The cliff

The fiscal cliff, what will happen? Who will lose? Dems, GOP or USA?

They will put America first and reach a compromise.
1
3%
They will put America first and reach a compromise.
1
3%
They will make a deal at the very last second.
4
11%
They will make a deal at the very last second.
4
11%
The R's will be the winners: No tax increase.
0
No votes
The R's will be the winners: No tax increase.
0
No votes
The dems will be the winners: More tax for the rich
1
3%
The dems will be the winners: More tax for the rich
1
3%
They reach a deal that postpones matters, somehow.
6
17%
They reach a deal that postpones matters, somehow.
6
17%
They won't agree, but austerity is what the US needs.
0
No votes
They won't agree, but austerity is what the US needs.
0
No votes
They won't agree: Welcome to a new depression.
4
11%
They won't agree: Welcome to a new depression.
4
11%
Other (please specify).
2
6%
Other (please specify).
2
6%
 
Total votes: 36
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Leah
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Re: The cliff

Postby Leah » Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:49 pm

Carter wrote:
Kaitlin wrote: The rest of the world can't be looking too kindly at a country that can be brought to a grinding halt by a few politicians.


The American political system is a complete anathema to most people outside of the States.

You vote for a Presidential Candidate who is nominated by the respective members of that party.. and yet he appears to have no authority or influence over the more junior elected representatives of the same party.

You then vote the respective Presidential Candidates to office.. and he appears to have very limited powers to directly set the political agenda or initiate any policy without the approval of a various legislative houses.. and to make sure he has no chance of even influencing the legislative bodies, you vote in regional and state representatives of other political parties who are blatantly going to undermine the policies of the elected President.

What a fucked up system... does anybody ever do anything in the national interest, rather than political interests ?


The system is designed to provide a series of checks and balances to keep any one part of the government from taking total control. But it's only as good as the people within it.
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Theoden
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Re: The cliff

Postby Theoden » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:34 am

@ Kait

While 7$ is better than 10$ passes the quantitative test, it fails the qualitative test. Though the debt might be reduced, in the end it leaves future generations with a debt they did not benefit from whatsoever. The generation that caused the debt must pay the bulk of it that was caused during their reign.

And to me, Social Security and Medicare and Defense are all meat and potatoes. I would love that we could take care of our elderly and continue to enforce Pax Americana, as was done before us with Pax Britannica. But we're doing it all on a credit card, and I'm not accepting that the current generation in power will only pay a small amount of the debt.

@ Carter

If the UK was 51% to 49% hypothetically, wouldn't that be a hung parliament? So gridlock can happen in a parliamentary model as well.

Some would prefer gridlock and nothing done in government, preferable over a 51% lording over the 49%.

The entire founding principle of the U.S. was to fight against tyranny. They didn't want to replace a King with a dictator. It's the reason why the phrase "Do you swear to protect the constitution, against all enemies, foreign and domestic" came from. Note the domestic part. They were so zealous against tyranny they were willing to put the 2nd amendment in the constitution just so citizens would have the weapons needed to fight against tyranny. There's nothing about 'self defense' or 'hunting' in there, only 'security of the Free State'.

Gridlock was preferred by the founders of the country, rather than tyranny of a few, or barely a majority.

Of course, they didn't envision congress would ever threaten to hold the nation's credit hostage in order to get their way. But they couldn't have foreseen every crisis situation.

In any case, the United States would not implode out of existence over an economic crises. Countries decline, not implode, with economic crises. And the President has enough war time crises military powers to make sure the country wouldn't implode.

The only problem I see with our government structure is the electoral system. Each district is given to a party member who is "First past the post". Even if the district is 51% and 49%, the 51% gets all the votes of that district. Same with states and electoral votes for the President. It's the reason why we have a two party system, an unfortunate dearth of political party variance and the reason why a small minority controls the country: Swing voters.

