Senate How to best fix U.S. government?

Discussion in 'Community' started by Ghost, Mar 29, 2014.

?

How can U.S. government best be fixed? (besides constitutional amendments)

disclosure and transparency for political campaign financing 9 vote(s) 40.9%
nonpartisan congressional redistricting for the House 7 vote(s) 31.8%
further erode the filibuster and similar measures in the Senate 3 vote(s) 13.6%
automatic voter registration/updating 2 vote(s) 9.1%
mandate that the options of early voting and vote-by-mail be available in every state 4 vote(s) 18.2%
eliminate the debt ceiling 3 vote(s) 13.6%
make it so government is always continuously funded (shutdowns no longer possible) 2 vote(s) 9.1%
Other? (please explain) 13 vote(s) 59.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    *anthropology degree but agree to disagree wrt social democracy being the answer, homie
  2. Lord Vivec Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Ender list the degrees you think people should be getting in order to be worthy of pay.
  3. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9

    I wasn't referring to you directly with that though.

    Thing is, what we're talking about is economics and not politics, really, because you're talking about how you model the flow of capital and the distribution of surplus. Capitalism in theory, and I'll confine the discussion to theory for the moment, says that the surplus flows most to the risk takers and innovators; they get recompense for taking risks with their capital or inventing a good or service the market doesn't have and wants (or has but it's not as good as the innovator's model). Most capitalists will either look up to, or point to, someone like RIchard Branson as an example of what capitalism is supposed to do.

    Socialism is supposed to regulate that flow of surplus by ensuring an even distribution of capital. Where I think it fails is that it doesn't offer an adequate incentive for people to be risk takers or innovate. That oft-touted phrase of "if I work twice as hard for the same pay, why would I bother?"

    Admittedly, I'm very heavily influenced by both JS Mill and Adam Smith, but I think having a system that allows me to be fairly paid for my work is a good thing. What I don't like is that there's no niggling conscience in the US' version (and as the US is something of a leader that others follow/emulate, there's a strong risk of contagion) which provides an adequate safety net, a minimum wage, and access to affordable, good, basic services. Hence my comments about Marxists with philosophy degrees; they're the ones shouting textbook generic radical slogans like "SMASH CAPITALISM" and the like because they don't offer society anything; but also because our society isn't as unequal as yours.

    Can I honestly ask - have you read any Adam Smith? Or would you just dismiss the Invisible Hand out of hand (ugh, poor phrasing, sorry brah. I do lift though) as silly?
    -Jedi Joe- and Jedi Merkurian like this.
  4. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    yes. i have. most "marxists with philosophy degrees [and other degrees]" i know online and irl have as well. marx, too, read adam smith, and in fact wrote at length about his work.
  5. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    And Marx is a brilliant economist and mind in his own right, though I've said it before I think Lenin's essay on Imperialism is much more relevant work. So what do you think of the invisible hand idea, accepting it may be missing in action in the US?
  6. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    Term limits. A ten-year ban on lobbying after leaving high office. Public funding of all presidential campaigns with three mandatory debates.

    Reverse Citizens United.

    Allow Supreme Court decisions to be overturned by direct popular vote OR term limit justices to ten years.

    Change the Presidency to a single, six-year term.

    Make it easier to amend the US Constitution.

    Eliminate the Electoral College.

    Modernize the language of the Second Amendment to make it more clear.

    Add the right to privacy to the Constitution.

    Peace,

    V-03
    anakinfansince1983 likes this.
  7. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Ohhhh man, I generally don't like the historically conservative, staunchly "pro-business" court and I especially dislike the Roberts era, but what would be the point of the Judicial Branch if this were possible?
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Mar 29, 2014
    Jedi Merkurian, MrZAP, Ghost and 3 others like this.
  8. DarthWilliams Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2008
    star 4

    And who gets to initiate putting that measure on ballots? President? House/Senate vote? State legislatures?
  9. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    In most Westminster-ish jurisdictions it already exists in an indirect form. Despite what lawyer-hating politicians say, any unpopular judge-made law (the term itself being very debatable) is repealable by the legislature, because it's within the legislature's power to make a law retrospective in effect. Generally it's the vested interest groups against a decision who want roadblocks cleared to sweeping it away, and for that very reason this change is not needed.
  10. Kuag Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2009
    star 2
    This thread is hysterical. The premise itself is absurd (the idea that you can just "fix" government), much less the nonsensical "options" listed out. Eliminate the debt ceiling? Really? Hahahahaha

    "Make it" so government is "always" funded? Oh do tell how one would go about doing that? You are essentially advocating ignoring/eliminating Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution.

    Further erode the filibuster? Are you insane? The filibuster is the only tool in the entire playbook (other than a few parliamentary maneuvers) that allows the minority to prevent the majority from just running their agenda roughshod through the Senate.

    Here's an idea. How about we stop relying on government? Or rather, stop viewing the government (which is made up of administrative bureaucrats and partisan hacks focused exclusively on maintaining their power) as the solution to our problems and instead start looking at the actual problem...which is too much government.

    Good grief...these options are mind-numbingly stupid.
  11. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10

    Depending on the ruling, Congress can pass or amend a law or (in theory) pass an amendment to the Constitution.
    Last edited by Darth Guy, Mar 29, 2014
  12. DarthWilliams Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2008
    star 4

    Should we implement the filibuster in the House since it's so essential, then?
  13. Kuag Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2009
    star 2

    Also known as the stupidest idea anyone has ever devised.

