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epo
07-26-2007, 10:30 PM
I read comments from people complaining about our system of government in the United States, but nobody seems to offer alot of ideas for change. If you could make one change in our system of governance, what would it be?

Personally, I would rip off a British idea. They use a vehicle for communication between the levels of government called "The Prime Minister's Question Time". It is held during the House of Commons regular work day each Wednesday and they essentially force the executive branch answer the questions of the elected legislative branch.

It's a cool idea that would allow us a little more transparency in government and also give us a better idea of which of our elected officials have their shit together.

Link to the BBC site with an archive of Question Time. (http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page306.asp)

Now, my challenge to you...what ONE change would you make?

Crispy123
07-26-2007, 10:54 PM
I would get rid of the Electoral College (http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_elec.html) and allow the people to directly choose the President. I think anything we can do to get rid of some special interest groups would be a move in a positive direction.

MadMatt
07-26-2007, 11:17 PM
Are you talking about governmental structure or anything having to do with government/legislation.

If it's anything, then I would institute a flat tax - anybody over the poverty line would pay a flat percentage of their income in tax. Details can be provided if necessary.

If you are talking structure, I would transition the US to a Proportional Democracy rather than the 2 party system.

BeltOfScotch
07-26-2007, 11:52 PM
I would get rid of the Electoral College (http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_elec.html) and allow the people to directly choose the President. I think anything we can do to get rid of some special interest groups would be a move in a positive direction.

Not that I have any love for the electoral college, but I don't really see how eliminating it would do anything to special interest groups.

Is there a way I could just eliminate the lobbying industry off the face of the earth?

Yerdaddy
07-27-2007, 01:53 AM
I'd replace oversight committees and inspector generals with The Wheel. It will apply to campaign promises as well as any other indescressions.

http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/3497/beyondthunderdome113ea9.jpg

"Bust a deal, face the wheel."

And I'd replace the UN Security Council with Thunderdome.

http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/4136/beyondthunderdome106va3.jpg

"This is the truth of it! Fighting leads to killing. And killing leads to warring! And that was damn near the death of us all. Look at us now! Busted up and everyone talking about hard rain. But we've learned by the dust of them all, Bartertowns learned. Now when men get to fighting, it happens here... and it finishes here! Two men enter... one man leaves."

And, of course, Dr Dealgood would run both of them.

Dudeman
07-27-2007, 02:16 AM
anyone who has voted for george w bush is no longer allowed to vote

PapaBear
07-27-2007, 02:19 AM
anyone who has voted for george w bush is no longer allowed to vote
What about the ones who voted for Nader in 2000?

LiddyRules
07-27-2007, 08:50 AM
I would get rid of the Electoral College (http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_elec.html) and allow the people to directly choose the President. I think anything we can do to get rid of some special interest groups would be a move in a positive direction. This probably wouldn't help anything. All things considered I'd prefer some sort of oligarchy to the shit bag democracy we have now whose problems include both the corrupt, pandering politicans and the morons who vote for them because they think Candidate A barbecues better than Candidate B.

anyone who has voted for george w bush is no longer allowed to vote Bush isn't the problem.

Not that I have any love for the electoral college, but I don't really see how eliminating it would do anything to special interest groups.

Is there a way I could just eliminate the lobbying industry off the face of the earth? Ding ding ding. Belt is on the right track.

The problem is that politicians from both sides are in the pockets of big business and if they weren't in the pockets of big business they wouldn't be able to run because of the ridiculous fees that is required to run. An idealist cannot make it and even if they did they'd be too bogged down in insignificant committees and never listened to because of their junior status.

Then we have these politicans too afraid of appearing too intense or too passionate because then they're painted as freaks. Like the rest of this country, they become too afraid to say anything that might appear to possible be mean to special interest groups (who also pay their bills) that could turn against them on a dime. So they try to go as narrow and simple and insignificant as possible.

And maybe make the terms of the Congressmen and President a little longer. Yes they're assholes mostly but when they have to start re-campaigning a week after getting into office is it any wonder nothing gets done?


Though I am a total proponent of the Ron's Divided States of America idea.

cupcakelove
07-27-2007, 08:58 AM
I would get rid of the Electoral College (http://www.usconstitution.net/consttop_elec.html) and allow the people to directly choose the President. I think anything we can do to get rid of some special interest groups would be a move in a positive direction.

I'm not sure how getting rid of the Electoral College will help eliminate special interest groups, but I agree that it does have to go. It's from an old way of thinking; that the common man is too stupid to elect the president. I don't understand why they didn't get rid of it when they changed it so the Senate is directly elected by the people.

MadBiker
07-27-2007, 09:19 AM
Ding ding ding. Belt is on the right track.

