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November 17, 2017, 08:47:24 pm
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Author Topic: "A Liberal Super Majority"  (Read 2625 times)
cannon_fodder
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« on: October 30, 2008, 08:08:35 am »

Tell me if I'm off base here, but I fear either party having total power.  The entire 2 party system is a bad idea for that matter - discouraged by the founders and practice in no other major country in the world.  BUT a WSJ article from a while back scares the hell out of me.  I'm fairly liberal on most social issues, but the Journal hit on some meat that scares me.

Much of this is not necessarily a bad thing.  But when enacted wholesale by one party in favor of one side of the various lobbies involved, it probably will not end well.  Think if GW had a super majority and where we would be, I do not think it would be good.

Anyway, issues with a democratic super majority:

1) Hillary Care.  Government health care for all along the liens of medicare and medicaid. As I stated before, if done right this could be a good thing (more efficient, more doctors, less mandates from various lobby interests).  However, medicare and medicaid have proven that we do not have the foresight to do it right in this country at this time, the lobbyist are simply able to streamline their goals directly into laws.

We will either need to raise taxes 25% of more to cover it, go deeper into debt, or limit the effectiveness of the program.  Get ready for Uncle Sam to tell you what medical procedures you really do, or do not need.  It will be the governments job to tell you that it is no longer cost effective to keep your mother alive (if not, we will completely go broke).  

Once on the books, like all other entitlements, it will never go away.

2) Sarbanes-Oxley times 2.

More ineffective federal regulation.  You'll note that the last round of regulation didn't really DO anything.  Just made it a large enough pain in the donkey to do business here to shift about 100,000 financial jobs over seas.

Regulation can be a good thing (particularly along the vein of FDIC, a voluntary program that mandates companies pay the cost of compliance in exchange for gaining public confidence ), but much/most is ineffective and expensive window dressing.  When we start trying to "punish" companies in general for troubles in the past we kill businesses.  An economic slow down is not a good time for such actions.

Again, with one party doing it the regulations will be ineffective.  If it were just the republicans it would probably not have enough meat.  Just the democrats it will probably be punitive in nature - showing the little guy how tough they are without really doing anything effective. The goal should be to restore confidence and make people properly away of the risks involved while holding parties responsible for failures, not prohibit risk and not to punish.

3) Union Yes!

Rules have been submitted and continuously rejected to allow "union shops" by a simple majority vote.  If 50.1% of the shop signs a petition to have a union shop, everyone now pays union dues or must quit.  Keep in mind everyone will know who has signed or not and be able to pressure accordingly.

The same measures enforce a "contract" if union negotiations fail after 130 days.  No contract, but the company and other employees are forced in anyway.  

The teachers union (IMHO one of the most destructive forces in education) would lower, reduce, or eliminate education standards.  If you have heard my rants before, parents are responsible for our crappy education system.  But removing the means to find out how bad it is and where it is bad is a step in the wrong direction.

GM bailout anyone?  Expect failing legacy companies to be bailed out with even more fervor.  At the moment the Democrats are crying foul (as well they should), but the gears will shift and rolls reverse.  Can't let 350,000 union jobs fail just because of incompetent management and a greedy union.

4) Taxes.

No matter what scraps are thrown to the lower class, the goal is to raise taxes and give the government more money to spend.  More money = more reliance on government = more power for government.  

A primary target is to repeal the limits on taxable social security income.  Thus changing a "security net" into a wholesale income redistribution scheme.  You have plenty, that money now belongs to the people...

Again, when government gets more power - it never gives it up.

5) GREEN!

New buzz word in Congress will be green.  It will be the same as all the old buzz words, mostly an excuse to do as they please while not making much progress towards the actual goal.

Cap and trade will be a new business tax and give all manufacturing jobs into the whims of the Federal government.  You think we are losing industrial jobs now? The federal government will essentially decide what is, and what is not a good business model.

As any "green" advocate knows, what the federal government thinks is green... and what really is are often 2 different subjects.  Think "safety."  The crap that GW has done in the name of safety or stopping terrorism, much of it did nothing to help the actual problem that it was done in the name of.  Same basic concept.

