The Biggest Problem With Congress-Old Age

December/29/2012 8:56AM
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Just before Christmas I got together with four former co-workers for a holiday lunch. The average age was about 66 years. The first few minutes were devoted to health issues. Two hip replacements, one knee replacement with another pending, back surgery, and a prostate removal. Probably pretty typical for a group this age.

Next we began catching up on co-workers. Where did they retire, etc. The challenge was coming up with the names. True, time had passed, and, with time, memories grow dim. But, it dawned on me that those of us sitting around that table  would have been able to store hundreds of names in that collective memory bank 15 years ago. That’s why most large corporations have a mandatory retirement age, generally at age 65. After that, capacity, capability, and energy begin to diminish. Sad, but true.

We watch as a dysfunctional Congress let’s us go off the so-called fiscal cliff. And, we again bump up against another debt ceiling.

Let me offer my opinion on why our government creates bad policy that keeps the economic power of this great country from fulfilling potential. We are being governed by 269 members of Congress who are past mandatory retirement age. Almost one half of our leaders are on the downward slope of their peak performance years.

Here’s the tally: Senate: 2 are past 80, 24 in their 70’s, and 39 in their 60’s. In the House: 12 in their 80’s, 46 in their 70’s, and 145 in their 60’s. Face it, we need more bibs for these droolers. Their aides must have a lot of creative ways to keep them from forgetting their own names in public.

No major corporation in the world could compete and prosper with this executive profile. It’s doubtful that there has been an original idea in years from these 269 lawmakers. They are on remote control, robots or puppets who simply do what they were doing 15 years ago.

We, as a country, would never go to the old-folk’s home to hire half of our leaders, but we have.

We deserve what we have. Only we can change this. But we saw Utah hire an eighty-year old and give him a new 6 year contract.

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