    I work on Capitol Hill. I work with Congress. What you're proposing is absolutely insane.
  14. Kuag Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2009
    star 2

    Go read the Federalist papers and you'll find your answer there. The House is intended to function differently and to be more responsive to the people. The Senate was designed to move more slowly because, believe it or not, the Founders did not intend for legislation to just sail through and get passed.

    Why? Because they understood that too much government and too many laws destroys civil liberties and destroys civil society. The filibuster is a tool meant to slow things down and is an essential part of the checks and balances ingrained within the system.

    Harry Reid's invoking of the nuclear option this year was absolutely tyrannical. And if Bill Frist had done it back in 2006 when the Republicans were in charge, I'd say the same thing of him as well.
  15. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6

    Yeah, I like the idea of term limits for SCJs, but there are too many potential problems with allowing Congress to overturn Supreme Court rulings.
    Jedi Merkurian and Juliet316 like this.
  16. DarthWilliams Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2008
    star 4

    Designed to move more slowly is not the same as designed to have progress held hostage by a minority. Would you say Richard Russell and the South's continuous use of the filibuster in the 1950s to prevent literally any type of civil rights bill from passing (save the Civil Rights Act of 1957, which was so watered down it was a joke) was tyrannical? I'd argue that uses like that of the filibuster are far more detrimental to democracy than Harry Reid saying that if half of the Senate thinks a presidential nominee should get a vote, then let's vote.
    Last edited by DarthWilliams, Mar 29, 2014
    Juliet316 likes this.
  17. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Congress CAN overturn rulings. For example, it has the power to effectively render moot the recent ruling on the Voting Rights Act. The House is the biggest obstacle to that, though.
  18. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6

    Agreed. Using the filibuster, the way its supposed to be used, as a kind procedural cooling-off period, is one thing, but using it as a method of being totally intransigent and intentionally stalling the other party's legislative agenda is totally different. If you really think that bill that is currently before the House/Senate is such a terrible idea you are perfectly free to vote against it, but you should not be free to hold the whole process hostage just because you think that somebody else's piece of legislation is a bad idea.
  19. Kuag Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2009
    star 2

    Your problem is the word "progress." Sometimes progress is not doing something. Sometimes it is doing something as in the example you listed above. The House is on a 2-year cycle. It is why they are more active and push more legislation and generally the majority runs the show. And it's precisely because that is the case that when the majority does something radical and roughshod...like say...shoving a 2,500 page healthcare law down the American people's throats without having actually read the bill and in spite of public opposition...the majority then magically becomes the minority.

    It's the genius of the system.

    Gridlock is a good thing.

    With regard to Reid's usage of the nuclear option, I'll just leave you with a quote from Carl Levin, Democrat of Michigan, blasting his own party for their shortsighted stupidity.

    "Today, we once again are moving down a destructive path. The issue is not whether to change the rules. I support changing the rules to allow a President to get a vote on nominees to executive and most judicial positions. This is not about the ends, but means. Pursuing the nuclear option in this manner removes an important check on majority overreach which is central to our system of government."

    http://www.levin.senate.gov/newsroo...te-floor-statement-on-proposed-nuclear-option
  20. DarthWilliams Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 29, 2008
    star 4

    Tell me more about how the Democrats became the Senate minority in the two elections since.
  21. Kuag Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2009
    star 2

    Well, on that point, tune in this November because the Democrats are going to get absolutely waxed. And that'll be neat to watch because they deserve it, but the Republican Party is just Democrat Light so I'm not that giddy about it.

    But I'm not talking about the Senate--I'm talking about the House. You seem to have missed the point of the entire conversation on the filibuster. Now, if you want to remove the filibuster and turn the Senate into a "super" version of the House, I think you'll see that kind of changing of hands for the upper chamber as well.

    The House is built around a majority-rule system. The Senate is not. And it's precisely because the Senate is not, that it remains somewhat inoculated from electoral swings that eradicate House majorities in single cycles.
    Last edited by Kuag, Mar 29, 2014
  22. duende Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 28, 2006
    star 5
    very nice!

    term limits yes. i think there should be a mechanism for overturning decisions, but not by direct popular vote. 2/3 states, maybe?

    what is the thought behind this? mitigate lame-duckiness?

    careful

    no
  23. Chancellor_Ewok Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 8, 2004
    star 6
    No, Kuag. Debate is a good thing because every gets to express their point of view, then a decision is made. Gridlock, especially manufactured grdlock, is a bad thing because nothing gets done. That was whole point of Ted Cruz's filibuster and the government shutdown. The Tea Party was trying use the budget as leverage to force Obama to repeal his signature piece of legislation. Guess what, it didn't work. That was the whole point of removing the filibuster in the Senate, so that bills get debated, voted on and passed into law.
    Last edited by Chancellor_Ewok, Mar 29, 2014
  24. Kuag Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 11, 2009
    star 2

    Agreed. Debate is a good thing. It's why removing the filibuster is monumentally insane.

    I was intimately involved with Sen. Cruz and the Defund Obamacare effort, so I'll just chuckle at your notion of what the "whole point" of the defund effort was all about. Hint: It wasn't about getting Obama to repeal his signature piece of legislation. Double Hint: Read the polls on Obamacare's popularity. Double Secret Hint: Tune in this November to find out what the real goal was. ;)
    Last edited by Kuag, Mar 29, 2014
  25. Darth Guy Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 16, 2002
    star 10
    Watch out, guys. We got a former intern here with inside information.
    RC-1991, MrZAP, Ghost and 2 others like this.