6) Free speech.

GW surely hasn't protected it too much. Democrats love free speech - unless it goes against them.  Hannity, Rush, Reagan, or whoever else blathers on the radio every day.  The ironically named "fairness doctrine" will dictate who can say what, when, and for how long on a given medium.  Ironic that the party in power would hunt the talking heads of the party not in power under the guise of being "fair."  

And this would include the internet.  Democrats have introduced several bills to regulate speech on the internet.  Not only patently a bad idea, but also totally impracticable without massive government intervention.

People, corporations, or random internet users should be ale to say whatever they want, as often as they want, where ever and however they want.  That especially includes political speech.  I don't care if the Sean Hannity show is a 4 hour commercial for the GOP, I don't listen and you don't have to either.  It should be his prerogative to have a job serving as a platform to spout his agenda - that applies to conservatives, liberals, or Nazi's if they so choose.  

7) Voting.

The article mentions voter registration. Currently you have to register in advance of voting to help protect against ACORN (I'm sure there are other examples) style fraud.  Certainly in the name of "community organizers" such laws would be changed to allow more rapid and less stringent registration.  Not sure why that would be wanted, but it is.

Cool DC votes.

DC has long wanted a vote in the House. They were denied such a vote for a reason and it should remain.  If you want to be represented in our nation, don't live in DC.  Simple.

9) Income cap.

Telling people how much money they should be able to make.  Cap CEO's, owners, whomever.  Do it with tax structures, trust laws, or just a blatant statement.

As it stands companies are free to put packages to a vote with owners (and they often do).  Unions use executive salaries in negotiations (as well they should).  We are able to draw the best and the brightest because we pay the most.  That does not always guarantee success, but it gives us a competitive advantage.

I hope companies are smart enough to avoid golden parachutes, white whales, and generally throwing money out the window.  But that is the business of companies, shareholders, and employees... not the government.  Unless of course the government owns a giant stake, at which point I want them to pay executives to salaries for performance as it saves me money!  Come on companies, long term performance should pay... bah, that's an entirely different rant.


The Wall Street Journal, "A Liberal Super Majority," 10/17/2008.
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122420205889842989.html


I could be wrong.  But the article is right in spouting agenda items.  Either party left untempered would pass poor legislation that serves their interest and their lobbyists.  It is possible that the confidence they enjoy allows them to pass a wonderful and well thought out health care program, to cut spending, eliminate pork, find fair labor practices and guarantee free speech.  But I doubt it.  

In a two party system the incentive is to push the government as far in your direction as you can, when you can.  Then try to concrete it in place such that it can not be pushed the other way.  Entitlements are a great way of doing just that, limiting political speech would help accomplish that goal, empowering labor unions (which this time of the year can be mistaken for and sometimes are democratic campaign headquarters) will shuffle support and money in an effort to support that goal, and then change voting laws to help that goal.

I'm not trying to fear monger nor to BE fear mongered.  I believe either party would do the same thing if they could.  If the religious right won the day I'd rant about a gay marriage amendment, religion in the class room, and favors to business entities.  

No one party should ever have total control, the ultimate failure of a bad system - that means I have to vote for Inhofe to make sure we have as many Republican senators as we can. The 2 party system should be killed as soon as possible.  

/rant
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pmcalk
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2008, 08:52:07 am »

CF, you and I disagree on a lot, but I thought I would point out a few things to ease your mind.  As for healthcare, I agree that we must be careful that lobbyist don't take over the process, and turn it into nothing but another opportunity for insurance companies hit another gold mine.  But I also think that something has to be done. If Obama follows through on his promise to limit lobbyist, then we have a better shot.  

As for unions, many states, including Oklahoma, have right to work laws, so the idea that 50.1% of employees can force you to pay dues is just wrong, unless you live in a state that allows closed shops.  

Regardless of who is in power, DC will not be granted statehood (they already have a vote in congress, by the way, just can't be a deciding vote).  Clinton promised statehood to DC back in '92, but went back on his promise once the government realized how much federal property was in DC.  It just won't work.  