The problem is that politicians from both sides are in the pockets of big business and if they weren't in the pockets of big business they wouldn't be able to run because of the ridiculous fees that is required to run. An idealist cannot make it and even if they did they'd be too bogged down in insignificant committees and never listened to because of their junior status.

Then we have these politicans too afraid of appearing too intense or too passionate because then they're painted as freaks. Like the rest of this country, they become too afraid to say anything that might appear to possible be mean to special interest groups (who also pay their bills) that could turn against them on a dime. So they try to go as narrow and simple and insignificant as possible.

And maybe make the terms of the Congressmen and President a little longer. Yes they're assholes mostly but when they have to start re-campaigning a week after getting into office is it any wonder nothing gets done?


Though I am a total proponent of the Ron's Divided States of America idea.

Agreed, Liddy.

And although this is more an issue of civic education than actually changing government structure, I would try to get people more involved in state-level elections for Congressman and Senators. I am not sure if the majority of people, especially younger people, understand how critical the Congress and the Senate are to the operation of our country, as the representatives of State interests and the makers of laws. The Presidential elections get a lot of attention and participation, but I am not certain that people realize that the president is supposed to be an official of limited power who has to listen to and work with Congress and the Senate, rather than command their actions.

Jujubees2
07-27-2007, 10:23 AM
Complete overhaul of campaign financing and have publicly funded campaigns. Take the corporate and special interest big bucks out of the equation.

MadMatt
07-27-2007, 10:31 AM
Complete overhaul of campaign financing and have publicly funded campaigns. Take the corporate and special interest big bucks out of the equation.

Man, that's a good one. Can I change my answer?

Crispy123
07-27-2007, 10:47 AM
I'm not sure how getting rid of the Electoral College will help eliminate special interest groups, but I agree that it does have to go. It's from an old way of thinking; that the common man is too stupid to elect the president. I don't understand why they didn't get rid of it when they changed it so the Senate is directly elected by the people.

By special interests I mean the fact that a candidate can focus on only a certain number of states (http://www.grayraven.com/ec/) and whore themsleves out to the special interests of the select states that are seen as beneficial to the election of said candidate.

If they were being voted in by the total number of ballots cast, then candidates would be beholden to all people not just the ones they think will help them during the election cycle.

I also like the campaign finance reform, anything to reduce or eliminate lobbyists and special interests would be beneficial.

On a side note, Pig Shit would be a good alternative to fossil fuels
http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Corridor/3377/mbt09.jpg

prothunderball
07-27-2007, 10:53 AM
Complete overhaul of campaign financing and have publicly funded campaigns. Take the corporate and special interest big bucks out of the equation.

Man, that's a good one. Can I change my answer?

I know. When I read epo's original post last night, I couldn't answer because I couldn't decide on what one thing I would change(there's so many that I would like to) but finally this morning I decide on real and true Campaign Finance Reform , and Mr Jujubee has gone and taken my answer. But I really do that would be the best way to eliminate the the most corporate money in the government.

underdog
07-27-2007, 11:13 AM
Then we have these politicans too afraid of appearing too intense or too passionate because then they're painted as freaks. Like the rest of this country, they become too afraid to say anything that might appear to possible be mean to special interest groups (who also pay their bills) that could turn against them on a dime. So they try to go as narrow and simple and insignificant as possible.

I think this is the biggest problem we have going. Every one who runs tries to paint themselves as someone different, when in reality, they're basically the same as the last person. No one gets the funding when they don't vote party lines.

I think one of the only ways to eliminate this is to get rid of the big corporate money in politics, but then you get into curtailing First Amendment rights.

Yerdaddy
07-27-2007, 12:14 PM
I think this is the biggest problem we have going. Every one who runs tries to paint themselves as someone different, when in reality, they're basically the same as the last person. No one gets the funding when they don't vote party lines.

I think one of the only ways to eliminate this is to get rid of the big corporate money in politics, but then you get into curtailing First Amendment rights.

If they're interfering with our popular sovereignty why do Repubicans fight so hard to give corporations First Ammendment rights in the first place?

Yerdaddy
07-27-2007, 12:15 PM
This probably wouldn't help anything. All things considered I'd prefer some sort of oligarchy to the shit bag democracy we have now whose problems include both the corrupt, pandering politicans and the morons who vote for them because they think Candidate A barbecues better than Candidate B.

That's interesting.

Bush isn't the problem.

You're right. But he's a really bad symptom.

Ding ding ding. Belt is on the right track.

The problem is that politicians from both sides are in the pockets of big business and if they weren't in the pockets of big business they wouldn't be able to run because of the ridiculous fees that is required to run. An idealist cannot make it and even if they did they'd be too bogged down in insignificant committees and never listened to because of their junior status.

