Discussion in 'Current Events' started by train, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Yeah, but what do you base it on for someone to be "let go early"? They don't vote on one bill the way you'd like? Two? Ten?

    I'm just saying that the terms seem okay for now to get a gauge on how someone consistently votes and whether you want them in there again for the next term.
  2. Killer Joe Active Member

    To answer the original question:

    Nope, not glad but it doesn't matter, the Demacrats weren't gonna get anything done or passed anyway.

    I have a real problem with the Dems in Washington; they do themselves in by attacking each other whereas the Republicans are taught to hold the party line regardless of their personal beliefs which make Republicans always look like they know what they're doing and therefore have a much more appealing aura about them. The Dems would eat their young if they thought it would benefit themselves.

    Just an un-researched opinion and I won't even bother to try to back it up but it's the truth.
  3. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    That's funny because I was just reading an article about Michael Steele, the Republican national chairman, who has received criticism that he's been using his position to further his personal views rather than the party's :)
  4. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    I am totally sick of the parties being divisive... all I hear is, you're wrong, you suck, you spend too much......

    Nobody cares how much the Government spends, as long as it's worth it.... but it never is.... waste, waste, waste...... I used to like McCains stance that spending should be worth it and waste should be cut.... what happened to that guy?

    The government, not just fed, has gotten too bloated.... how many people work for the gov? Something like 14.6%!!!!!!!

    That one guy winning Teddy's seat was meaningless in large scope....... Of course the Reps think it's some mandate for them and the Dems are like... oh wait we have to rethink our strategy...... What???????
    It's one state and that's it.....
  5. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    Word. We have so much money that could be put to good use if it wasn't for waste, fraud, and pork projects... I saw a great line yesterday about how the deficit is getting so big, the US will end up being a subsidary of China since they're the ones mostly buying our securities.... and I read they have something like 1+ trillion in cash reserves because of the imbalance... :eek:
  6. train The Wildcard!!!...

    I think the let it go early would be based on voters recalling them. If the voters do it, then it may not be for just voting the wrong way - but also, a full no-confidence type vote.
  7. EricBess Active Member

    Agreed. There is too much "us vs. them" mentality.

    Personally, I wonder sometimes at the incompetence of congress. We already know there is a lot of corruption, but do they do stupid things just so they have leverage? For example, the alternative minimum tax was originally intended to tax the absolute richest members of society, but rather than say that it affects anyone who makes more than some percentage of GDP (or some other scalable number), they set it as a specific dollar amount. And now, every year, they need to pass emergency legislation to increase the threshold (never actually fixing the problem, though).

    Thats inefficient and IMO, inappropriate and incompetent.

    I think the bigger problem is that most people aren't informed. They latch onto one or two things that they have heard in the media and don't bother to do any further research. The "clean house" is a perfect example. I think plenty of people on both sides of the aisle are sick of congress doing whatever they want, not cooperating, and getting us in further and further debt. So every incumbant is currently in jeapordy whether they are a part of the problem or not. There are definitely problem people in both parties, but I think that there are a decent number of people trying to do things they way they are intended also.
  8. train The Wildcard!!!...

    @EB - Thats inefficient and IMO, inappropriate and incompetent.

    Exactly - (except I think your opinion is fact)... So - Mr/s. Legislator - please turn to the last page of your "I suck" manual and fill out your "self-termination" form.

    Basically - enable more of a recall - something that doesn't allow them to remain in power and do more damage to their constituents. For those that are doing what their constituents want - they won't really be going anywhere. I don't think the mass - not doing their research would lead to someone wrongfully coming out - but if it did, and that was the majority vote - then so be it.
  9. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I'm always wary of this sort of talk because when the "founding fathers" are invoked, there's often the implication, intentional or not, that this phrase refers to some nebulous conclave of mystical patriarchs. And that's not the case. They were people. They disagreed with each other. Actually, when it comes to this sort of issue, they were, from what I've read anyway, more polarized than the mainstream parties are today. Consider the fierce rivalry between the federalists and the antifederalists over just this sort of thing. Also, even where the founding fathers might have done something, it does not follow that we should necessarily do the same. Not here specifically, but on other issues I would emphatically say that they were wrong or had the wrong idea or took the wrong approach. And so would most of us.

    All that being said, I will say, tentatively, that I agree with what you're getting at. I think my favorite founding fathers (none of whom were federalists) viewed taxation the way you described.

    However, for better or worse, that's not the way the system has been. Hopefully anyone on this board who is an American citizen is aware that there are a lot of things we'd consider to be good that rely on federal funding. So while I'm perhaps sympathetic to the principle, having all those things is more important than my preference for the level of power the federal government should have compared to the individual states and other entities.

    And I'm extremely cynical of claims that handwave the "market" into solving everything. But that's another topic...

