After the crash and reset

  • @jim-johnson 4. Public spending should absolutely be limited to receipts only and the Constitution must be strictly construed as a limiting document: if it doesn’t expressly allow the federal government to do a thing, then they are to be prohibited from doing it. If we return to a strict policy of military non-intervention and eliminate the standing army in favor of universal militia service, then we would probably never have to worry about another war. I might even go so far as to limit public debt to 20 or even 15 years and only in time of war or insurrection.

    I do understand that we would still need to retain a navy, air force and nuclear arsenal to provide a credible threat to the less enlightened heathens in the world. But no standing army because they invariably turn into a foreign expeditionary force!

    Remember; King David got in big trouble with the Lord (2 Samuel 24) for counting his army. Now why is that? Well if you know that you have 800,000 men at arms in Israel and 500,000 men in Judah, you might be tempted to use them to take adjacent lands and subjugate the people. Given enough men, you might send them to over 150 different countries and establish over 800 military bases worldwide just as the US gun-vermin have done!

    But members of a well regulated (i.e. well trained and equipped) militia have no interest in doing anything other than protecting hearth and home. And if each member is required to provide his own arms and kit, that really cuts down on expenses from the public treasury. And making militia service a requirement to vote gives those who are genuinely interested in protecting the country an incentive to serve.

  • @jim-johnson 5. Direct election of Senators was a serious mistake. The 17th Amendment should immediately be repealed. The U.S. Senate was to represent the state governments, the House of Representatives was to represent the people and control the purse strings of the treasury. I actually have access to my state representative. If I had a serious problem with what a U.S. senator was doing, prior to the 17th Amendment, I could take it up with her personally. If enough state reps and senators saw a problem, they could simply recall that senator and select another one. But with a population of slightly over 6 million people, each of “my” U.S. senators has over 3,000,000 constituents. I can write and go to town hall meetings all I want, but to think my voice or vote actually counts is ludicrous.

    With 435 U.S. Representatives in the House and a population of 325,000,000, each Congress-critter has almost 750,000 constituents if you average it (I realize it varies, but that’s for illustrative purposes). Here again your individual voice and vote don’t really matter.I would go so far as to say that we should have no less than one U.S. representative per 75,000 constituents. That would put the size of the House of Representatives up around 4600. They would spend most of their time gridlocked and very few laws would get passed which would be a good thing. It would also give us greater access to each representative on a regional basis and dilute their power.

  • @jim-johnson
    I’d push a little harder on the mob rule thing and consider instituting a lottery system for choosing representatives. I’d like to minimize to the extent possible the corruption, the co-opting, the elitism, the popularity contests, the obscene costs of running for office, outsider influence, special interest influence, …

    So I say pick reps at random from a pool of otherwise eligible voters. Such a body would really be representative of the country. People that know what it is to work paycheck to paycheck. People that know how to balance a tight budget. People not beholden to prior promises, people that haven’t sold their soul to get where they are. People that know a bad law when they see it, and will vote their gut and their conscience. People that, for the most part, don’t have a strong party identity and know right from wrong.

    Edit: Expanding with a draft proposal. 365 Representatives, chosen for one year terms. One is replaced every single day. Although it does occur to me that this might be sacrificing the practical for the clever.

  • @murdoc34

    “So I say pick reps at random from a pool of otherwise eligible voters”

    Uh, maybe eligible voters that also:

    • Live and own land in the US
    • Paid income taxes for at least the past five years
    • Have never been convicted of a felony
    • Have voted in at least one national or state election every year for the past five years
    • Are not related to either Bill Clinton or George Bush

  • @ainigmaris-thales
    I’d be more than happy to re-define “eligible” to include all those things.

  • @murdoc34 The more I think about it, the more I like your concept of picking random people with certain qualifications to do it. I’m innately suspicious of anyone that wants to be a politician, and even more suspicious of people willing to spend hundreds of thousands, even millions of dollars, to get elected.

  • @ainigmaris-thales I couldn’t agree more. Anyone who wants to “serve” these days is immediately suspect in my mind. A lottery, much like the way we pick jurors, would work. Sure, you’d get the occasional power hungry psychopath, but probably no more than the natural percentage by population of 5 - 6%. The way the system works now, psychos are attracted to government jobs, elected and otherwise, like flies are attracted to dung. This needs stop.

  • @ainigmaris-thales

    It’s an implementation of a principle, with slight modifications, that Douglas Adams put forth: “Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.”

  • @boothe The lobbyists and career staffers are a huge problem too. Every time someone says “term limits” will fix the problems, I just shake my head, because that will just give lobbyists and insider staffers even more power.

  • @ainigmaris-thales I agree. Lobbying is a big problem in many ways, although it has been instrumental in restoring some of our eroded gun rights. But it has been used against us just as much. The “wee-bees” definitely need to be eliminated. That was a big joke around the beltway when I was young (I had a couple of relatives that had civilian DOD jobs). The career bureaucrats said with each new administration: “We be here when they arrive and we be here when they’re gone!” Trump has run into the wee-bee stone wall from the start. Many of the lower echelon bureaucrats are essentially in for life, because regardless of their unwillingness to do their job or even incompetence, it is virtually impossible to fire them.

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