OT - Politics

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You mean like, no government contractor personel would vote?
Wouldn't do any good because they would still lobby.
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FF


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RE: Subject
Remember Orwell's book "Animal Farm"
When the farm house was empty, after the animals drove the farmer out, the rules painted on the side of the barn read:
"All Animals Are Equal?
Later, after the pigs, alleged to be the smartest animals, moved into the farm house, the rules painted on the side of the barn read:
"All Animals Are Equal, But Some Are More Equal Than Others"
Stll valid today as it was over 50 years ago when it was written.
Lew
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Fred the Red Shirt wrote:

Quite a bit of difference between government contractors, civil servants, military personnel, or even for that matter politicians. Those people are providing a service in return for wages. Entirely different thing than receiving government largesse with nothing being expected in return (other than votes).
But then you knew that.

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If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough

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We both also know that individuals living on welfare are an insignificant voting block, and are not a significant source of campaign funding either.
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Fred the Red Shirt wrote: <SNIP>

The number of older people extracting more from the system than they ever put is large and growing. They are every bit the same as the putative "welfare" recipients, they just don't like being told so.
Oh, and they (the elders) are *the* voting block. I have no idea if they contribute to political campaigns.
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I realize that is the socialist perspective and I reject it.
First of all, any retirement plan functions like insurance, some claimants get more than they put in while others get less. Social Security was running a surplus up until the time that LBJ convinced the Congress to merge it into the General Fund, even without investing the money.
Social Security has become a Ponzi scam only because the Feds managed it like Ponzi. Had it been managed responsibly, there would be no problem.
People retiring today have spent a lifetime paying into their SSA, or in some cases being married to someone who has. Had that money been invested, as any good retirement fund should be, there would be no problem. Their current situation is quite analogous to that of a person who paid into a private retirement plan and had their balance embezzled by the management. They expect nothing more than would be available were it nor for the gross malfeasance of the Federal Government, holding the malfeasor responsible for it.
Whether or not the operation of such a mandatory retirement plan falls within the Constitutional authority of the Federal Government is an entirely separate matter.

I expect they do.
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Fred the Red Shirt wrote:

SS is still running a surplus and will be for the next decade or so. From it's inception under FDR, the SS surplus has been "invested" in intra governmental bonds by law. This means any surplus has always been bought from SS by the federal government in exchange for an IOU. What was changed is the federal government accounting of this - the surplus received from SS is counted as revenue for the current fiscal year, and the IOU is NOT counted as an expenditure. This leads folks to believe there really was a surplus in the late '90s when in fact the national debt has increased every year since 1960.
The SS and the 150 or so other trust funds account for $4 trillion of the $9 trillion debt.
Politicians who talk about "raiding" the trust fund are either ignorant of the current law and situation or trying to obfuscate thinking that the public doesn't know there's no money in the fund to be raided and there never has been. They also reject the only other form of investment which would be non governmental notes and equities (privatization) as being too "risky" and instead suggest increasing the withholding thereby accumulating debt at an even faster rate!
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Fred the Red Shirt wrote:

That's not the only reason. The underlying root cause that LBJ did what he did is that the sheeple demanded more and more from government while simultaneously objecting to increased taxation. The money had to come from somewhere and LBJ practiced some creative accounting.
Even if he had not, though, it is far from clear that the system was sustainable in the long-term. People are living longer and longer. A whole generation from the 1960s has failed, on average, to save much for their own retirement (partly because many did not trust capital markets and partly because many wanted to wish socialism into existence in this nation - the exceptions prove the rule.)

Social security was NOT EVER conceived to be a "good retirement fund". It was supposed to be "supplemental". The aforementioned refugees from the 1960s have decided that it is to be the former, not the latter, and have the bullying voting block to make it so.

Mostly I agree with what you wrote, with two important exceptions:
1) The "rights" under Social Security/Medicare have been steadily expanding. It started out as a supplemental insurance program, but now is increasingly seen as much more than that. The Bush "drug benefit" is completely off the reservation, without merit, and excruciatingly expensive.
2) If all this had been privately done, as should have been the case, people who abused the system or stole from it could at least have been jailed for embezzlement (or worse). What are we going to do to the political scoundrels that are bankrupting the system? Isn't it ironic that LBJ (who was a malignant fool on many, many levels) used one form of socialism to pay for another? The results speak for themselves.

It certainly does not appear as one of the enumerated powers.

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I'm not so sure that the people demanded we go to war in Vietnam, so much as they were indifferent about it until there were half a million US troops in theater.

It would only be sustainable if the monies were invested.

Regardless of how much it was to provide, a promise was made to the payees that they would receive benefits later and only a dishonest person belyaches about having to make good on that promise.

The 'rights' under Social Security were established by promising benefits later in exchange for payments now, which is how any retirement plan works.

Medicare is another issue entirely.
Again, can you provide a number for the estimated cost of the prescription drug plan? I'd like to see how that compares to the estimated trillion dollar budget for the war with Iraq.

Name places for them and put their images on stamps and coins.

The Vietnam war was not a form of socialism.

IMHO, the proper course of action in the 1930's would have been a very small number, perhaps 2 or 3 Constitutional amendments, rather than twisting the ICC and other clauses beyond recognition. The approach to the interpretation of the ICC implied by Thomas' dissent in the medical marijuana case should be how the ICC is generally viewed.
Note that agricultural subsidies would remain Constitutional as they only apply restrict commodities sold in interstate commerce.
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J. Clarke wrote:

I like the sentiment, but this one's not realistic. The U.S. Code, and all of the states' statutes, are too massive for anyone to memorize. How 'bout this instead? Any legislator who wants to pass a bill has to submit it to a committee of its opponents, who will prepare a test on its important points. Anyone who wants to vote for the bill has to take and pass the test first.

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Just Wondering wrote:

Precisely. If they have to memorize it then they'll have an incentive to cut it down to a reasonable size. It's also too massive for anyone to carry around. If ignorance of the law is no excuse then the law should be compact enough that one has a reasonable hope of actually knowing all of it.

Nope. Doesn't require an awareness of existing laws.

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J. Clarke wrote:

> Precisely. If they have to memorize it then they'll have an incentive

But it would force them to know exactly what they are voting for, from the perspective of people who don't like it. I rather suspect that most legislators don't even read many of the bills they vote on, and don't really know more than what the sponsors themselves tell them about a few vague high points of most bills.
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Just Wondering wrote:

That would be useful in addition to requiring them to know the existing body of the law.
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Just Wondering wrote:

Any new bill has to identify two existing bills it's going to replace. If it passes, the two old ones are repealed.
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Just Wondering wrote:

Do it for one house, not both. The original intent was that one house would be filled with professional career legislators and the other with short-timers who would go back to their lives after they finished their terms. It didn't work out that way.
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We have term limits. They are called "elections". The idea is you vote for a different candidate when you no longer want the old one to continue in the job. What we need is better educated electors.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Formalizing it means that there wouldn't be even the hope of being a career politician.
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So we get the career politicians to make a law that says they will be out of a job in some number or years. Sure, that'll pass. That should have been written in by 1776 or so.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

Well therein lies the problem. The politicians shouldn't be allowed to write the laws that govern the politicians.
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On Sat, 8 Dec 2007 08:32:51 -0500, "J. Clarke"
-snip-

-snip
What a cowardly statement!
Consider instead...
"It is the duty of every patriot to protect his country from its government." Thomas Paine
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