But no fees are required to run for office. The increasingly obscene amounts of money being spent on elections is being raised because there are virtually no limits on how much can be raised. Corporations, lobbyists, "special interests" and individuals can give virtually unlimited amounts of money to the parties and can get money around the few restrictions to the individual campaigns of politicians. But the amount they raise each election cycle keep increasing only because they can raise however much they can. Reducing the amount of money in campaigns - and the strings that come attatched to all that money - requires campaign finance reform. Which, frankly, would require Republicans to force their politicians to support it because they're the biggest opponents of it (http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2002/roll034.xml), John McCain notwithstanding.

Then we have these politicans too afraid of appearing too intense or too passionate because then they're painted as freaks. Like the rest of this country, they become too afraid to say anything that might appear to possible be mean to special interest groups (who also pay their bills) that could turn against them on a dime. So they try to go as narrow and simple and insignificant as possible.

So politicians are too moderate?

And maybe make the terms of the Congressmen and President a little longer. Yes they're assholes mostly but when they have to start re-campaigning a week after getting into office is it any wonder nothing gets done?

Im' afraid if we gave a White House like this one ten years in office in stead of eight we wouldn't have any more elections to worry about.

Though I am a total proponent of the Ron's Divided States of America idea.

At least one character

BeltOfScotch
07-27-2007, 12:37 PM
And maybe make the terms of the Congressmen and President a little longer. Yes they're assholes mostly but when they have to start re-campaigning a week after getting into office is it any wonder nothing gets done?

I don't know about longer but changes in term limits would be good. I've heard people throwing out the idea of making the Presidency one six year term. I think I like that one, it's long enough that you can get things done but there's no craziness about re-election.

For the Congress, maybe make terms for the House 3 years, keep the Senate at 6 and put some limit on the total amount of time that a person can serve in either house at 12 years. You'd still get the occasional politician who can stick around for 24 years, but in most cases it wouldn't happen.

I'd also suggest limiting the time for campaigning. The fact that the presidential election is generally in full swing 16 months before the election is ludicrous.

JPMNICK
07-27-2007, 12:42 PM
I can think of a few things that might help. I agree that the money part is insane, but i think it can be fixed.

allow each person a certain amount of time on TV and radio for free. Like Hillary, Rudy, Obama and whoever would all get X amount of TV spots and radio spots. they are unable to purchase more. also, cap the amount they can collect and spend per quarter. really level the playing field, which will help keep corporations out of the mix.

I also think that when they draft bills in congress, they should vote on each piece of the bill that could become law, instead of bundling a whole bunch of shit together. this will allow people to check into their voting record and get a more accurate picture of the person.

I also really like the flat tax idea, I think it makes everything much easier and keeps tax loopholes from being exploited by the rich.

Yerdaddy
07-27-2007, 01:02 PM
I don't know if you'd call it an oligarchy but I'm all for an IQ test for voters. Obviously we need an IQ test for President. But maybe a current events quiz, like:

Was Saddam Hussein directly involved in planning 9-11?

What color are the UN's helicopters?

Do you consider it treasonous to vote for the other party?

Did Jesus tell you who to vote for?

How we doing in Iraq?

How do you pronounce "nuclear"?

Ann Coulter - hot or not?

Ann Coulter - male or female?

LiddyRules
07-27-2007, 01:28 PM
You're right. But he's a really bad symptom. Don't get me wrong, I really dont like Bush but to place all the blame on him for a system that has been fucked for so many years continues to ignore the real problems.

The increasingly obscene amounts of money being spent on elections is being raised because there are virtually no limits on how much can be raised. I meant successfully run for office. With airtime and committees and travelling and stuff like that. While the actual "running" costs nothing, the price to win is extravagent and prevents the smaller people from getting in.

Reducing the amount of money in campaigns - and the strings that come attatched to all that money - requires campaign finance reform. Reform, what a dirty word for the politicians.

So politicians are too moderate? I don't know if they're too moderate (in a political sense of the word) but I definitely think that most politicians will try their hardest to maintain status quo and not rock the boat. Rocking the boat scares people and they'd much rather remain in office and smile for the cameras. Miss LaFollette.

I don't know if you'd call it an oligarchy but I'm all for an IQ test for voters. Obviously we need an IQ test for President. But maybe a current events quiz, like: I have always believed that we should have an IQ/literacy test for voters and I think it's ridiculous we don't. (I understand why, but in my perfect society, we'd have it.)

Ann Coulter - hot or not? Oddly hot?

scottinnj
07-27-2007, 07:21 PM
anyone who has voted for george w bush is no longer allowed to vote



BOOOOOOO!

epo
07-27-2007, 09:04 PM
I know. When I read epo's original post last night, I couldn't answer because I couldn't decide on what one thing I would change(there's so many that I would like to) but finally this morning I decide on real and true Campaign Finance Reform , and Mr Jujubee has gone and taken my answer. But I really do that would be the best way to eliminate the the most corporate money in the government.

