Saturday, October 30, 2010

It's broke. Time to fix it. Article #3

It's broke . . .

This article will have some reference material from our country's founders. Please do not skim over it; it is necessary to make my point. And I did try to be brief. And as you read, I'm sure you will understand that one of the ways to "fix it" is:

Term limits for all elected officials. If it is good enough for the President, it is good enough for them!

From Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution of the United States:

3.1 The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, FOR SIX YEARS; and each Senator shall have one vote. (emphasis added)

3.2 Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class SHALL BE VACATED at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, SO THAT ONE THIRD MAY BE CHOSEN EVERY SECOND YEAR; and if vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies. (emphasis added)

(Note: 3.1 was changed in the 17th Amendment to show that they were to be elected by the people of each state thereof, and not by the legislature.)

Federalist Paper #63, concerning the possibility of the senate being transformed into a "tyrannical aristocracy", argued that by holding an election every two years would bring NEW individuals to the body, ONE-THIRD of the members, thereby preventing a tyrannical and corrupt Senate by the very vacating of the members. Federalist Paper #64 argues that the knowledge gained by the body would be maintained by the TWO-THIRDS that remain every two-year election cycle, thereby keeping the "wisdom" of the Senate that we hear is so important.

My point? The writers of the above documents NEVER IMAGINED LIFE MEMBERS like Byrd, Kennedy, Kucinich, etc. The word "incumbent" was not a term they recognized. If they did, their arguments against a corrupt Senate would have been meaningless. They saw only ONE-TERM Senators. That's it. No more.

What do we have today? A clearly corrupt Legislative Branch of the government. A group only concerned with their own agendas and NO LONGER ANSWERABLE to the people.

Don't agree with me? Really? C'mon. Didn't you stay up and watch all of the back slapping on CSPAN as they PROUDLY voted in ObamaCare?

Sure, there is an election every two years, but honestly, have you tried to wade through all of the mud to find what is truth about the candidates? Refer to Article #1 of this series (below) to see how difficult it is to even discern the voting records of these bozos.

If the founders would have known what Congress would have become, I'm sure they would have felt obliged to explicitly spell it out! Apparently, they felt the members of THAT society were more honorable. Of course, they didn't have all of the cushy benefits of staying in office like they have voted themselves today!

I'm making the point with just reference to the Senate. Again, these are to be quick articles. It would take quite a few more keystrokes, and liquid stabilizer, to go into areas such as the Supreme Court. But rest assured, as I've read through the Constitution and the Federalist Papers, the first reference to a "re-election" of an official was of the President. If the concept was even a consideration, it would have been mentioned when discussing the House of Representatives and the Senate as well.

By the way, the Congress passed the 22nd Amendment on March 21, 1947, limiting the President to two terms of four years. I would love the Congress to pass such an amendment concerning themselves. Shouldn't people like Nancy Pelosi, champion of the most non-corrupt government, lead the charge? The founders believed it to be a way to curb corruption. I'm thinking they were right!

. . . time to fix it!

©Emittravel 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

It's Broke. Time to fix it. Article #2

It's broke . . .

1. Lock the Federal budget for 2011 at the actual 2010 budget amounts. Actual budget amounts, not projected budget amounts. No new spending allowed for anything. Anything. Not one dime for any new projects; no current department increases. Nothing.

Understand, when Congress, or the President, brags about cutting the budget by, say, $250 Billion, what they really mean was that they were going to INCREASE the budget by $1 Trillion dollars, but decided to cut out $250 Billion and only INCREASE the budget by $750 Billion. See? You can always tell when a politician is lying: their lips move.

2. After one year reduce that budget amount by one percent - across the board. Not equal amounts, but equal sacrifice. No special interests. Nothing. This means not "punishing" the military and "boosting" education - or visa versa! Every line item on the budget gets a one percent reduction. Like real businesses do, review what you are doing and cut the fat. A real business doesn't last very long swimming in red ink. If a department/project isn't working, quit throwing more money at it!! Give it a polite funeral instead.

3. Reduce that budget by one percent across the board the next year, repeating each year until the country is in the black. That means, the outgo is less than the income, the country owes no one anything, and the complete elimination of the deficit.