    My point is, tread carefully. I'm a big fan of the states getting their acts together and our whole society functioning really without centralizing every damn thing. But it isn't simple. It's quite tricky. And frustrating. Mostly tricky.

    See, this is what I meant about it being tricky. I'm torn between saying that your proposal is exactly what we should do and saying that well, people are impatient for reform and there are some (but how many?) who could really use it sooner rather than later. As long as the reform is increasing people's access to care rather than decreasing, it seems preferable to err on the side of doing a bit too much, whatever that even means. But then how far on that side should we err? Where would the line be? We all have a different perception of how bad the problem is and what sort of solution would or would not work. Even with the same general values, I'd think it would be pretty much guaranteed that there would be significant disagreement on what the course should be.

    But caveats aside, I think you have the right sort of approach.

    I'm curious if you really believe this. And if so, how? I mean, what could lead you to become convinced of this? It just seems so obvious to me that gray areas are a natural and unavoidable consequence of any reasonable human legal system. We can't hope to codify every single thing. We can't plan for everything and our laws are written using language anyway which also can't really avoid gray areas.

    But it does matter. It matters very, very much. The people can't be expected to be vigilant all the time. They can't track all the key details of things quickly enough when rapid response might be necessary. Hence elected representatives. Sure, the people can remove them from power. But no matter how quickly we are able to do that, we still need people who are intelligent and can think things through properly be fair and honest and open and do right by us, the constituents. Okay, so getting elected officials who match all of that is a pipe dream, but maybe at least somewhere in the ballpark. Just being able to boot them out if we catch that they're particularly awful isn't good enough. Okay, I think you realize this and didn't really mean that it doesn't matter at all, but that it's more important to have them be accountable to the people. But still, what kind of people we have making these decisions is pretty important. Just saying. I think we all recognize that, though...

    Also, with all this talk of corruption in congress, I am reminded of something...

    This presentation (hopefully I got the link right, I'll check when I'm at home) by Lawrence Lessig is almost an hour, but if you have the time, it's well worth watching.
  10. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    @EB - Thats inefficient and IMO, inappropriate and incompetent.

    Exactly my point... There should be way to clean up our Federal Laws.... But be careful what I wish for.... The government may use the "Red Up" to eliminate Laws those in power may not like.... say the law on term limits for presidents?

    Oversoul: I have to agree with you on the invoking of Founding Fathers or Marketplace.

    Health care: I think if you are going to do it, do it all, not some compromise thing that doesn't get the job done. Letting the States do health care might work, but I wouldn't bet on it...... it would be good in a few states, bad in a few and ineffective in most..... That said, doing nothing is not an option.... insurance costs are becoming insane....
    And anyone saying they fear the Government controlling health care, but allows insurance companies to control it are just plain nuts....

    BTW - does anyone use as a reasource? I think it's one of the more unbiased sites..... not perfect, but no FoxNews......
  11. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I don't want to be cruel, but now you're just a little bit more like Dick Cheney. :p
  12. turgy22 Nothing Special

    That reminds me... I often hear complaints and arguments that the government shouldn't have too much control over businesses. But the way our country is set up right now, businesses (through $$$ and lobbyists) control the government. Is that really better?

    In fact, sometimes I wonder if our value system is just so entrenched in the ways things are done and we just assume that our way is the "right" way when maybe it's actually really screwed up. Just looking at the way our leaders are elected makes me really question the system. Every two to six years, our two political parties choose people to run for various government posts. They take in bundles of cash from businesses, special interest groups and various other agenda-driven organizations. Then they get paraded around, telling us how the other guy / gal is wrong and they're right and then we pick which one we want in office and they go to Washington and spend their terms trying to get elected to another term. Sometimes, this involves actually getting things done and making an effort to improve the country. Usually, it involves fighting with the other party and doing nothing and blaming the other party for not allowing them to do anything.

    All-in-all it's a really stupid, inefficient system. If you live in a dictatorship, and you have a really good leader, things are going to get done and the country's going to improve. Of course, if you have a really bad dictator, things might go horribly wrong, but then you just need to organize a militia, stage a coup, and hope that the next guy's better. It's really not THAT much worse than our current system, but everyone's so scared of a dictatorship (probably based on past results) that no one wants to try.

    So, in short, I'll be running for president on the Dictatorship ticket in 2032. A vote for me is a vote for REAL change.
  13. Mooseman Isengar Tussle

    That's what happens when you have things bookmarked.... and are too lazy to actually read the f'ing link....

    I am humbled that I have something in common with a Dick....... or that Dick....

    Turgy22: Dictatorships only work on a small scale.... then people can actually have an effect on their government without being a part of it (other than a member of the populace).

