| Good news, sports fans. Rick Perry remembered enough of his Presidential platform to call for a half-time, underpaid Congress that sounds remarkably like the inutile Texas Legislature!
We should not be surprised, I suppose, that the aspiring Government-Drowner-in-Chief wants to make sure the Feds are as unable to hire enough staff, do enough work, or possibly make a living off of serving in government. From the Texas Independent:
Perry saves the biggest shakeup for Congress, which he'd refashion into a "a part-time, Congress," cutting lawmakers' salaries in half. Should Congress fail to pass a "long-term balanced budget," Perry would cut their pay in half again.
Of course, the part-time Legislative model Perry supports, the "myth of the citizen legislator" was debunked by our friends at Eye on Williamson, who write of the part-time commitment and laughably low pay:
While legislators do make more than the $7,200 annual salary it's still not a lot of money. While these two reasons are why many believe in the citizen legislator myth, it is also exactly why very few citizens can actually run for and serve in the legislature in modern day Texas. The word citizen, as used in this context infers the common person. But in reality only those who are independently wealthy or whose job allows them the time off for the legislative session can afford to run for, and serve, in the legislature.
You get the government you pay for, folks.
Meanwhile, Perry's also proposing various sorts of "transparency" efforts that dovetail nicely with the burbling insider-trading scandal of Congressfolk profiting off trades made with knowledge of future regulations or market-moving intelligence. Haha, this next part's funny:
At the same time, Perry's plan would crack down in insider trading by members of Congress, an issue he's embraced in the days since a "60 Minutes" report on the practice last weekend.
Ah yes, transparency related to an current hot-button issue! What about Perry's own "blind" private trust? You know, the one he set up in 1996 and into which he transferred a bunch of controversial assets, per the Statesman:
In December 1998, Perry added to the trust a 60-acre plot in Austin and the next month added his ownership interest in MKS Consulting, a business he was in with former state Rep. Ric Williamson, with whom he had served in the Texas House and later appointed chairman of the Texas Transportation Commission, ethics filings indicate.
Both of those investments made headlines - the land because of its ties to sometimes-controversial Austin developer Gary Bradley, and the MKS partnership because of its interest in natural gas drilling in the Barnett Shale in North Texas, which is monitored by state environmental and energy regulators, critics of the blind trust point out.
Rick Perry hides his controversial investments in a blind trust, so he can act like he doesn't know he has a financial stake in holdings that appreciate in value thanks to his actions as governor.
Anyways, Perry's trying to make Congress as ineffective as the Texas Legislature, and his new ethics platform can be summed up as "financial transparency for thee, and not me."