Neither will the reemergence of the "fairness" doctrine.  Honestly, I think it worked fine back when there were only three channels to watch.  And I think it was important for the government to force the limited airways to present opposing points of view.  But now we have plenty of choice.  And I don't think MSNBC is any more anxious than Fox to present opposing view points.  I do think, though, that continually dividing audiences, and then catering to their bias only further divides our country.  

As for social security, again, something has to be done.  You have three choices, increase the age of retirement, increase payments into the pot, or limit the amount that can be paid out.  Personally, I think that after you receive a certain amount of income from SS (your contributions plus interest), any more should be means tested.   But we'll see what happens.

As for regulation, do you not agree that we need to overhaul banks & wallstreet?  When no one even knows how many CDF exist, you know something is wrong.

Finally, even if Democrats get a supermajority, that doesn't mean that they will act in lockstep.  Some democrats come from very conservative areas (like Dan Boren), and are going to continue to vote middle of the road.
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Conan71
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2008, 09:36:18 am »

I dunno PM.  How many years did it take GW to veto a bill?  I don't like the idea of one party controlling both houses and the executive branch.  How happy are you with the 2001 to 2006 era of U.S. government?

The joke is on us about lobbyists.  How many promises have we seen in campaign reform and lobbyist reform?  What has been the net result?  Nothing.  DC is still being run from K street, not Capital Hill.

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rwarn17588
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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2008, 10:00:40 am »

I'm uncomfortable with one party having power, too.

Of course, if the GOP wasn't filled with a bunch of stupid screwups, this wouldn't be happening.

Note to Republicans: Show a commitment to actual budget-cutting (including defense) and helping the middle class, ditch the gay-bashing and quit being so hog-tied by the know-nothing Christianists, and you might have a chance of getting my vote the next time around.

Give me a reason to vote *for* you, instead of spending all your time tearing the other guy down because you have no compelling qualities of your own.
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USRufnex
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2008, 10:22:22 am »

"I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat."

"The difference between a Republican and a Democrat is the Democrat is a cannibal they have to live off each other, while the Republicans, why, they live off the Democrats."
 
--Will Rogers
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mrburns918
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2008, 10:41:15 am »

quote:
Originally posted by rwarn17588

I'm uncomfortable with one party having power, too.

Of course, if the GOP wasn't filled with a bunch of stupid screwups, this wouldn't be happening.

Note to Republicans: Show a commitment to actual budget-cutting (including defense) and helping the middle class, ditch the gay-bashing and quit being so hog-tied by the know-nothing Christianists, and you might have a chance of getting my vote the next time around.

Give me a reason to vote *for* you, instead of spending all your time tearing the other guy down because you have no compelling qualities of your own.



While I agree with some of your comments about the Republican party I think you are mistaken to exclude the Democrats accountability.

Both parties talk of cutting pork, lobbyists, term limits etc. etc. but do nothing. The proof that we don't really give a damn about it? We keep electing the same morons back into office because of the lesser of two evils mentality. Maybe a guy who hasn't any experience or seniority isn't a bad thing? Maybe I need to cut slack to people like Palin and Obama who I think are inexperienced for the job. Maybe inexperience is our last hope.

Because the system of the above mentioned is not challenged, IMO, there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats.


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USRufnex
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2008, 10:46:08 am »

quote:
Originally posted by mrburns918


Because the system of the above mentioned is not challenged, IMO, there is no difference between Republicans and Democrats.


Mr. Burns
Bob Barr for President



I thought the same thing in 2000.... when I voted for Ralph "unsafe-at-any-speed" Nader...

I was wrong.


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rwarn17588
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2008, 10:49:21 am »

quote:
Originally posted by mrburns918

Quote

Maybe a guy who hasn't any experience or seniority isn't a bad thing? Maybe I need to cut slack to people like Palin and Obama who I think are inexperienced for the job. Maybe inexperience is our last hope.




I don't think inexperience is the problem so much with Palin as it is with her stupidity. I can accept inexperience as along as the candidate shows a modicum of intellectual curiosity. Palin has shown little of it so far; she's much like the stereotypical beauty queen of all looks and no brains ... throw in a few buzzwords to buttress your vacuous answers.

