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Gridlock idea
Old 10-02-2013, 02:03 PM   #1
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Gridlock idea

I was listening to NPR and had the following ideas to avoid government shutdowns like we are having today.
  1. Get rid of the debt ceiling – the total debt can just as easily be managed through the budget process as through the debt ceiling process. The debt ceiling is an antiquated notion that is no longer needed and just adds one more opportunity for government to be dysfuntional.
  2. Budget process – until the recent partisan gridlock Congress regularly passed budgets. There has not been a budget passed in recent years. Have a specific date by which Congress must pass a budget. If Congress has not passed a budget by that date, then all Congressmen’s terms end immediately. The governor of each state then has 30 days to appoint new Senators and Representatives to serve the remaining terms of the Congress subject to a requirement that 1) none can have served in the Congress at the time the budget wasn’t passed (ie; all different people) and 2) the governors must retain parity in party representation for a state (same numbers of D, R and I for each house for their state. If that newly appointed Congress does not pass a budget within 60 days then repeat the process.

I realize that such changes may require constitutional amendments rather than just legislation and that it is unlikely that Congress would ever agree to impose such onerous restrictions on themselves - but we can dream can’t we? The idea is to make somewhat of a poison pill to force Congress to do what it is supposed to do.

The current situation and who’s to blame is NOT part of the subject of this thread so please focus on the notion for future and not on the current situation to keep Porky at bay. I think it could be an interesting thread if we can avoid partisan politics.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:31 PM   #2
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You seem to think that a government shutdown is a bad thing? I hadn't thought of it that way.

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Originally Posted by pb4uski View Post
I was listening to NPR and had the following ideas to avoid government shutdowns like we are having today.
  1. Get rid of the debt ceiling – the total debt can just as easily be managed through the budget process as through the debt ceiling process. The debt ceiling is an antiquated notion that is no longer needed and just adds one more opportunity for government to be dysfuntional.
This has been an equal opportunity club. Dems and repubs have both used this tactic. When the tables turn, they get out the other sides speeches and drone on and on from their new perspective.

Our government has seldom not been dysfunctional.



[/QUOTE]
  1. Budget process – until the recent partisan gridlock Congress regularly passed budgets. There has not been a budget passed in recent years. Have a specific date by which Congress must pass a budget. If Congress has not passed a budget by that date, then all Congressmen’s terms end immediately. The governor of each state then has 30 days to appoint new Senators and Representatives to serve the remaining terms of the Congress subject to a requirement that 1) none can have served in the Congress at the time the budget wasn’t passed (ie; all different people) and 2) the governors must retain parity in party representation for a state (same numbers of D, R and I for each house for their state. If that newly appointed Congress does not pass a budget within 60 days then repeat the process.[/QUOTE]
NPR is living in a fantasy land. Congress has frequently failed to pass a budget. The president is theoretically supposed to submit it. When the dems had one of houses of Congress during Reagan or either Bushes, the phrase "dead on arrival" was frequently used. Once in a while, something would get passed.

Clinton didn't bother submitting a budget. He challanged Congress to come up with one which didn't go particuarly well from my recollection.

I can see the groundswell of support in Congress to have them all thrown out of office for what may be a political maneuver since one side or the other thinks they can get more senators because the state governors make that party a majority.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:43 PM   #3
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I actually do think that a government shutdown is a bad thing. The disruptions and second order impacts to businesses that serve the government are bad for the economy, and therefore bad for my retirement portfolio.

On the debt ceiling, I concede it has been an equal opportunity club, so let's take it away from both of them - forever.

I want to be clear, this was my idea, not NPR's - it just came to me when I was listening to some NPR discussion on how the debt ceiling is antiquated.

Let's keep history and parties out of the discussion to keep Porky at bay.

Congress approving a budget and the President vetoing it is a whole different issue and I would not care to address that at this point since it crosses branches of government, which is a different kind of problem.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:50 PM   #4
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Theoretically, the proposal of a budget is an Executive Branch responsibility. Congress gets to laugh at approve it. Even in the friendliest of times, it doesn't go smoothly. That's applicable to all political parties from the Federalists, Democrat-Republicans, Whigs, Know Nothings......
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:56 PM   #5
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ok, but in reality?

To assuage your concern let's add similar requirement that if the Executive Branch fails to propose a budget by a date certain that the President is thrown out of office. that should solve the problem.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:16 PM   #6
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There are constitutional scholars who say the POTUS has the power to get around the debt limit. One of the amendments said the full faith and credit of the US shall not be questioned, which may give the POTUS around the debt ceiling.

If Obama tried to assert that, I guess the SCOTUS would rule. But even if they accelerated the judicial process, it may not avert the default.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:25 PM   #7
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Difficult to talk about the gridlock without having opinions on who's to blame So I take the fifth to avoid porky. So, I get my fix with the morning news.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:29 PM   #8
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Every time I hear/see on Facebook (frequently!) that the solution to some problem with Congress is to replace the representatives with new ones, I come back to the same old truth: We and our fellow citizens elected these turkeys. Why would we expect our fellow citizens to "get it right" the second time around? Isn't that the definition of insanity?

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Old 10-02-2013, 03:40 PM   #9
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Simplify.

Eliminate the US Senate. several countries have done so. Ireland is about to vote on getting rid of it. IIRC the US senate has not passed a budget in 10 years.

Just think, a botleneck eliminted, a bunch of do nothings off the the federal payroll.

Since it is house that allocates funds, by now it would be a done deal.

PS. You read it here first
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:41 PM   #10
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One of the big problems is that the congressional districts have been gerrymandered so that there aren't all that many competitive districts. For the most part, the voters are just a rubber stamp for whoever the party in control of the district nominates.


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Every time I hear/see on Facebook (frequently!) that the solution to some problem with Congress is to replace the representatives with new ones, I come back to the same old truth: We and our fellow citizens elected these turkeys. Why would we expect our fellow citizens to "get it right" the second time around? Isn't that the definition of insanity?

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Old 10-02-2013, 06:30 PM   #11
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A lively political discussion but now it's time for "you know who"


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