Internet chain letter purporting to have the support of billionaire Warren Buffett advocates passage of a so-called "Congressional Reform Act of 2011."
Description: Forwarded email / Chain letter
Circulating since: Oct. 2011 (this version)
Status: Mixed (see details below)
Email text contributed by Miriam D., Oct. 16, 2011:
Subject: Let us all speak up!
Warren Buffett, in a recent interview with CNBC, offers one of the best quotes about the debt ceiling:
"I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election
The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in 1971...before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc.
Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the land...all because of public pressure.
Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do likewise.
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.
Congressional Reform Act of 2011
1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office.
2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose.
3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.
4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.
5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people.
6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.
7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.
If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is time.
THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!!
If you agree with the above, pass it on. If not, just delete. You are one of my 20+.. Please keep it going.
Analysis: The quote from Warren Buffett is accurate he uttered the quip about ending the deficit in five minutes during a July 7, 2011 interview with CNBC's Becky Quick but the chain letter above was neither written nor endorsed by Buffett.
Nor is the "Congressional Reform Act" an actual piece of legislation. It has never been introduced in Congress in any form (including as a Constitutional amendment). The text originated as an anonymous email in November 2009 (though Buffett's name wasn't added till 2011), and is similar in both theme and content to the "Proposed 28th Amendment" chain letter that began circulating around the same time.
Some elements of the proposal are based on misconceptions about Congressional pay and benefits.
Sources and further reading:
Transcript: Warren Buffett Interview
CNBC, 7 July 2011
Proposed 28th Amendment
Urban Legends, 24 February 2010
Congressional Reform Act of 2009
Urban Legends, 24 October 2011
Why the Congressional Reform Act Will Never Pass
About.com: U.S. Government Info, 24 March 2011
Last updated 10/29/11