Post Moderate looniness here

Discussion in 'West Mall' started by Driver 8, Apr 1, 2022.

  1. nashhorn

    nashhorn 5,000+ Posts

    And that, the so called ‘Fair tax’ as well explained btw, is what I feared, 23% just for the lying, cheating, double dog dealing rats in Washington. This with the other non fed taxes would be a killer, imo.
    Oh, and the property tax isn’t going away. Imo. It’s way to easy for opponents to do simple math statistics condemning the idea as unfair to - pick a group.
     
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  2. Facing Addiction

    Facing Addiction 500+ Posts

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  3. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    I'm against term limits, so I don't particularly care. However, this is an example of a bill that has such little chance of ever becoming law that you'll never know who actually supports it and who doesn't.

    Since it takes 290 votes in the House and 67 in the Senate to send it to the states, a ton of members can claim to like it when they'd never actually let it happen. Democratic constituencies don't care about it, so Democrats don't feel the need to lie and just vote No. With the exception of a few black sheep like me, most on the Right love term limits, so several Republicans claim to like them and vote for them knowing full well that the vote will never affect them.

    In reality, probably fewer than ten members in either house actually support term limits and would vote for them if there was a real chance of them becoming law. The only reason the 22nd Amendment became law is that none of the people deciding on the issue had to give up anything. Hell, knowing the composition of both houses of Congress at the time, it had to have gotten a bunch of Democratic votes even though it was largely a Republican effort. They truly didn't care.
     
  4. guy4321

    guy4321 500+ Posts

    Why are you against term limits?
     
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  5. nashhorn

    nashhorn 5,000+ Posts

    Don’t get him started guy. He has answered that question many times.
     
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  6. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    Lol. I'm a big fan of Nash, but he's the guy I've haggled with the most on it. Rather than type it all out, I'll quote a couple of previous times I've gotten into it with him. He thinks I'm full of **** but says it in a respectful manner, so it's ok. Lol.

     
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  7. Horn6721

    Horn6721 10,000+ Posts

    Except Mr D Isn't one argument for term limits is to stop the Gonzo pork programs added into bills?
    Gets to be the good ol boy( and girl ) network of quid pro quo.
     
  8. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    You think that stuff would go away with term limits?
     
  9. Horn6721

    Horn6721 10,000+ Posts

    Well I don't see many Reps who are 1st 2ndor 3rd termers raking in Pork.Even AOC and squad don't seem to deliver.
     
  10. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    Do you think that's because they're too honorable to do it?
     
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  11. Horn6721

    Horn6721 10,000+ Posts

    Good one Mr D
    No they don't have the quid pro quos good ol people networks established yet.
    With term limits they won't be able to.
     
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  12. Horn2RunAgain

    Horn2RunAgain 2,500+ Posts

    Dan bongino talked about this a while ago. He used to be for term limits but was corrected. He was told and convinced DC would be a much bigger swamp with term limits. In short, the vindman's of the world would be far more powerful by being able to pull strings at will
     
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  13. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    The California Legislature has term limits. Do you think its budgets don't have pork? Spoiler alert - they do.

    You need to understand what pork is and why it happens. It's a way for members to payoff interests back home by directing federal money back home. Senior members do it more because they have the power to do it (having key committee assignments and chairmanships). However, junior members sometimes do it by leveraging their votes with the leadership. If you had term limits, those dynamics would still be there. That's why the California Legislature still hands out pork.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2023 at 4:04 AM
  14. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    He's right. The big winners would be the bureaucracy and the lobby.

    Term limits are the federal income tax and direct election of senators of this century. It superficially addresses a problem but doesn't actually do so, and because it's screwing with the founding fathers's balance of power, it enables a lot of much bigger problems that the supporters of it don't see until it's too late.
     
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  15. Horn6721

    Horn6721 10,000+ Posts

    Ok Mr D I agree with your point. There will always be pork in our current system.

    There still would be pork so I guess the issue is how much less pork if there were term limits.
    Too bad we can't do an analysis of pork given by years of term.
    How many terms does it take to get to the BIG bucks pork?
    What we saw from the last budget were some astoundingly huge pork projects given to senior members.
    So other than term limits is there a way to stop huge pork?
    Or is it even something we need to do?
     
  16. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    You're assuming causation where only correlation exists. Senior members tend to get more pork, because seniority tends to mean better committee assignments and chairmanships, which can be leveraged to score pork. Well, if we had term limits, you'd see more junior members on the committee, but the committees would still exist, and the incentives and mechanism would still be there to bring back pork. Nothing would change.