    I would vote for you on that ticket though.... do you stand for REAL cheese too?
  14. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    That always gets me... why is there one for the president (thanks FDR!)/executive branch and not for the legislative branch? What's up with that? :)

    Especially with the recent Supreme Court decision that corporations can now directly contribute to campaigns or whatever ruling they decided.
  15. train The Wildcard!!!...


    One of the things that hangs up our nation right now is all the backtracking that has to be done just to get legislation passed. There is a time when laws have outlived their usefulness and are encompassed by one passed more recently or should just be re-written in a more logical manner. A simple one would be the Veto process.
    sign it into law immediately or within 10 days is standard. But if it already has the votes to back it, even beyond a veto, then why bother with a veto.

    The veto should not come into play if the bill already has the majority of votes necessary to make it law should it need to surpass a veto. total waste of time for partisan and non-partisan congresses.

    The Pocket veto is worthless. Only stipulating it's power when congress is adjourned is outright dumb.

    Bill becomes law without president's signature. - see pocket veto - why the hell send it to him then?

    If a law is passed by the 2/3 majority by both congressional bodies, the president must sign it into law, and if he has an approving or dissenting view may publish such view when signing it into law.

    If a law is not passed by 2/3 majority by both congressional bodies, the president must sign it into law, or must veto the law and the congressional bodies do not have the opportunity or constitutional authority to override it.

    (It either is in the first category, or the second. One way or another, the right message is sent, and legislation accomplished, or back on the drawing board. BUT - there is not a fruitless game of "nah - I don't like this one, VETO, and you guys can do it again with the same legislation"... or "nah, I just don't feel like signing it, and it will be law anyway, so I'll sit on it.")

    A current example may be the recent medical/social marijuana push. At this point in time, it is being used both medically and socially. More socially than anything (including "medical" use)... However, the legislature and governing agencies continue to "fight" to have Marijuana not "legalized and regulated"

    -disclaimer- I have never tried it, but have been in a room when it was being smoked. been around the plants, etc. Just never done it, and don't have any thoughts on doing so -end disclaimer-

    though it was determined it could be used medically on a state level, the federal govt is uncertain as to the extent they will allow the production and distribution. So resources are constantly wasted...

    as soon as this becomes legalized and regulated, in a minimal amount, etc. the crime rate regarding marijuana drops. The expense of fighting this and lives lost drops.

    People can utilize this the same way they use alcohol and everyone be on their merry way... Less costs, Less crimes, make the manufacturers and distributors accountable - no different than cigarettes today... (which are tons more deadly)

    If making them more accountable means a monthly review by the state representatives (constituent reps) they represent federally, then institute it. No different than a vice-president, lieutenant governor, etc. - The next person in line takes their spot.
    If a vote of no confidence doesn't affirm that individual, then on to the next in line.
    we already have a line of replacements established - so why not begin utilizing it. If they are all incompetent, then wipe the slate clean starting at the bottom going up and have your next set of people in place.

    If you can't be held accountable to those you represent, our system is broken.
    Whether it is 2 4 or 6 years, that's quite a bit of time to not be accountable for something.
  16. Oversoul The Tentacled One

    I don't think this happens very often. Nor can I think of any particular cases where it wasted a great deal of time and caused problems. But anyway, while you certainly do have a case against it with your point that it allows one branch of government to delay something being passed even when it's impossible to stop it, I think there's also a reasonable case for it. Something along the lines that the veto gives members of congress a chance to pause and rethink their decision, seeing that despite strong congressional support for the bill, the president still vetoed it. And if he gives his reasoning for doing so, it can be something that improves the bill for the better (I can't think of any examples of this happening, but it seems possible). Also, if the bill is undesirable, this demonstrates to the constituents where the problem lies: the president tried as hard as he could to block the bill, but to no avail.

    But anyway, I don't see this as a problem. I'd be quite interested to be shown that it is, though...

    I think our basic position on this one is rather similar. I see a few possible answers to this one...

    1. The problem is here is not with the legislative blueprint, but with the legislators themselves and the forces around them. It may be the case (and is at least some of the time) that supporting legalization or even decriminalization of marijuana is political suicide for legislators. Alternatively, it might be that the two major political parties themselves are keeping this one off the table (as they do with copyright extension issues and can be traced to lobbyists). Either way, changing the environment in congress by either electing legislators who actually want to make this happen and/or ones who will make a real issue out of it would address the problem.
    2. The federal government has too much power here and this is something that should be left to the states.
    3. National initiative or something.
    4. Despite the vocal minority that would more or less agree with us, there's a silent majority in this country that holds a "drugs are bad" position and the status quo actually does best represent the interests of the people.
    5. Blame the Republicans!