This was my other original idea (other than Prime Minister's Question Time), and it would need to be sold well to work.

We would have to completely publicly base-level fund elect with only small donations from individuals so as they may voice their free speech. Corporations & PAC's, who are not people, cannot donate any funds.

This would level the playing field for all candidates from all parties (including the "Party in Epo's Pants Party") and give a greater diversity of ideas into our discourse.

The hardest part would be selling it to the public (who are in too many cases misinformed by pundits, who are infact...on the take from the corporations). My idea would be a simple two point plan:


By publicly funding elections you are getting a more honest government that doesn't owe major contributors/corporations favors come voting time.
By publicly funding elections, you are saving money as corporate welfare is destroying our budget and costing you the taxpayer significant money.

midwestjeff
07-27-2007, 10:04 PM
I'm starting with the man in the mirror. I'm asking him to change his ways.

Fat_Sunny
07-27-2007, 11:00 PM
I'm starting with the man in the mirror. I'm asking him to change his ways.

Now That's A Start!!


Money...Money...Money... That Is The Root Of All Evil! Congressmen/People Get A Big Salary And That Is It. No Gifts...No Lecture Fees... No Nothing Else. They Work For Their Constituents Period. You Don't Like It, You Don't Run For Office. It Is Supposed To Be Public SERVICE.

Campaign Contributions Limited To $100 Per Person. Excess Campaign Contributions Not Used In Campaigns Must Be Returned Pro-Rata To Contributors Or Donated To Charity.

You Wanna Get Rich, Go Into Business...Not Politics!

A.J.
07-29-2007, 01:03 AM
No term limits for any elected official. Term limits are institutionalized apathy.

That and the removal of "God" from politics. Separation of church and state needs to be brought back and strengthened.

Yerdaddy
07-29-2007, 01:12 AM
That and the removal of "God" from politics. Separation of church and state needs to be brought back and strengthened.

Somehow I knew you'd bring that one up.

HBox
07-29-2007, 01:27 AM
I'd hate to be Charlie Contrarian but I say MORE SPECIAL INTERESTS! MORE LOBBYING! MORE CORRUPTION!

Bulldogcakes
07-29-2007, 09:35 AM
Personally, I would rip off a British idea. They use a vehicle for communication between the levels of government called "The Prime Minister's Question Time". It is held during the House of Commons regular work day each Wednesday and they essentially force the executive branch answer the questions of the elected legislative branch.


Link to the BBC site with an archive of Question Time. (http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page306.asp)


Big fan of PMQT from way back to the Thatcher days. CSPAN's been running it on Sunday nights for as long as I can remember. We have been a little spoiled lately, though. Blair was hands down, the best debater I've ever seen. Ate the Conservative party leaders lunch on a regular basis. Fought off the extreme elements of the far Left parties tactfully and came out looking like the grown up time after time. Thatcher was very good, and she could be brutally funny at times. Made the Labor party of the 80's look like a bunch of children that she schooled on a regular basis. Major was OK, held his own. The new guy Brown I dont have much of a read on, other than he has a authoritative style and is obviously well versed in the subject matter. Yet to see any of Blair's charm from the guy. Blair was absolutely brilliant, just when you thought they had him nailed on a topic, he would answer the charge convincingly and then make a fool of his accuser. At its best PMQT is really great theatre, and a great education in British democracy.

One of the best thing about PMQT is that the opposition has to have their own set of proposals. A "shadow government" where they have an agenda that the public and House of Commons can consider as an alternative to the proposals of the party in power. They cant just stand there bitching about the party in power without offering any solutions of their own, which will then be debated just as vigorously.

That is something the USA can learn from.

Bulldogcakes
07-29-2007, 09:55 AM
I'd hate to be Charlie Contrarian but I say MORE SPECIAL INTERESTS! MORE LOBBYING! MORE CORRUPTION!

My special interest is your "corrupt lobbyist", your deeply held belief is my "special interest" group. There's no objective way of determining who's who. And if you are going to pass laws that affect business, they have just as much right to be part of that process as anyone else. Politicians have a built in interest in representing the public interest, businesses cant vote. The easiest thing for them to do is play the "populist" and shit all over the rich, greedy soulless corporations. Its also a great way to wreck the economy and therefore hurt more people than you'll ever help with any government program. Look at where ideas like that led NYC in the late 60's and 70's.

What we should (and do) have is equality of access to lobby government. Elections determine who gets to pick which groups they like and which ones they dont. The folks who bitch about the system being rigged are generally those who didn't like the election results.

