Friday, August 12, 2011


I complain often about the undemocratic state of our government where the Electoral College elects a President with less than a majority and where each state has two Senators irrespective of population. Wyoming’s two Senators representing 500,000 constituents have as much clout as Connecticut’s representing 3.500,000. The one man one vote principle has been hijacked and now legislation by elected representatives is being scuttled.
The latest affront to democracy is the recently formed Congressional Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Harry Reid’s harebrained “Supper Committee”, tasked with finding $1.5 trillion in savings and deficit reductions. For the moment ignore the partisan, biased and self serving nature of those just nominated, about that later. Let’s just do the numbers[1], the actual raw numbers that these “super twelve” congress people represent and who will wield power over the rest of us, all 311,000,000 of us, accordingly to the latest Census figures:
          The “super twelve” represent 49,000,000 constituents, see below, and that is but a mere 15% of the population. What about 37,593,000 Californians, Texas’ 25,200,000 souls, New York’s 19,378,000 residents, or 18,800,000 Floridians? Just those four state have 100,171,000 in population, twice the number represented by the “super twelve”, but their voice or the voice of their elected representatives will not be heard.
          In the present scheme of things the legislation provides that just seven members are needed to decide on what cuts are to be made, what taxes and revenues are needed, who will wither and who will prosper. In other words the future fiscal policy of the United States is being decided by a minority, not a majority or even a plurality. If taken to the extreme seven congress people [six representatives and one senator] representing 5,031,000 constituents hold our economic future in their hands. That is less than 2%, 0.015% to be exact, of the population. That’s sheer madness.
          If there is no agreement to be had in the “Super Committee” then spending cuts will be automatically without regard to consequences. More madness.
          When you factor in the corrosive influence of campaign contributions, the outcome will be even more flawed. Washington State received $5.2 billion in defense contracts in Fiscal Year 2009 with Boeing, the state’s largest defense contractor, being Senator Patty Murray’s fourth biggest contributor to her political career. Max Baucus the Senator from Montana [population 968,000] has received “$5.2 million in campaign contributions from the finance, insurance and real estate industries since 2005”. Kerry’s Massachusetts has seen its defense industry triple since 2000.
          Do you expect that the general financial welfare of the whole country to be served in the face of parochial self interests? I do not. Yet you voted, and stand idly by, while this perversity of democracy unfolds.

[1]       joint select committee on deficit reduction

representatives                  state                         CONSTITUENTS
Jeb Hensaling [r]         Texas 5th District                               704,000
Dave Camp [r]             Michigan 4th District                           676,000
Fred Upton [r]             Michigan 6th District                           672,000
James E. Clyburn [d]    South Carolina 6th District                  666,500
Xavier Becerra [d]        California 31st District                        635,000
Chris Van Hollen [d]     Maryland 8th District                          709,500
John Kyl [r]                Arizona                                          6,500,000
Rob Portman [r]          Ohio                                            11,528,000
Pat Toomey [r]           Pennsylvania                                  12,842,000
John Kerry [d]            Massachusetts                                 6,534,000
Max Baucus [d]            Montana                                           968,000
Patty Murray [d]          Washington                                     6,566,000               

                                                                total CONSTITUENTS   49,001,000

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