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Topic: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)

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Mdot21

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #154 on: April 07, 2020, 04:05:30 PM »
I think if you say each "team" is bought and owned by "special interests" which might or might not be "corporations" then it's extremely accurate.
The special interest groups are funded by corporations. There’s a lobby for every industry and that trade group is 100% fully funded by the 3-4 largest corporations in that specific industry.

Dan Rather did an amazing piece on lobbyists and their chokehold on politicians maybe 15-20 years ago. Once he got fired from CBS news he was actually able to go have his own show on a small satelittle tv only network and actually- you know- report real news stories lol.

Cincydawg

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #155 on: April 07, 2020, 04:13:32 PM »
I got involved once in some lobbying we were doing.  It was an attempt to educate our Congressman on some aspects of patent law and what would be a good change.  Our company didn't fund anything remotely partisan.  

Mdot21

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #156 on: April 07, 2020, 04:14:35 PM »
Oh yeah, by the way- who was the single largest recipient of bailout money during the financial crisis- Citigroup!

To the tune of only $477 BILLION dollars in cash and guarantees from Uncle Sam. 

Cincydawg

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #157 on: April 07, 2020, 04:16:51 PM »
How much did they pay back?

MrNubbz

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #158 on: April 07, 2020, 04:17:14 PM »
Oh yeah, by the way- who was the single largest recipient of bailout money during the financial crisis- Citigroup!

To the tune of only $477 BILLION dollars in cash and guarantees from Uncle Sam.
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Mdot21

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #159 on: April 07, 2020, 04:18:47 PM »
I got involved once in some lobbying we were doing.  It was an attempt to educate our Congressman on some aspects of patent law and what would be a good change.  Our company didn't fund anything remotely partisan. 
Dan Rather did this piece, it was fantastic. I have to try to find it online somewhere now. It must’ve been done in 2004-2005. Something like that. In the piece, Rather said there was something like a hundred registered lobbyists in DC in like 1983 or something.

By 2003 there was over 30,000. That was 17 years ago. Now there’s probably more. 

DC was never the richest or one of the most exclusive city in America. Now it just might be. The money that has flooded into DC is insane. Why is that? Hmmm.

Mdot21

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #160 on: April 07, 2020, 04:20:34 PM »
How much did they pay back?
You don’t think it’s a tiny bit odd, that an executive of a company who basically picked an entire presidential cabinet, wound up receiving the largest bailout of anyone- basically a half a trillion dollar federal govt bailout, no?

847badgerfan

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #161 on: April 07, 2020, 04:21:37 PM »
Ok, so let's back it down guys.

No need to go R vs. D. There is enough of that shit in the world.
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Mdot21

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #162 on: April 07, 2020, 04:22:39 PM »
Ok, so let's back it down guys.

No need to go R vs. D. There is enough of that shit in the world.
I don’t see anyone going R vs D. Just pointing out a few facts. Both sides are filthy dirty and have been bought and paid for by their corporate masters.

MichiFan87

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #163 on: April 07, 2020, 04:23:49 PM »
There's still substantial corporate interests on both sides. I don't deny that, but there's more on the Republican side:

https://www.opensecrets.org/parties/

You can also look through this list (sorted by % of money from small donors) and see how much different candidates got from individuals vs the corporate world:

https://www.opensecrets.org/elections-overview/large-vs-small-donations?cycle=2020&type=A

This site has a lot of good information about all of this type of stuff.

I'll stop there....
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Mdot21

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #164 on: April 07, 2020, 04:31:37 PM »
Found the piece. It’s an hour long, but worth the watch. Dan Rather did this show in 2006- after he got fired from CBS some tiny little satellite tv only station hired him to do a news show. Some eye opening numbers Rathers cites in his report- in 2006 there were 30,000 registered lobbyists in DC. In the 80s there was only a couple hundred registered lobbyists in DC.



https://youtu.be/NowpCswP40c

CWSooner

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #165 on: April 07, 2020, 04:53:22 PM »
I want to see the NPVIC get passed to make the electoral college obsolete and make the popular vote matter. It's getting close to 200 votes worth and just needs to get to 270. Yes, they have been mostly democratic states to this point, but there are conservative states that are supposedly starting to consider it more seriously.

Campaign finance is definitely a big issue.

Term limits have already shown to be counterproductive for reasons explained above.
What is the problem that the NPVIC is supposed to solve?  That Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton?

