Maryann Tobin

The 112th Congress was the least unproductive in recorded history, passing only 219 bills.

Tying productivity to pay is at the heart of capitalism. So why not apply the same rules to congress with a pay-per-vote incentive plan?

With lawmakers acting as verbal supporters of capitalism, is there a reason to pay them for not being productive workers?

Pay-per-vote really is a simple concept that most American understand. If you don’t work, you don’t get paid. If nothing else, it would send the message to a do-nothing congress that laziness and free-money handouts from taxpayers will not be part of the budget or added to the deficit.

However, the incentive for do-nothing congressional pay-moochers must go a step further.

Every piece of legislation that is delayed should have a dollar amount attached to it. It would be calculated by how much the obstructions costs each American citizen, and then divided by the number of congressional representatives. The sum would be charged to non-productive lawmakers as a penalty, so that he or she could actually owe the government money, if their lack of productivity exceeded their earned income.

If the idea of having a pay-per-vote congress sounds extreme, think about the consequences of allowing lawmakers to continue to do nothing with no immediate monetary impact. Not only will they continue to govern recklessly without regard for the damage they cause, they will also have the only taxpayer-funded jobs in America that require no requirements for a paycheck. That is not how things are supposed to work in a capitalist democracy.

The free ride on the government-handout trail needs to start with the do-nothing congress. If they want to get a paycheck, they need to do something to earn it.