It's really pointless to vote in the United States unless you live in a swing district or swing state. The entire country's future is decided by a minority of swing voters. How ironic.

I still don't get how government is more partisan in the United States than in the UK. Isn't the definition of partisanship meaning to only vote along party lines cohesively, as a bloc? And if the party leader makes a deal, then all the minions fall in line? Boehner couldn't even control his House and there is a gap between Senate Republicans and House Republicans. I'd say the American congress is less partisan and more individualistic in character.

Course, individualism could also be interpreted as self interested pandering to one's own constituents rather than the good of the country overall.
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Re: The cliff

Postby Carter » Sun Jan 13, 2013 8:57 am

Theoden wrote:@ Kait

@ Carter

If the UK was 51% to 49% hypothetically, wouldn't that be a hung parliament? So gridlock can happen in a parliamentary model as well.



Well the principal of Parliament is you need a certain amount of members of parliament to be able to claim a majority representation and therefore claim political leadership... it would be impossible for the Prime Minister to be able to lead without that majority support made up from his own political party.

he can, as we have now, a hung Parliament, where has had to do deals with another political party to get the numbers in Parliament to claim a majority to be able enact his policies.. so that is were the checks and balances comes from.

However, if the elected government was unable to gain the majority representation in Parliament.. there would be a vote of no confidence and elections re-held until a majority could be formed..either from one party, or a coalition of parties.

But, there would never be a situation of having a political leader unable to pass the legislation because the opposition could out vote his policies...

Like I said.. the american political system of colleges, two party sytems, Presidential versus Senatorial/Congress, federal vs state...weird ;)
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Re: The cliff

Postby Kaitlin » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:14 am

Theoden wrote:@ Kait

While 7$ is better than 10$ passes the quantitative test, it fails the qualitative test. Though the debt might be reduced, in the end it leaves future generations with a debt they did not benefit from whatsoever. The generation that caused the debt must pay the bulk of it that was caused during their reign.


That's just it. It also passes the qualitative test as well. At this point the two areas where this country is grossly out of bed with the rest of the industrialized world is the percentage of GDP spent on Defense and the insane amount spent on an ineffective healthcare system. Pension and welfare spending are right in line with where they should be based on the current stagnant job growth, an aging population and the level of incomes and taxes.

This dollar for dollar expectation is unrealistic and far from qualitative in my opinion.

Leah wrote:The system is designed to provide a series of checks and balances to keep any one part of the government from taking total control. But it's only as good as the people within it.


The idea of checks and balances has been thrown out the window with circumventing and obstructionist tactics like gerrymandering, lobbying and cloture. The entire political process has been hijacked by the people who are supposed to represent the will of the people but instead represent corporations. Carter is right. It is fucked up and it would likely be illegal in many countries. I think the authors of the constitution must be rolling over in their graves.
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Leah
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Re: The cliff

Postby Leah » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:46 pm

Kaitlin wrote:The idea of checks and balances has been thrown out the window with circumventing and obstructionist tactics like gerrymandering, lobbying and cloture. The entire political process has been hijacked by the people who are supposed to represent the will of the people but instead represent corporations. Carter is right. It is fucked up and it would likely be illegal in many countries. I think the authors of the constitution must be rolling over in their graves.


Leah wrote:The system is designed to provide a series of checks and balances to keep any one part of the government from taking total control. But it's only as good as the people within it.
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Resolver Bouchard
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Re: The cliff

Postby Resolver Bouchard » Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:47 pm

Thomas Paine wrote:The circumstances of the world are continually changing, and the opinions of man change also; and as government is for the living, and not for the dead, it is the living only that has any right in it.


It's quite simple, you follow the thinker that inspired your founding fathers and change it. And ditch the second ammendment as well!
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Re: The cliff

Postby Carter » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:31 pm

Resolver Bouchard wrote:
Thomas Paine wrote:The circumstances of the world are continually changing, and the opinions of man change also; and as government is for the living, and not for the dead, it is the living only that has any right in it.


