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Tea in a Whole new Bag

by L. Neil Smith

More and more it seems that nothing can bring this country's politicos and 
bureaucrats back under control (to the extent they ever were) as the Founding 
Fathers intended. Bureaucrats are more anonymous and unreachable every year: 
no matter how incensed we get -- or how many of us get that way -- 
politicians reelect themselves like clockwork. 

Though it's all the rage among those concerned with such matters, I've never 
been satisfied that term limitation won't achieve the opposite of what's 
intended, removing a final curb on runaway do-goodery and social 
experimentation. With respect to recent passage of what's supposed to be the 
28th Amendment, the most naive American today knows more than James Madison 
did of the way politicians fix things to suit themselves. They'll override 
ratification, agree to vote raises for their successors, or simply make their 
mercenary move early in their terms, in the comforting knowledge that voters 
will have forgotten what they did by Election Day. 

It should be clear now that the imposition of Bill Clinton on the productive 
class -- by 43% of the electorate -- has only made things worse. In an age 
where half the average person's income already goes to taxes of one kind or 
another and the other half for goods and services with prices doubled by 
taxation and doubled again by regulation -- and where bureaucrats represent a 
greater threat to life, liberty, and property than politicians -- what's 
needed is something more certain than term limitation and harder to get
than Madison's schedule for congressional pay hikes. 

Allow me to introduce the "Taxpayers' Equity Amendment": 

1. No elected or appointed official at any level of government may receive 
more in total salary, benefits, and expenses during his term of office -- or 
for 5 years afterward -- than his average productive-sector constituent; 
individuals, and employees of companies deriving more than 10% of their 
revenue from government will be excluded for purposes of calculating the 

2. Those subject to the Taxpayers' Equity Amendment will be required to 
participate in the Social Security system for as long as it continues to 
exist; all outside income (from a business, inheritance, investments, a 
spouse's wealth, speaking fees -- to name only a few examples) will be 
"invested in America" by being placed in randomly-selected savings and loan 
institutions until the 5-year period expires. 

3. Those subject to the Taxpayers' Equity Amendment will be required to file 
weekly income/expenditure forms for scrutiny by the IRS, the media, and the 
public; telephone hotlines and lavish rewards for "whistle-blowers" will be 
provided; all salary and benefits of officials under suspicion of having 
violated the Taxpayers' Equity Amendment will be suspended pending the
of any investigation. 

4. Violations of the Taxpayers' Equity Amendment will result in summary 
removal of that official, loss of salary, benefits, expenses -- along with
deposited monies -- and no fewer than 25 years in that federal maximum 
security prison currently deemed most violent; introducing, sponsoring, or 
voting for legislation meant to evade the Taxpayers' Equity Amendment, or to 
falsify the statistical base on which calculations are made, will be treated 
as violations. 

The primary goals of the Taxpayers' Equity Amendment are: 

(A) to punish politicians and bureaucrats for past, present, and future 
crimes against the lives, liberties, and property of "We the People of the 
United States", 

(B) to make sure their fortunes rise and fall with ours -- so they're forced 
to scrape along by day by day like the rest of us, one paycheck away from 
bankruptcy -- and, 

(C) to give them something better to do with their time than to continually 
threaten, at our expense, our fundamental rights and well-being. 

It'll also save taxpayers around $300 billion a year. 

The Taxpayers' Equity Amendment can begin working now, before it ever passes 
into law (even if it never does), if it's circulated widely via computer 
bulletin board networks and other means, appears frequently in magazine and 
newspaper letter columns, and if it's sent to all your favorite office

Have fun.