BTW-I know you were half kidding.

WRESTLINGFAN
07-29-2007, 11:25 AM
I would change this countrys energy policy. As Norton says "it stinks and I dont like it" Every president since Nixon has talked about how things need to change. and it has not gotten better For the short term say 5-10 years build new refineries. & would push for more exploration off the coast. For the long term, focus on the alternative energy situation. Tax breaks would go to companies who specialize in that

As far as coal. We have more coal than the middle east has oil. There would be a push for more clean coal technology.

It would be great to finally tell OPEC to go screw.

LiddyRules
07-29-2007, 11:55 AM
Another change I'd make is a way for people to actually have a voice; I even think the "none of the above" Brewster's Million idea works.

I hate how our system is set up. We have two candidates: Candidate A is against drug reform/legalization. Candidate B is against drug reform/legalzation. All you have is candidates A + B. So you're fucking screwed if something like drug reform/legalization is important to you (as it is to me). And it spreads to so many different areas. Candidate A is against violent video games/offensive because it might hurt the children; Candidate B is against because of the children or it might hurt the feelings of some people. Both candidates are on the same page for the issues that you care about and there is no way to say "Hey, I care about this issue so screw off."

Yerdaddy
07-30-2007, 04:33 AM
My special interest is your "corrupt lobbyist", your deeply held belief is my "special interest" group.

Agreed. However, there are groups and "interests" that have more access than others because of their social status or wealth. Corporations can pump enough money into the political system to make my vote meaningless.

There's no objective way of determining who's who. And if you are going to pass laws that affect business, they have just as much right to be part of that process as anyone else.

They write their own laws. I can't do that. They give millions of dollars to both parties to make sure they have their interests met. I can't do that. They hire former government and elected officials to help them get their desires met by government. I can't do that. They let politicians use their private airplanes and other resources to influence their decision-making regarding their interests. I don't have resources. They literally sponsor the presidential debates and party conventions and other processes of our electoral system to influence the system to their advantage. I can't do any of that.

I'm not saying they should be shut out of the system, but I, (and others here), are saying they've got too much more power than ordinary American citizens. They don't have a vote? When I went to a Democratic fundraiser in DC in 2000 and Lockheed Martin, GE and Microsoft paid $500,000 to send an executive and his wife, (or "date"), to sit in the front row and all three companies, (and other companies), had paid another $500,000 to send another executive and companion to the Republican fundraiser down the street on the same night I'd say they've got alot more than a vote. They've got political power coming out of their asses. And if I owned stock in those companies, which I might have through my funds at the time, it's my money that's being spent by those companies whether they're in my best interests or not. Those executives themselves have a shitload more money to donate to the political parties than I do, but still they're spending the company's money, (the stockholders' money), as well.

Companies shouldn't be shut out of the system. But they shouldn't be allowed to buy the system either.

Politicians have a built in interest in representing the public interest, businesses cant vote. The easiest thing for them to do is play the "populist" and shit all over the rich, greedy soulless corporations.

Why are all the great populists of our day - Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchannan - not in office? Perhaps their popular support isn't enough to overcome opposition by the businesses they spurn?

Its also a great way to wreck the economy and therefore hurt more people than you'll ever help with any government program. Look at where ideas like that led NYC in the late 60's and 70's.

"Wreck the economy"? That's always the excuse businesses make to fight anything they don't like. Breaking up monopolies, abolishing slavery, banning freon, requiring seatbelts... were all supposed to have "wrecked the economy". They're crying "wolf!" At this point all I hear when I hear is that businesses don't like it. Well I didn't like the war, but I got in anyway.

What we should (and do) have is equality of access to lobby government. Elections determine who gets to pick which groups they like and which ones they dont. The folks who bitch about the system being rigged are generally those who didn't like the election results.

I've lobbied the government and without sacks of cash and access to a private jet I didn't have equal access. Money buys elections or at least the influence companies desire or they wouldn't spend the money, being the most efficient economic actors, would they? It's in our interest as citizens to see that moneyed interests can't buy an undue amount of political influence. I don't think you, as a small business owner, have an undue amount of influence, and you should have both personal and business access to the political system. But big businesses have more than their share. I think that's more than clear to anyone who looks at our system today.

badmonkey
07-30-2007, 03:18 PM
By special interests I mean the fact that a candidate can focus on only a certain number of states (http://www.grayraven.com/ec/) and whore themsleves out to the special interests of the select states that are seen as beneficial to the election of said candidate.

If they were being voted in by the total number of ballots cast, then candidates would be beholden to all people not just the ones they think will help them during the election cycle.

I guess it would be better for candidates to be beholden to the most densely populated cities in the country like NYC, Los Angeles, etc. and ignore the needs of rural areas altogether?

