Today Christians celebrate Ash Wednesday, thus the start of the season of Lent; the season leading up to the most festive day in the Christian church.
During this 40-day journey of renewal, many will give up something substantive as chocolate, alcohol, or candy. A less popular way to look at Lent, but possibly more meaningful, is not giving up something, but to give something. One could give time to the needy, a neighbor, or their community. Giving something that isn’t normally done is a justifiable sacrifice that is in the spirit of the season.
No matter what the choice, whether in the spirit of giving up or doing, I offer these Lenten suggestions to our beloved members of Congress.
- On this day, Ash Wednesday, and the day after 90% of the polled public gave President Obama a range of positive marks for his speech.
- On this day when Congress itself has an approval rating of about half of the president’s.
- On this day, the day after while having to watch a polarizing Speaker Pelosi in the background as President Obama called for bipartisanship.
- On this day, the day after the Republican response of we’ll support the president when he agrees with us.
Give up partisan BS.
Do work toward constructive solutions.
Give up party-first mentality.
Do act and embrace a country-first approach.
Give up letting others think for you.
Do go against your party more often.
Give up talking against the other party.
Do listen and think.
Give up citing crap as “all economists we’ve talked to”, thus stop listening to one view.
Do listen to a variety of economists, thus listening to other views.
Give up using statistics selectively to lash out against the other side.
Do use a full complement of statistics to gain a fuller understanding of the problem and seek solutions.
Give up any pay raise and cost of living adjustment for the rest of your term.
Do pass legislation that freezes your wages and adjustments so you only receive them in years of a budget surplus.
Give up personal frivolous spending in individual budgets.
Do cut budgets of all individual members of Congress and each committee by 20%.
Give up fear mongering and trying so hard to make the opposition look bad.
Do work on strengthening your position.
Give up arguing about which partisan solution is the best of the worst.
Do work for something better than each can offer.
Give up groups of 4 or more (2 per party) going on a government-funded trip.
Do pass legislation making all expenditures by members of Congress as transparent as possible, thus readily available to any taxpayer seeking the information.
Give up fund raising for any Political Action Committee (PAC); including your own.
Do pass legislation that no member of Congress can have/lead a PAC.
Do get your head of your butt.