The Duty of Politicians

And how to increase proficiency in the fulfillment of their duty

The United States of America is a free country; a free country still requires a good government—a government of the people, by the people, for the people. But what if the elected politicians, the leaders the people have placed their faith on, fail to attend to the country’s needs? They do not write any laws yet still get paid salary using taxpayers’ money. They do the bare minimum of voting and passing bills; but even then, they do it halfheartedly. The only time they do anything meaningful is just before an election. How can our nation progress with this kind of leadership?

“The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman thinks about the next generation.”­—James Freeman Clarke

Politics, at times effective, is not always efficient in achieving its purpose of good governance, despite decades of development in political theory. Bills get bottlenecked in lengthy debates, and proposals get stalled due to political partisanship, tactics that use time and resources—taxpayer money gone to waste. According to the Congressional Research Service, as of 2012, the base salary for all members of the US House and Senate is $174,000 per year, plus benefits. Congressional members who reach leadership positions over time receive higher salaries. The highest of these is the compensation for the speaker of the House at $223,500, while the president pro tempore of the Senate and the majority and minority leaders in the House and Senate receive $193,400 annually.

“Politicians are good at saying how government must do more, but we must also think carefully about where government should do less.” —Charles Kennedy

The US federal government is composed of three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. Let us focus on the bulk of elected officials—the Congress. These are the politicians who are given power via direct election and are responsible for making and passing laws in the legislative branch. The Constitution requires Congress to convene in order to approve, amend, or abandon bills.

Some politicians may take their responsibility seriously in writing drafts and bills (kudos to them for going above and beyond), but there are others who simply sit idle in office, wasting years of representation. The good ones do not offset the bad in whatever scenario.

To remedy their inefficiency, politicians need to be set on the clock. Their time must be accounted for to incentivize them to work. As public officials, it is paramount that they adhere to the same working hours as that of their constituents.

I have developed a pay system that is applicable to everyone—including politicians. I have compiled the details of CHAPPS (Clockable Hours Application Process and Pay System) in a book, which is available in Amazon. CHAPPS is a fair system for both politicians and voters. CHAPPS enables better statesmanship for our country. CHAPPS is the future.