    Anyway, I have to go to class. I'll get to the rest later...
  17. EricBess Active Member

    Fair point. I guess it would be more correct to say that once the dust settled, they introduced a system where the federal government did not tax the people and taxation was left to the states. Honestly, I don't know enough about the history to know when and why a federal tax was introduced, but I'm guessing that it came down to national security and having a federal military. Still, the door was opened and now the federal government has taken it upon themselves to try to regulate any and everything that they think might be "wrong" in society.

    Can we agree, however, that the current system of health care is not market driven? If costs are hidden from the end consumer and not controlled by the doctor, then where is the incentive to compete?

    If you look at the current housing situation, there is a strong argument that the reason prices skyrocketted is because so much effort was made to make sure that everyone could have a house, even if they really couldn't afford it. I'm not saying that this is completely analogous because I agree that everyone should have access to health care, but I just point out that "doing more" when referring to the federal government, often leads to far bigger problems in the future.

    And to be clear, I certain aknowledge that I don't have "the answer" any more than anyone does. I just don't think it would be as hard to come up with a more catious solution as they claim. Part of the problem with the 2,4,6 year thing is that long-term doesn't mean much in politics.

    I was thinking about how government works over the weekend and it seems that our current system has gone off track. Instead of "let's compromise on points and look for a system we all can agree on" (granted, a very tall order), it seems its more about everything being either "our way" or "your way" and the compromises are "we'll give you this legislation exactly how you want it if you give us that legislation how we want it". So you end up with special interests on both sides getting all of the taxpayer money and the taxpayers in the middle going bankrupt.

    I always thought that the job of politicians was to look out for the interest of the people they represent. But clearly, their job, like everyone else's, is to make try to make money. Like Oversoul said, they are human, so if the options are 1) represent those who voted for you, or 2) represent those who give you money, what are you going to do.

    To me, it comes back to what was said about people researching candidates. People aren't elected based on what they stand for. They are elected based on how visible they are. Media at that level is expensive, so a big corporation with a lot of money can get someone elected far easier than the best candidate in the world who relys on word of mouth to be known.
  18. Spiderman CPA Man in Tights, Dopey Administrative Assistant

    I think one was introduced at the end of the Civil War to pay it off, but then it was retired. Then it was brought back to pay off WWI and just stayed.
  19. train The Wildcard!!!...

    @Oversoul - I don't have a full-proof list of vetoes - but will provide the examples I believe show this best...

    And the Veto was an example... There are other laws for trade, armament, foreign aid, etc. that can be looked into. The main facet is that we make rules for the exceptions then try to place them into law. There should be an is or isn't and not necessarily a "works here, but not here" aspect.

    Will get some listed with examples.
  20. train The Wildcard!!!...

    US Constitution, Article 1, Section 7 P2
    Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

    So - for the sake of all the work legislators did to go to waste - they shall present a bill to the president, so late in the process, that he shall pocket-veto it because they don't make arrangements to ensure it can be received by the House or Senate. Whereas this is actually allotted for by the Supreme Court's decision in Wright v. US., 302 U.S. 583 (1938) (Item No. 12751)...

    So - let's waste our time going through the process for a pocket-veto to shoot us down... Yippee - I can do this for another 6 years!!!

    A total of 1067 Pocket Vetoes have been used by presidents/allowed by legislature...
    There were a total of 1496 regular vetoes.
    A total of 110 vetoes have been overriden by legislature, out of 2563 total vetoes cast.

    So basically, by shear number - the whole process and red tape BS has accounted for an extreme waste of time on 2453 bills that were passed by both houses and sent to president for signing. Not to mention all the debates wasted, etc. and all the terms some of the legislators spent wasting taxpayer money to get these 'not passed'...

    Excluding a couple hundred that Cleveland vetoed based on individual bills establishing civil war pensions - there is still too much wasted time presented from these numbers...

    Here are some vetoes where the override failed and/or the pocket was allowed to go through...

    In 1982, There were two attempts a day apart for the legislature to get their budget straight HR5922 and HR6682 - both vetoed by Reagan, and the override attempts failed. But when there wasn't enough support to get them past the first time, they could have been eliminated. A third bil vetoed by Reagan, was finally overridden 2 months later (Ch.9 inclusion from prev. bills) to get the money they needed so desperately.
    So - the full process runs 3 times, with 3 vetoes, 2 failed overrides and 1 successful override...
    - How much freakin' money was wasted on that?!!! I know plenty was spent on red-tape... sheesh...

    In 1989 - HR2 - Fair Labor standards amendments (which I think would have been great for everyone) was vetoed by the president... However, the initial passage did not have the votes needed that would have overridden the veto. An attempt to override was made and failed.
    - in this case, it wasn't backed enough to begin with - so why bother. Unless the president was pushing for it, it wasn't happening. Let's waste more time...

    Tyler also pocket-vetoed appropriations for transportation improvements... houses let it stand - so if they weren't going to fight for it to start with - then why the heck pass it?!!!

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