Badmonkey

Crispy123
07-30-2007, 03:20 PM
I guess it would be better for candidates to be beholden to the most densely populated cities in the country like NYC, Los Angeles, etc. and ignore the needs of rural areas altogether?

Badmonkey

Yes. That is exactly what Im saying. Everyone gets a vote and move all the hayseeds into LA. That pretty much sums it up. Now I see why you are a succesful radio show host, you get it man.

badmonkey
07-30-2007, 03:38 PM
Thanks for clarifying :)

Crispy123
07-30-2007, 05:20 PM
Thanks for clarifying :)

No problem, Bad Monkey!!! :sleep:

http://www.fullblownaids.com/forums/images/smilies/gandalf.gif

LordJezo
07-31-2007, 03:34 PM
Land mines on the borders and shutting down the free flow of illegals into this country.

I bet seeing everyone they know who breaks the law by coming into this country get torn to shreds by the great mine field of the south (or north to them) would scare them into quit coming here.

Yerdaddy
07-31-2007, 03:56 PM
Land mines on the borders and shutting down the free flow of illegals into this country.

I bet seeing everyone they know who breaks the law by coming into this country get torn to shreds by the great mine field of the south (or north to them) would scare them into quit coming here.

Yeah! We can get all the GDP growth we need from you sucking cock for $5000 a pop. Look out China! Here we come!

buzzard
08-02-2007, 11:44 AM
We'd have a board of Presidents...3-5 people who vote,like the supreme court only effective and contemporary without political agendas or partisonship.

epo
08-02-2007, 11:49 AM
Land mines on the borders and shutting down the free flow of illegals into this country.

I bet seeing everyone they know who breaks the law by coming into this country get torn to shreds by the great mine field of the south (or north to them) would scare them into quit coming here.

I'm sure you have no immigrant history in your family...all done perfectly legal with no shenanigans of course.

LiddyRules
08-03-2007, 12:59 AM
I really would like them to legalize it. Not just for me but because it sees to me the only problem in this country that could be easily fixed with just a few laws without stepping on too many people's toes. Every other problems require so much more work either forcing politicians to change who they are, convincing politicians to be less corrupt and greedy, changing the constitution or the problems are too deeply ingrained in the souls and values of the American people (e.g. abortion rights, gay rights). It seems like the only thing politicians can really change that I would want them to change- and I'm not saying they would and I doubt they will - is just legalize it.

Yerdaddy
08-03-2007, 06:06 AM
Congress Backs Tighter Rules on Lobbying (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/03/washington/03lobby.html?_r=1&hp=&oref=slogin&pagewanted=print)

LordJezo
08-07-2007, 12:43 PM
I'm sure you have no immigrant history in your family...all done perfectly legal with no shenanigans of course.

I sure hope so, they were all good Europeans and I can trace some of them in the Ellis Island documents, but I don't really care about them, that was in the past in a different time, the country was just getting itself going and everyone was coming because we had nothing. They weren't sneaking across the border at night and then working at a wage that so low that anyone who wants to legally do it can't because of underpaid slave workers. Today the Mexicans are taking away jobs from people who need them and causing legal businesses to either convert to a criminal activity or be beaten by those who do.

epo
08-07-2007, 07:53 PM
Not that I have any love for the electoral college, but I don't really see how eliminating it would do anything to special interest groups.

Is there a way I could just eliminate the lobbying industry off the face of the earth?

Well, for you folks that mentioned some form of Campaign Finance/Publicly Funded Election reform, I've got something for you.

Senator Dick Durbin, (D-Illinois), is proposing Campaign Finance Reform or "Fair Elections". At the worst...it's the beginning of a discussion.

Link to his proposal here. (http://durbin.senate.gov/issues/campaignFinanceReform.cfm)

Brillionaire
06-10-2009, 01:42 AM
Out of all the things I could change, I like the idea of changing to a flat tax first and foremost. I have heard that a tax rate somewhere around 18-20% on all sales would be enough to cover the budget for a year (the number isn't too important, since everyone would be paying the same rate). The person that buys store brand/off brand items will pay less for the same quantity of any one item than a person that buys the more ritzy item ((20% rate) $10 off brand polo w/tax $12 ($2 tax) $50 name brand polo w/tax $60 ($10 tax)).

At some point most people learn to live within their means and buy what they can afford. A person that is buying, lets say, a boat is most likely not buying store brand/off brand items. Most people can't afford luxury items such as boats. If someone felt the need to make more frivolous purchases than their neighbor, they would end up paying a larger portion of the budget than their thrifty neighbor would. You spend more, you pay more.