Citing previous elections where the Electoral College vote went one way and the popular vote went the other way doesn't prove anything.  The campaign was to gain electoral votes.  Had it been to gain popular votes, it might have gone differently.  We don't know that Samuel Tilden would have been a better president than Rutherford B. Hayes, or that Al Gore would have been a better president than George W. Bush, or that Hillary Clinton would have done any better than Donald Trump.
And what will be the unintended consequences of changing the presidential election to a mass popular vote?  Many, many unintended consequences.  And some malignant changes that might well be intended.  Don't mess with the constitutional order unless you've got a good idea of what it was intended to accomplish and whether your "fix" is going to make things better or worse.
I hate the situation with crooked/bought-off/overly-concerned-about-their-re-election politicians as much as anyone, but I have yet to see a campaign-finance-reform proposal that is not a restriction on political speech and freedom of the press.  And political speech is what the First Amendment's protection of speech is all about.  And freedom of the press is not limited to newspapers and magazines.  It's also for Joe Six-Pack and his printer/photocopier.
We've only seen the one case cited in the argument against term limits.  I would not say that that means that the case is closed.
Finally, I think there's a good case to be made for stronger parties.  When parties are stronger, we know who to blame for the mess.  A stronger GOP would have been able to keep Donald Trump from joining it and taking it over.  When parties are too weak to enforce party discipline, it sets up a situation where the politicians are lone operators, selling out to the highest bidder.
I'm not defending the stench emanating from Washington, DC.  But we need to make sure that fixes don't make the situation worse.
I'll offer an example of fixes that made the existing situation worse.  Everyone can cite the 18th Amendment as a bad idea that had the major achievement of enriching organized crime figures like Al Capone (and other non-organized criminals like Joseph P. Kennedy).  But I think that the 17th Amendment was even worse.  It was supposed to "clean up" the Senate by making Senators elected directly by the people.  (I'll insert here that few of us have had much to say good about "the people" on this thread.)  What it accomplished was to inflict much damage on the system of checks and balances.  Not just the federal government's system, where the Senate and the House are supposed to check and balance each other, but whole federal system where the states were supposed to play a role in checking the federal government.  Now Senators are like Representatives with bigger districts and longer terms, essentially beholden to the same interests as those Reps are.  And the state governments, which used to elect the Senators to represent the states' interests, now have no direct way of influencing federal policy-making.
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MichiFan87

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #166 on: April 07, 2020, 05:13:15 PM »
What is the problem that the NPVIC is supposed to solve?  That Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton?

Citing previous elections where the Electoral College vote went one way and the popular vote went the other way doesn't prove anything.  The campaign was to gain electoral votes.  Had it been to gain popular votes, it might have gone differently.  We don't know that Samuel Tilden would have been a better president than Rutherford B. Hayes, or that Al Gore would have been a better president than George W. Bush, or that Hillary Clinton would have done any better than Donald Trump.
And what will be the unintended consequences of changing the presidential election to a mass popular vote?  Many, many unintended consequences.  And some malignant changes that might well be intended.  Don't mess with the constitutional order unless you've got a good idea of what it was intended to accomplish and whether your "fix" is going to make things better or worse.
I hate the situation with crooked/bought-off/overly-concerned-about-their-re-election politicians as much as anyone, but I have yet to see a campaign-finance-reform proposal that is not a restriction on political speech and freedom of the press.  And political speech is what the First Amendment's protection of speech is all about.  And freedom of the press is not limited to newspapers and magazines.  It's also for Joe Six-Pack and his printer/photocopier.
We've only seen the one case cited in the argument against term limits.  I would not say that that means that the case is closed.
Finally, I think there's a good case to be made for stronger parties.  When parties are stronger, we know who to blame for the mess.  A stronger GOP would have been able to keep Donald Trump from joining it and taking it over.  When parties are too weak to enforce party discipline, it sets up a situation where the politicians are lone operators, selling out to the highest bidder.
I'm not defending the stench emanating from Washington, DC.  But we need to make sure that fixes don't make the situation worse.
I'll offer an example of fixes that made the existing situation worse.  Everyone can cite the 18th Amendment as a bad idea that had the major achievement of enriching organized crime figures like Al Capone (and other non-organized criminals like Joseph P. Kennedy).  But I think that the 17th Amendment was even worse.  It was supposed to "clean up" the Senate by making Senators elected directly by the people.  (I'll insert here that few of us have had much to say good about "the people" on this thread.)  What it accomplished was to inflict much damage on the system of checks and balances.  Not just the federal government's system, where the Senate and the House are supposed to check and balance each other, but whole federal system where the states were supposed to play a role in checking the federal government.  Now Senators are like Representatives with bigger districts and longer terms, essentially beholden to the same interests as those Reps are.  And the state governments, which used to elect the Senators to represent the states' interests, now have no direct way of influencing federal policy-making.
I get what the arguments are against the NPVIC. My reasons for supporting it are independent of my political views.

As it is, essentially the only people whose vote matters are those living in swing states. I think that's ridiculous. I also think it's ridiculous that low population states (regardless of their political leanings, from North Dakota to Hawaii) have disproportionate votes in the election compared to California and Texas.

The NPVIC really shouldn't be a politicized idea. If/when Texas becomes a swing state and eventually a blue one, maybe Republicans will start supporting it....
“When your team is winning, be ready to be tough, because winning can make you soft. On the other hand, when your team is losing, stick by them. Keep believing”
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betarhoalphadelta

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Re: Government Policy and Budget Discussion Thread (no politics)
« Reply #167 on: April 07, 2020, 05:21:19 PM »
The issue isn't NPVIC vs electoral college.

The issue is that so much of our national decision-making is done in Washington, and it's difficult to create a one-size-fits-all policy that adequately addresses the needs of New York City and Syracuse at the same time, or Los Angeles and Shasta at the same time, or Chicago and Mattoon at the same time.

The reason the low-population states are so wedded to the electoral college isn't out of some sense of Constitutionalism, it's because they realize that if we create national policy based on what the major urban centers need, that they're going to get screwed in the process. 

We used to have federalism. We used to have a system where Wyoming and California would have different policies, because not everything was decided in Washington. But now that federalism is dead, you can't blame people in Wyoming for being scared of their rights being run over roughshod by bureaucrats in DC. 


 

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