people within the total population of the State."
Huh? What did you say? As far as I know The Constitution says this:
Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, Sentence 1;
"Representatives...shall be apportioned (not fixed), among (not within), the several states...according to their respective Numbers,.."
And the only thing I can think of that IS fixed is described in Article I, Section 2, Clause 3, Sentence 3, wherein;
"The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand,.."
For you math geeks, that looks like this;
That is a FIXED ratio of "apportioned" Representation, that says if the bottom number doubles, so does the top. That's the very definition of "fixed ratio". This means that each Representative shall not have an "excess" of 30,000 constituents or in other words "shall not exceed" the limit of 30,000 voices worth of power.
I take this to mean that a rational limit has been placed on the power inherent in the office of Representative. To me, this means that by restricting each district to 30,000 people, you automatically limit the amount of power of each Representative to 30,000 voices worth of power. This is important. Here's why.
If you do NOT have that limit in place and the number could be arrived at in a capricious or arbitrary manner, you would eventually have a Dictatorship instead of a Republic.
Today the number of Representatives in the House is FIXED at 435 and NOT regularly "apportioned" and CHANGED to match the limit of "one for every thirty thousand,.." people, like it is supposed to be. So today our Representative carries the power of over 754,000 voices. In less than 40 years, that number is slated to reach ONE MILLION VOICES!
That is one million voices worth of power, (and still growing)!
That's a LOT of power!
That's what this limit was written to protect against and THAT is the most important thing we can focus on to correct the rest of the problems we have and is that is also THE solution to draining the swamp.
So, I'm not exactly sure what you mean by what you stated above, but perhaps you are in agreement with my view of the situation?
Exactly. Representative at one per 30,000. If you believe you have a more equitable process, call for a Continental Congress.
Our Constitution is the "Foundation" of our Republic. The problem has always been in the ignorance of the Citizens thus allowing Congress and the Administration and the Judiciary to completely ignore the boundaries set forth in our Constitution to control and limit their powers.