    Pretty hard to stop it. Only a member's constituents can vote him out, and they're typically happy to get pork. So no, there really isn't a good way to stop it. About the only way to make a real dent in pork would be to enact a line-item veto. However, even that would only get rid of pork when the President is from a different party than those who control Congress. Biden would veto Republican pork, but he wouldn't veto Democratic pork.

    Reluctantly, not really. It's a slimy practice, but we're talking about the $20B range in a $4T budget. I hate to dismiss that because to normal people that's a massive amount of money, but it's barely a rounding error in a budget of that size. Even if I thought term limits would stop pork, I'd never expend the political capital and effort it would take to amend the Constitution to do so. For a move that big, I'd much rather pass a balanced budget amendment. You'd still get pork, but it would do far more to bring fiscal sanity to the government, because you would create real political pressure to hold the line on spending. Both parties wouldn't be able to just compromise by spending on both of their sets of priorities and run up the deficit. They'd have to either cut or go to the people and push for a tax increase - much harder to do.
     
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  17. guy4321

    guy4321 500+ Posts

    Thanks. I either missed those before or (more likely) had several senior moments.
     
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  18. nashhorn

    nashhorn 5,000+ Posts

    He’s darn convincing but I’m not. Lobbies and big corps could not get more powerful than they are now, heck big Pharma gets anything and everything it wants. Term limits would give the good guys a better opportunity to stay good guys. Just my obstinate opinion.
     
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  19. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    Here's how big pharma gets more powerful. The law regulating pharmaceuticals is massively complex - tons of federal and state regulations enacted by statute and by regulatory agencies and tort laws throughout all fifty states, some but not all of which are preempted by federal laws. The point is that it's messy and massively confusing, and it's changing all the time.

    So when a pharma lobbyist shows up in Washington or in Austin to pursue his client's agenda, he's going to give a sob story about why big pharma needs some law changed to stack the deck further in their favor. He's going to be very convincing and lay out statistics and mountains of evidence of why he's right, and he's getting paid high six and low seven figures to be good at this. Who's going to know if he's being honest about a real problem that should be addressed or if he's full of crap? It's going to be somebody who knows the issue far, far beyond what your average person or even a very intelligent person knows.

    And who is that going to be? It's going to be somebody who has a reason to study it on an in-depth level for many years. People become experts on things by necessity and usually by it being part of their job. Well, if you're a legislator, part of your job is learning policy issues inside and out and being assigned that task by leadership. Issues like pharmaceutical regulation aren't going to be learned in one or two terms. It's too complicated, especially with all the other issues that have to be addressed.

    I'll give you a real example from my own experience. I worked at the Capitol in 1997, and a huge issue at the time was water resource management. Most members responded with, "Huh?" "What's that?" Nobody knew anything about it, but while everybody was talking about the usual cultural and social issues that are "sexy" and easy to haggle over, we weren't sure if we were going to have enough water over the next several years. Furthermore, nobody wanted to deal with it, because it was very complex and massively BORING.

    But there was one guy who did, and he was exactly the kind of guy you would want to term limit out of office. His name was J.E. Buster Brown, a senator from Lake Jackson, who had been there 17 years. He was a slimy, establishment politician with a fancy office, and he had a reputation for being a bootie-slappin,' womanizing pig. But for whatever reason, he took an interest in water resource management for many years, and when it was time for that boring but massively important issue to be addressed, he was ready with an excellent reform bill. And when everybody in Texas turns on their tap and water comes out, they have that slimy MoFo to thank for it.

    Another one. Remember when California deregulated its electricity and had all those blackouts and energy price spikes in the early 2000s and got their governor recalled? Ever wonder why Texas didn't have that even though we similarly deregulated? It's because when the Enron lobbyists were storming the state capital trying to get their way in the legislation, a House member named Steve Wolens (D-Dallas) had been there almost 20 years studying a massively complex issue well enough to know ******** when he saw it. Those are two examples I literally saw with my own eyes just by being a lowly aide at the Texas Capitol for 2 sessions. (California had term limits at the time, so they didn't have a Steve Wolens.)