...and we'll give you the key when you've cleaned your (the country's) room!!

This would force Congress to "balance the budget" and get us back on track. We USED to be the world's largest lender, and NOW we are the largest borrower. I always wondered what would happen if countries like China decided they wanted us to pay them immediately, in full, for what we owe them . . .

4. Oh, and shut down that damn printing press! Now, you have to understand that one of the ways the government can get out of debt is printing more money. They then pay off the debts with that money. In reality it also has the benefit of lowering the value of that money by flooding the market, in other words, INFLATION.

If someone outside the government prints currency it is considered counterfeit. Why? It doesn't have the full confidence and backing of the United States. It has less worth than Monopoly money. But if the government keeps printing money to represent money it doesn't actually HAVE, THAT is worth less than Monopoly money too.

There is an old proverb that says if you are faithful with little you will be faithful with much. Congress has proven that they have not been faithful with the PEOPLE'S money - they should not have more of it until they PROVE themselves otherwise.

. . . time to fix it!

©Emittravel 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's Broke. Time to fix it. Article #1

It's broke . . .

Okay, so we got politicians in Washington that are known to do the least amount of damage when they are on recess. The economy has a spike upwards, the stock market is strengthened, and, due to the lack of toxic hot air spewing from those who only love the sound of their own voices, the temperature in our nation's capital returns to non-global-warming levels. But since they DO spend time in Washington pushing through legislation, and since that seems to be their only purpose (spending the PEOPLE'S money), here is an idea to help control the fiscal damage they produce: One Bill, One Vote, No Riders.

One of the reasons that spending is so out of control, is that there are so many items attached to a bill that has nothing to do with the original bill. You have heard the phrase "pork-barrel spending".

Initial bill (thanks Schoolhouse Rock!)

After the bill makes the political rounds . . .
How in the world does money to investigate the affect of fruit flies on road construction have to do with defense spending? (Okay, I made that example up, but to be honest, the actual spending is less believable.) Nothing. Not a thing. So, how do those things possibly pass? They pass as riders. Have you heard John Kerry say he voted FOR something BEFORE he voted against something? Once you have picked yourself up from the floor, and think about it, you realize he may ACTUALLY be telling the truth. Here's how: He voted FOR something only because he was voting FOR something that this particular item was attached to. When that same item later comes up for a vote he can vote against it. You see, just because a politician voted on something in a way you disliked, does not mean he was not properly representing you. You have to determine if the item was a rider on a bill that he SHOULD have voted for. (This logic also works in the reverse.) By the way, this was only an example; he may really be as insane as he sounds.

The solution is that each bill presented ONLY receives a vote for THAT bill. No riders. If you want spending to take place for that bridge to nowhere, it MUST be voted on separately. This would first eliminate such spending (who wants to admit to ACTUALLY voting for such things), and second, provide a more accurate voting record to view at election time.

And one other thing: with One Bill, One Vote, No Riders, the need for a Presidential line-item veto becomes moot.

. . . time to fix it!

©Emittravel 2010

Sunday, October 17, 2010

It's Broke. Time to Fix It! - An Introduction

"Oh yeah? So you think you are so smart, how would YOU fix things?"

Okay, no one outside of that voice in my head has actually confronted me with that question, but I feel that I should at least present a response to it. There are many "fixes" that I feel should be taken into consideration, but this blog would be the wrong place to give an overall treatise of them. But this blog IS a great place to address each one individually, and that is precisely what I plan to do.

Over the next weeks/months I will post (hopefully) short concepts that I feel would "fix" what is broken. Each one will be presented individually, but hopefully can be connected to each other as a consistent view. I don't claim perfection, but the idea is not to present ideas that would contradict each other. If that does happen, the idea is to take the "better" idea and implement it. These articles won't be back-to-back. I do plan on presenting other items separately as the thoughts present themselves.

Warning: If you are a politician and implement any of these, you may find yourself with a shortened political career. And to be honest, I certainly hope so! (There is a "fix" there that I plan on addressing as well!)

So let me grab my toolbox, and a refreshing beverage, and have at it! Enjoy!

©Emittravel 2010