If a flat tax was implemented, a fairly substantial amount of jobs attached to the IRS would become obsolete. The IRS and its bureaucratic processes are firmly rooted in the business world. If you abolish the IRS, accountants would, more or less, become irrelevant. The postal service would have fewer IRS letters to ship and deliver (money flow goes down slightly, employment soon follows). The number of paper dollies working at the front desk would decline, due to the fact that there are fewer forms to file/mail. Essentially anyone directly or mostly dealing with tax related items would no longer need to punch the clock.

Loss of employment is probably the biggest issue holding the flat tax back. I think it would be entirely feasible if there were a way to minimize the damage it would cause to America's stability. Maybe simply applying the flat tax to ordinary citizens, while keeping a newly revised version of the IRS for corporations? Maybe create an entire new industry to pick up the slack of job loss associated with implementing a flat tax (ie this "green movement" (whether or not global warming is a fallacy, I think we should be making strides towards cleaner, more efficient technology. Higher efficiency means less cost to consumers. (ie, florescent bulbs are cheaper to burn in the long haul than their predecessors)). It seems to be our natural progression anyway; it's not of matter of when, but how fast.)? As employment rates go, so does our economic success.

I am by no means a CPA and know very little about the intricacies of tax codes, but the flat tax seems to be the fairest, easiest, most logical way of dealing with rounding up budget money.

Serpico1103
06-10-2009, 03:53 PM
Force them to stay in Washington longer. With new technology it is not necessary for them to have so much time off to "talk with their constituency." When elected to office you should be locked in the office. You can't take the stress after a few years, DON'T RUN AGAIN. Either be dedicated to the service of the people or go into the private sector.

Also, put a term limit on SC justices. Make it long, maybe 30 years, but a lifetime appointment for people that now can easily live until they are 100, freezes the process even more than the founders intended I believe.

Lastly,
Most radical idea. America is simply to big for one central government. Break it into regions and run it more like a European Union. So, people have more incentive to get involved, since their involvement isn't so diluted by the other 400 million people.

Just blue skying them. (Is that the annoying term?)

HBox
06-10-2009, 04:17 PM
Out of all the things I could change, I like the idea of changing to a flat tax first and foremost. I have heard that a tax rate somewhere around 18-20% on all sales would be enough to cover the budget for a year (the number isn't too important, since everyone would be paying the same rate). The person that buys store brand/off brand items will pay less for the same quantity of any one item than a person that buys the more ritzy item ((20% rate) $10 off brand polo w/tax $12 ($2 tax) $50 name brand polo w/tax $60 ($10 tax)).

At some point most people learn to live within their means and buy what they can afford. A person that is buying, lets say, a boat is most likely not buying store brand/off brand items. Most people can't afford luxury items such as boats. If someone felt the need to make more frivolous purchases than their neighbor, they would end up paying a larger portion of the budget than their thrifty neighbor would. You spend more, you pay more.

If a flat tax was implemented, a fairly substantial amount of jobs attached to the IRS would become obsolete. The IRS and its bureaucratic processes are firmly rooted in the business world. If you abolish the IRS, accountants would, more or less, become irrelevant. The postal service would have fewer IRS letters to ship and deliver (money flow goes down slightly, employment soon follows). The number of paper dollies working at the front desk would decline, due to the fact that there are fewer forms to file/mail. Essentially anyone directly or mostly dealing with tax related items would no longer need to punch the clock.

Loss of employment is probably the biggest issue holding the flat tax back. I think it would be entirely feasible if there were a way to minimize the damage it would cause to America's stability. Maybe simply applying the flat tax to ordinary citizens, while keeping a newly revised version of the IRS for corporations? Maybe create an entire new industry to pick up the slack of job loss associated with implementing a flat tax (ie this "green movement" (whether or not global warming is a fallacy, I think we should be making strides towards cleaner, more efficient technology. Higher efficiency means less cost to consumers. (ie, florescent bulbs are cheaper to burn in the long haul than their predecessors)). It seems to be our natural progression anyway; it's not of matter of when, but how fast.)? As employment rates go, so does our economic success.

I am by no means a CPA and know very little about the intricacies of tax codes, but the flat tax seems to be the fairest, easiest, most logical way of dealing with rounding up budget money.

It's not at all fair. Those who make enough to save would pay a lower rate on the total of their income than those who have to spend almost all to all of their income to get along. Or to put it another way the rich will pay a lower rate than the poor. If a family with a total income of $25,000 has to spend all of that in a given year then they will pay whatever the tax rate is, let's say 20%. So they've paid 20% of their income in taxes. Let's take a family with a total income of $10,000,000. They aren't going to spend all of that. Let's say for the sake of argument that they spend $7,500,000. The 25% they save or invest will not be taxed. So they are paying a lower tax rate on their income than the poor family. How is that fair? Or let me ask another question: Why the fuck should the tax code be fair? The world isn't fair. Some people work incredibly hard for shit money. Others luck into millions. The tax code ought to take this into account.

