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Idiotic E-Mail Circulating re: Proposed XXVIII Amendment

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Bad Penny
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« on: March 08, 2011, 07:54:57 am »

Here's the e-mail:

Children of congress members do not have to pay back their college student loans.  How nice!
Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans.  This essentially means that Congressmen’s “pay” is several thousand per year more than their salaries.  This “pay” of course is tax-free.  This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it.  When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?
 
35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government
 
Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them.  It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.
 
This will take less than thirty seconds to read.  If you agree, please pass it on.  This is an idea that we should address:
 
For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress.  Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws.  The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform... in all of its forms.  Somehow, that doesn't seem logical.  We do not have an elite that is above the law.  I truly don't care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent, or whatever.  The self-serving must stop.
 
If each person that receives this will forward it on to 20 people, in three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message.  This is one proposal that really should be passed around.
 
Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution: "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States."
 
You are one of my 20.

***

And here's my response:

That "XXVIII Amendment" is one of the more absurd things I've ever read, particularly as it seems to have been drafted by someone who's never read the XXVII Amendment, which reads, in its entirety, as follows:

"No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect until an election of Representatives shall have intervened."

This is to be understood in the light of the Compensation Clause of Article I Section 6, which empowers Congress to set its own compensation.  The point is that it's the people's duty to not re-elect the jerks who vote themselves excessive compensation, and if the people fail to exercise their sovereign duty in a responsible manner, it's not the Constitution's job to save them from the consequences of their dereliction of duty.

Besides, the vast majority of laws passed by Congress are private laws, providing everything from compensation to German and Iraqi farmers whose crops get ripped up by American tanks to safety for the Flying Tigers from charges of desertion for joining the Chinese Air Force.  This proposed amendment would prevent Congress from discharging these critically important duties.  Reading this proposed amendment was for me, as a lawyer, similar to you, as a nurse, observing surgery performed by a seamstress who deems herself qualified for the job due to her skill at cutting and sewing.
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