Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer usually includes a small segment in which he gives his personal take on the latest news. His segment yesterday moved me enough to highlight and memorialize. He takes us on a travel with the ghost of congress future where Washington, D.C. functions and works the way it was intended. The transcript is below along with the video.
I had a dream the other night. The Ghost of Congress Future took me on a flying tour of Capitol Hill and I could not believe what I saw down there. Both houses of Congress were filled with members. There were lively, spirited, informed debates going on. I am used to seeing members speak to an empty chamber. What is going on? I said. Oh, the ghost said, the people threw out the whole bunch you knew after one of those shutdown government debacles and the people demanded new rules. We pay Congress by the hour now, like most of the other government employees, and they don't get paid anymore unless they are legislating. But it is Friday afternoon, I said. Why aren't they back in their districts? Because the people stopped paying their travel expenses, the ghost said. They get one round-trip bus ticket back to their districts a year. So most of them just stay here and work. They have actually gotten to know each other and it goes a lot smoother now. Well, you must pay them well, I said. Actually, we cut their pay, the ghost said. The people decided a public office shouldn't be the most lucrative job someone ever had. We pay them about what school teachers and people at nonprofits make. It is amazing. We are getting a whole different class of candidates now, folks who do it for the same reason teachers teach. They want to help others. Then I was awakened by a noise. Some guy on TV was reciting talking points. In Washington, the nightmares don't come when you are asleep, but more often when you are awake.