So far, 9 GOP Congressmen have announced their intent to retire. Many are privately citing the rigors of the Democratic Congress' new 5 day a week work schedule as being a decisive factor in that decision not to seek re-election.
Said Ray LaHood (R - IL):
“I do think the schedule and the flying is a huge pain for people, particularly those who are from the Midwest or even further West,” adding that it’s “probably the worst part of the job. I think that has played into these retirement announcements.”
Obviously, what we have here is a labor - management dispute. Some Republican members have already resigned rather than meet the 'stringent' 5-day-a-week schedule. Now we need to make the conditions of work so onerous that the GOP will go out on strike, and we can replace them with scabs. Maybe they'll even quit outright and go looking for easier work.
The House already doesn't assign workspace on the floor of the chamber, perhaps we should institute the same 'first-come first-served' policy with offices. Or get rid of offices all together? We can just have a cube farm in the rotunda. Or let Congresscritters do their work perched at a Starbucks with a laptop like the rest of us. That should get rid of a herd representatives more concerned with prestige and perks than with public service.
Next, we have to cut salaries, bennies, travel benefits, per diem, and retirement benefits, and staff budgets - deeply. I see no reason why Congress should make more than their average constituent. We should peg the salary of Congress to the median family income in that Congresscritter's district. Health care benefits should likewise be 'normalized' to their constituents' level: they will spend the same percentage of the year without health insurance as the percentage of constituents without health care insurance in their district. Retirement should be not be the lush defined benefit package they now get, but instead a defined contribution tax-deferred plan like the rest of us peons get: and the President (as the government's CEO) will have to power to raid their pension plans to redecorate his White House. Congresscritters will no longer be allowed to travel by air; instead they will be required to commute home by hitchhiking or jumping freight cars. Finally, all office expenses come out of their pockets and they can try to deduct them on their taxes like the rest of us. Salaries for staff? Hah! Forget it, all those people in D.C. subsisting on 'workfare' can work for a Congresscritter instead of picking up trash in parks. In the district offices, we'll just rely on volunteers.
These modest proposals should take care of most of the GOP right there. Real Democrats will have a lock on Congress because no Republicans, and no DLC corporatist Democrats, will ever choose to run again.
Finally, just to be sure, every member of Congress should be audited yearly, and all financial records of the Congresscritters and their families will be made available to the media on a real time basis. That should finish off any motive Republicans might have for wanting to sit in Congress.
Onward! To a permanent liberal Democratic majority!