    You pass term limits, and you won't have guys who are as knowledgable on tough, complex stuff as Brown and Wolens were. What happens then? The lobby writes one-sided bills, and the legislatures mindlessly pass them (or in the case of water management, nobody does anything), and nobody knows there's a problem until a pharmaceutical company sends a dangerous drug or vaccine to the market and nobody can do anything about it because the laws passed by uninformed legislators protects them (or the water stops running). And that is how pharma, insurance, utilities, etc. can get worse.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 26, 2023 at 7:02 AM
  20. nashhorn

    nashhorn 5,000+ Posts

    Deez your arguments are always well thought out and convincing, however this sounds like today:


    and I am pleased those examples showed a legislator with ‘experience’ achieved something positive yet I wonder how much crap they caused and $$ they gained from it. I guess on this (and a few other) issues I’ve become that obstinate idiot who says “don’t bother me with the facts my mind is made up.”
     
  21. Horn6721

    Horn6721 10,000+ Posts

    Well if we could guarantee all pols who stay and stay are good not corrupt pols then yes. No term limits.
    How many good long term pols does it take to cancel Nancy Pelosi?
     
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  22. Facing Addiction

    Facing Addiction 500+ Posts

  23. Run Pincher

    Run Pincher 2,500+ Posts

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  24. Chop

    Chop 10,000+ Posts

    The pragmatic and imperfect reality of democracies/republics:

    - the machinery of government must be greased to run
    - pork has lots of grease
     
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  25. Horn6721

    Horn6721 10,000+ Posts

    I am finally convinced. Long live pork!
    As long as my area/ state gets the Big chunks .:yes:
     
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  26. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    Yes, they clearly played shenanigans with the vaccine, but it could be much worse. There is a compensation program in place. It's crappy, but it's something, and legislation is on the table to improve it. It would be a weird coalition of conservatives, trial lawyers, and conspiracy theorist-types against liberals whoring for the pharmaceutical industry.

    Senator Brown didn't benefit either way. There wasn't really a powerful interest heavily involved throwing money around either way, and most legislators didn't want to go to the trouble of dealing with something that, though important, took a lot of time and tedious and boring work but also wasn't valued by their constituents. For all his faults, he did it as an act of public service. Sounds naive, but it's pretty much true in this case. It got him a little media attention (which he didn't need) but not much more. There truly wasn't a lot of upside beyond the reward of knowing he did a good thing.

    Wolens was working against the money. The money favored letting Enron's lobbyists write the bill and pass it. He said, "not quite." Did some consumer groups donate money to his campaign for that? I'm not sure. Maybe so, but it would have been a pittance compared to what Enron would have given him had he gone along.

    I'm just glad the bill passed in 1999. If it had happened 4 years later, the GOP would have controlled both houses of the Legislature, and they would have let the utility lobby write a totally one-sided bill. Hate to admit it, but it's the truth.

    It's OK. I'm on a largely conservative discussion group, and I'm taking a position that challenges the conventional conservative orthodoxy. I do it on this, tort "reform," and right to work laws. I don't expect people to just suddenly flip and agree with me. If I get people to just reconsider and rethink things with greater nuance, that's good enough for me. It's the most I can ask for.
     
  27. Mr. Deez

    Mr. Deez Beer Prophet

    Let's think this through. Suppose we term limited out Nancy Pelosi. Would that make things better? I don't like Nancy Pelosi any more than the next guy, but do you know what that district would elect if she was term limited? It's more liberal than AOC's district or Ilhan Omar's, and it's San Francisco. It epitomizes and is defined by everything that's f'ed up about the political left. There's almost no place in the world quite like it. It's like Amsterdam mixed with Mogadishu. If you're lucky, you'd get someone like Scott Wiener, who's MUCH worse than Pelosi. More likely, you'd get someone like Chesa Boudin or some weird drag queen freak show.

    And on top of that, you would term limit out all the more sane people that are senior to her successor. What does that mean? It would be MUCH easier for her successor to enter the House leadership. Do you want Chesa Boudin to be the Speaker of the House or the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee? I don't, but in a term limited House, it could happen.
     
  28. nashhorn

    nashhorn 5,000+ Posts

    Deez I’m glad you said the “it could happen” part because it could also happen that term limits could force people to refocus on things needed and not things they could gain. Just another perspective.
     
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  29. guy4321

    guy4321 500+ Posts

    Interesting points. I see benefits to both term limits and not having them (and of course, negatives too). It's not a topic I've spent a lot of time researching.
     
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  30. mchammer

    mchammer 10,000+ Posts

     
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