And the comments leaking out of the McCain camp in the past week or so pretty much have confirmed this suspicion, if her poor performance during interviews and the debate haven't already.
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Neptune
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2008, 11:14:03 am »

"Pork" is such a non-issue to me.  We're beginning to have deficits somewhere in the area of $500 Billion now, and complaining about a small amount of that, about 18 to 20 Billion in extra projects, makes zero sense.  PLUS, that 18 to 20 Billion in "Pork" ends up being spent mostly in Scientific and Construction projects, which end up adding most of those funds to local economies and corporations via wages.  Adding to the health of our economy.  Where did the other $480 Billion go?

Fiscal Responsibility, when it comes to the gov't, is about spending what you make OR making what you spend.  You either hike taxes, or you cut projects.  

Our Deficits were not caused by so-called "Pork" projects.  Our Budget Deficits of the last several years were largely caused by tax-cuts.
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Hometown
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2008, 11:23:11 am »

Forget spin.  Believe in your own experience.

Since 1980 I have watched Republicans divide the nation, run up historic deficits, subvert the Constitution, rule by fear and bring us to the brink.

Republicans need to reinvent themselves and move back towards the center.  Until that time they do not deserve power.

I believe a Democratic majority is just what the doctor ordered.

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TheArtist
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2008, 11:43:34 am »

I think the dems are painting themselves into a serious box if they do get a "liberal super majority".

If they are in control of everything, anything and everything that goes wrong is going to be their fault. The conservative republicans are going to have an absolutely, joyous, field day with that.

My sense is that yes the dems are going to want to push some liberal things through. But the current economic environment is really going to put a BIG damper on how far they go on matters. Plus I get the feeling that the tide has changed, that being more fiscally conservative, more efficient, etc. has sunk in as something that has to be given its dues, for whatever programs a liberal may want to put forth.  

I also get the sense that Obama will be more centrist than many liberals may like. Yes I know he is supposed to be "Mr Liberal", but I dont really think he actually is as much as some would paint him to be. I think he and other politicians are very aware that they are going to have to cater to some fiscal conservatism. There is almost no choice at this point for many reasons. The tide has just shifted in that direction. What your likely to see is a division emerging within the democratic/liberal camp and more fiscally conservative dems joining with the republicans. The trick with that hopeful scenario is that the republicans will want to NOT let anything positive happen under the democratic watch so that they can finger point and hope for the pendulum to swing in their direction in the next elections.

Anyway, definitely will be interesting to watch lol.

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carltonplace
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« Reply #11 on: October 30, 2008, 12:00:39 pm »

This won't be the first time in history that one party or the other has had a super majority. It won't last, its just a knee jerk reaction by voters because they are pissed off. In two years they will calm down and vote the republicans back in.

FDR, Carter, Clinton, and HWB have all had periods of unified party control.
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Conan71
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« Reply #12 on: October 30, 2008, 01:44:33 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Neptune

 Our Budget Deficits of the last several years were largely caused by tax-cuts.



I guess that's one way to spin it.  

Excessive spending would have absolutely nothing to do with a deficit???

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nathanm
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« Reply #13 on: October 30, 2008, 01:51:19 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by Conan71


Excessive spending would have absolutely nothing to do with a deficit???


To you, any spending is excessive.

The reason the cuts were the problem is that spending was not reduced in line with the tax cuts, it was increased.

Had we left things alone tax-wise, we could have continued spending the same amount of money without running up an enormous addition to the deficit.
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"Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration" --Abraham Lincoln
Conan71
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« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2008, 01:57:17 pm »

quote:
Originally posted by nathanm

quote:
Originally posted by Conan71


Excessive spending would have absolutely nothing to do with a deficit???


To you, any spending is excessive.

The reason the cuts were the problem is that spending was not reduced in line with the tax cuts, it was increased.




No ****, ace.  Wasn't that what I just said?

You apparently have no grasp on how large, wasteful, and deft our government is.

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"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first” -Ronald Reagan
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