What would it take to bring fiscal restraint & responsibility to Washington?

Discussion in 'Economics' started by futures_shark, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. I'd like to hear your others opinions on how the citizens of this country can do anything to change the federal governments free spending ways.

    I know of one organization that is working towards this goal, or at least working toward something that would have a real positive benefit if it could ever get passed


    The balanced budget amendment talk in 1997 was great and missed winning approval by only one vote. However, I would imagine that if you took a poll of US citizens a large majority would support it. But that's my opinion, What do you think? What VALID reason could a politician have for not voting for the amendment? Clinton was against it.

    Another good change would be term limits for congress & the senate. If there are term limits on the president why not the rest? I think the reason it hasn't been done is because they make the rules and they are not going to do anything that will put them out of a job.

    SO the real question is how do you change the rules on the house & senate when they are the ones making the rules?

    Incumbents have a re-election rate of 98% and I can not believe that's because they are doing such a great job. They have stacked the election laws in their favor too so you can't just assume they will be voted out if the people are unhappy with their performance.
  2. Gold standard - because then you can't spend more than you have.

    Even though debitcards and cash are the same thing, it "hurts" to use cash because you can "feel" it.
  3. cashonly

    cashonly Bright Trading, LLC

    Here are a few ideas:

    Campaign spending limits.
    You can't spend more than your opponent and you can't keep what your campaign doesn't use.
    You can't take gifts of any kind - such as trips, entertainment, etc.
    You can't meet with lobbyists anywhere but your office.
    Like the president, all your assets must be in a blind trust once you enter congress.
    Term Limits - they get too much power by being in there for decades.
    Time on committee limits - They should only be able to spend 2 -4 years on a committee.

    If you have the spending limits, then the people who win will be those that make the best use of the money at hand. Those are the kind of people you want in congress.

    If Pro is the opposite of Con, what is the opposite of progress?
  4. After some heavy reading and consideration of the matter, I am less angry about the massive budget spending over the last few years than I once was.

    I am currently of the opinion that strong deflationary influences in the global economy exist due to overwhelming demographic effects in the developed world. Those influences were exacerbated by the china effect on wages. The dot bomb crash and 9/11 put some heavy external stresses on these underlying conditions.

    So, it was reasonable to drop interest rates to nearly zero in real terms and pump up the goverment spending to try to avoid a deflationary spiral. If that resulted in a declining dollar, well so much the better for US production.

    The main concern that I have is that, now that Japan is reflating and it looks like the structural deflation in the economy is lessening (although the China effect is still a major issue), we could place ourselves in a situation where uncontrolled spending creates a debt crisis.

    Proverbial out of the frying pan and into the fire, wouldn't you say?
  5. The gold standard was in place during world war II but there was huge deficit spending so I don't think this would work. You can see some good charts here: http://traxel.com/deficit/

    Cash, those are all great ideas but how do we get congress to pass them. Although it is definitely in the best interest of US citizens it is not in the best interest of the 535 who make the rules. For example, instituting term limits won't buy them any votes and will put them out of a job.
  6. "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship."
    -- Alexander Tyler
  7. Like people voting for [more] tax cuts while the federal budget deficit is ballooning and we're at war financed by China.
  8. There is some controversy over whether that quote is real. http://www.snopes.com/politics/quotes/tyler.asp

    However, I do believe democracy only has a chance to succeed when combined with a small government. In a large government such as the US minority special interest constantly get laws passed ion their favor that reduces the freedom of the majority until nobody is truly free anymore.

    However that doesn't answer the question, How do we get them to fix it?
  9. m22au


    You're mixing up cause and effect. The decline in equities in 2000-2002 ('dot bomb crash') was a partial cleansing of the excesses brought about by the debt crisis and excessive supply of money and credit that developed in the 1990s.

    The decline in the Fed Funds rate over the past few years only delayed the day of reckoning.
  10. Budgets that have incentives to promote efficient operation...not budgets that cause the administrator to try and break them, to get a bigger allocation on the next budget...

    Let Arnold have at it...or Ross Perot...

    People with money, know how to keep money...especially the ones like Arnold with humble beginnings

    Michael B.
    #10     Feb 19, 2006