It's quite simple, you follow the thinker that inspired your founding fathers and change it. And ditch the second ammendment as well!


That is an interesting point.... now my grandfather was a congressman (CT) he said to me that American political concepts were as archaic and as relevant to (he has now died) the 20th Century American society as the Magna Carta is to British society.

Given this situation, never considered, never envisioned.. is the American political system still living in a quaint, pre industrialised community of quakers, puritans and revolutionary anti monarchist environment.

Would be ironic really to think of America clinging to a past of traditions and archaic view points in a world so changed since the 1700's
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Re: The cliff

Postby Glaucon » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:35 pm

Resolver Bouchard wrote:
Thomas Paine wrote:The circumstances of the world are continually changing, and the opinions of man change also; and as government is for the living, and not for the dead, it is the living only that has any right in it.


It's quite simple, you follow the thinker that inspired your founding fathers and change it. And ditch the second ammendment as well!


Asside from the slight historical inaccuracy (they weren't all that much inspired by Paine, who was a bit too much of a radical revolutionary for most)... Paine had a point. The 'founding fathers' never intended to be whorshipped as 'icons' and for their constitution to be regarded as a secular version of the bible, which seems to be the way many in the US regard them and that piece of paper now. And Carter's grandfather was right as well, I think.

But even if the US system isn't all that great (and certainly NOT the cause for the 'success' of the US as a nation, and not PERFECT just because a fairly smart set of guys thought it up), or... just 'weird' as Carter calls it... it IS what it is. It can't be changed. It is hard to change, democratically. Politically, it is impossible. (Even a new amendment would be nearly impossible at this time). And given the legal culture in the US, changing it would go against everything people are taught. It is just unthinkable.

My point is that IF House Republicans are going to cockblock anything coming from the White House or the Senate, hold the US hostage to get the stuff they believe in... than that is just too bad. The democrats are just going to have to deal with it. And if that means giving in to the republicans, then that is what it is. Going for far-fetched loopholes to circumvent the US system/constitution is not just fighting fire with fire, it is fighting fire with petrol. If people in the US dislike the republicans being totally uncooperative most of the time, just saying 'no' to everything (and spending their time in creating their own rival proposals that they know won't get the approval of Congress in general instead), I don't think that they are going to like the democrats any better for trying to find ways to subvert the existing political system, so they can bypass the fu... I mean, the House Republicans. I knew Kaitlin would like the proposals (the more committed liberals seem to generally like these 'tricks' a lot), but I think they are sacrificing their own credibility with their voters if they pursue these quazillion dollar coins and 14th amendment section 4 'coups'-plans.

Even using it as 'leverage' against their opponents won't work. The republicans will probably dare them to try and go ahead with these plans, saliva dripping from their lips.

It is silly, and the USA already has too much silly in politics.
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Re: The cliff

Postby Resolver Bouchard » Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:45 pm

Oh they loved and worshipped Paine for his first few books, not so much when he started talking about restricting firearms, sorry religion. :lol:
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Re: The cliff

Postby Kaitlin » Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:43 pm

Glaucon wrote:I knew Kaitlin would like the proposals (the more committed liberals seem to generally like these 'tricks' a lot), but I think they are sacrificing their own credibility with their voters if they pursue these quazillion dollar coins and 14th amendment section 4 'coups'-plans.


Then it just proves how wrong you are and an inability to recognize sarcasm when you see it.

I don't support either work around. I pointed out they are just as valid as this absurd vow to not raised the debt ceiling unless all of government bows down to a few.

What I do support is using what has worked in the past. Holding these idiots feet to the fire. If they want to dig in their heels and blow it all up in a bid to get what they want. Let them. The country will pay a painful price of course but it is a lesson that won't be forgotten none to soon. You proved you didn't "get it" on the tax issue and I predict you will be wrong once again.
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