Also, for you example to work everything would have to be taxed. And I mean EVERYTHING. How do you think people would react to a 20% tax on their home purchase? or car purchase? You've just pushed a huge amount of people from being able to afford car and home ownership. Not only would that not go over with voters it would be a horrible idea. To exempt them would require a significant increase on the tax rate of everything else. And it would signify an even larger burden being pushed on the poor who can not afford to purchase a home. The money people use to buy a home would not be taxed, and the rate on everything else would be higher leading to the poor paying a higher tax rate while the rich and middle class would have significant portions of their income not taxed.

badmonkey
06-10-2009, 04:48 PM
It's not at all fair. Those who make enough to save would pay a lower rate on the total of their income than those who have to spend almost all to all of their income to get along. Or to put it another way the rich will pay a lower rate than the poor. If a family with a total income of $25,000 has to spend all of that in a given year then they will pay whatever the tax rate is, let's say 20%. So they've paid 20% of their income in taxes. Let's take a family with a total income of $10,000,000. They aren't going to spend all of that. Let's say for the sake of argument that they spend $7,500,000. The 25% they save or invest will not be taxed. So they are paying a lower tax rate on their income than the poor family. How is that fair? Or let me ask another question: Why the fuck should the tax code be fair? The world isn't fair. Some people work incredibly hard for shit money. Others luck into millions. The tax code ought to take this into account.

Also, for you example to work everything would have to be taxed. And I mean EVERYTHING. How do you think people would react to a 20% tax on their home purchase? or car purchase? You've just pushed a huge amount of people from being able to afford car and home ownership. Not only would that not go over with voters it would be a horrible idea. To exempt them would require a significant increase on the tax rate of everything else. And it would signify an even larger burden being pushed on the poor who can not afford to purchase a home. The money people use to buy a home would not be taxed, and the rate on everything else would be higher leading to the poor paying a higher tax rate while the rich and middle class would have significant portions of their income not taxed.

I think you have the flat tax confused with a national sales tax replacing income tax. Flat tax would be more like everybody pays 20% of their income whether they spend it or not.

booster11373
06-10-2009, 05:20 PM
Limit the election season I don't know how it could be done but I would love to see it more like the UK model where the PM calls for elections and then there is only a month for campaigning.

Second I would eliminate TV advertising, the only time candidates would be able to be on TV while running is during a debate, no issue ads either

HBox
06-10-2009, 05:49 PM
I think you have the flat tax confused with a national sales tax replacing income tax. Flat tax would be more like everybody pays 20% of their income whether they spend it or not.

What he called it was a flat tax, what he described was a sales tax.

badmonkey
06-10-2009, 05:57 PM
Primaries will consist of multiple reality tv series that will let us see how they handle stressful situations, diplomacy, and really put them out there unscripted. First all the candidates will play the Big Brother primary event for 20 weeks, then the Survivor primary for 20, and finally the Survived a Japanese Game Show primary event which will last 5 weeks. Throw in a Wipeout challenge at the end for our amusement but don't tell them that it doesn't count.

Then we hold the primary votes to get down to our top 2 in each party and we lock the each alone in a room and made to play the latest version of CIV and a Sim City type of game and make the results public. That will let us see how well they can convince other world leaders to go along with what they want. We will also see what kind of sacrifices they are willing to make when they think it's just a game. Candidates will be denied outside communication and Advisors will be banned from all events. The incumbent will not have to participate in these events, but the highlight reels of his/her participation in the previous elections will be played mixed into the current contest footage to keep it fair.

I've just cut the election time down to under a year and brought politics to a level that should be able to draw the interest of any citizen.

lleeder
06-10-2009, 05:58 PM
I'd make a law against cruelty to plants.

badmonkey
06-10-2009, 06:10 PM
What he called it was a flat tax, what he described was a sales tax.

Heh... I didn't read all of his. I think I got bored after the first sentence and then saw 20% and moved on. I didn't read all of yours either. I should have quoted him instead. I call "do over".

Brillionaire
06-11-2009, 07:24 PM
Heh... I didn't read all of his. I think I got bored after the first sentence and then saw 20% and moved on. I didn't read all of yours either. I should have quoted him instead. I call "do over".

Not enough pictures for you?

badmonkey
06-11-2009, 09:25 PM
Not enough pictures for you?

Well...it wasn't interesting at all for starters and that is to completely ignore the fact that you had absolutely zero clue what you were talking about. Pictures... bleh... maybe a diagram would have been nice but I suppose if you had done enough reading on the subject to have been able to provide a diagram, you would have realized you were wrong and probably skipped the posting altogether.

Don't blame your crappy post on me. I didn't type it.