If you were King for a day, what elements of of the U.S. Constitution amd its Amendments would you want to see deleted, repealed, added, or mofified to make it fit more to the way the SIGNERS of the Constitution intended it to mean, given their philosophical druthers and not the political realities of the day?
If they were able to have seen the fights to take place in the future I think they would have:
1. Added an enumerated power that said something like "to provide for each citizen and any Public or Private a basic protection against infirmity, harm and invasion by foreign and domestic entities."
2. Move the Forteenth Amendment to on of the first Ten, which would have politically killed any chance at ratification, I know, as the conservatives would have killed it, and modified it to read in part " ... nor shall any State or legal Entity deprive ..."
3. Change the authority of the President of the Senate to allow that office to force a vote on the Senate floor on a bill if it is being stopped by paramentary meanes, unless 1) a simple majority vote overrules him or her, 2) there was bi-partisan support in preventing the bill from moving forward in the first place, or 3) the mechanism for preventing the vote from taking place is still be being used, e.g., the fillabuster is still taking place on the floor of the Senate.
I hope that I am not coming across as a sycophant but I think that the US Constitution is the best in the world. I am not entirely sure that the Commerce Clause is free from abuse by the state. However I love the freedom of speech, separation of powers, disestablishment of the church and individual freedom. I only wish they could export it to Africa.
Perhaps they could include a clause that protects all Civil Rights bearing in mind that the USA has changed a lot since these laws were enacted. To me the USA is the greatest nation on earth and I dread the day when the Communists become superpowers (now taking off my tin foil hat) LOL.
You write with wisdom and I thank you. America bashing is quite popular among certain Americans and it's nowhere near as "hip" and "nonconformist" as they think.
The US Constitution and the US are probably the most perfect things imperfect Man has ever created. I wouldn't change a thing in our Constitution; there is no need. Simple regular laws will do.
Awesome response ! thank you for pointing out something that even Americans have forgotten !
I'd get rid of the 2nd amendment. Then I'd add the right to health care for all citizens, paid for through a national health system, and low-cost health care for non-citizens. I'd add protection of abortion rights. I'd extend the 5th & 6th amendments to require due process regardless of the crime or where it was committed (to nullify situations like Gitmo). I'd add an amendment specifically to protect privacy. And last but not least, I'd legalize marijuana.
Adding protections to voting rights to prevent stuff like voter ID laws (which were passed to prevent people from voting, NOT to prevent all but non-existent voter fraud). I might also lower the voting age to 16. I figure if you can work and pay taxes, you should be allowed to vote on them.
You forgot to add the part about the government guaranteeing every citizen and resident non-citizen a government supported "living-wage" income that included enough for two weeks vacation per year, free internet and cell phone service.
And of course a respectable home to live in, car to drive, and curb-side trash pick-up.
And why 16? Some kids get jobs at 11 or 12, so if they work and pay taxes - let them vote too.
And you are right about the voter ID laws too, think how much easier and democratic elections would be if we just opened the voting booth to all, and just counted bodies - warm or cold. Mexico, China and Iran could even open up new tourist markets with free "Vote in the USA" cruises, excursions, and vacation packages.
Voting seemed to work fine before we had these laws. How rampant was voter fraud before? It wasn't. Preventing large blocks of certain types of people from voting IS a problem, and it has been documented Ohio in 2004 and Florida in 2000. I'd be very interested to hear about any cases of voter fraud that were in numbers large enough to actually affect an election.
I don't know what state you live in, but in mine, 12-year-olds can't legally work.
"I'd get rid of the 2nd amendment."
You might as well throw out the Constitution all together once you get rid of the Second Amendment because that's exactly what the powers that be would do shortly thereafter. Once they got our guns, there would be no stopping them.
Of course, judging from some of your posts I've read, I don't think you would have a problem with that either.
I agree with that. Thank goodness there are still enough Americans who understand that cardboard signs and petition.org are not what protect our freedoms. Keep spreading the word.
If you have to ask, you wouldn't understand and, to be honest, I don't think you'd try.
Some people just don't like guns because they're afraid of them, have never had the need for them, or both.
Actually, I am a gun owner, but I don't subscribe to the paranoid delusion that our guns are the only thing protecting us from the big, bad government. There are many other countries (most, actually) that severely restrict gun ownership, and they aren't dictatorships, they don't have tanks in the streets, they aren't under martial law. One might consider them more democratic than the US, even.
I don't "subscribe to the paranoid delusion that our guns are the only thing protecting us from the big, bad government" either, TS. But my trust of our government doesn't amount to much. That applies to whichever side is in office but especially the present administration. I just don't believe repealing the Second Amendment or any other governmental gun control is a good idea.
Simply put, the only gun control I like is when I'm the one holding the gun.
This is my favorite topic. Top three changes would be as follows:
First, promote the Enumerated Powers Act from a House Resolution to a Constitutional requirement for both houses, so that all laws created by the House and Senate show their traceability to the Constitution, BEFORE they become law. This would be one small step towards preventing an attitude in Congress of "We have the powers so we can do what we want. What are you going to do about it?"
Second, repeal the 17th Amendment and give the States power over the Senators that are supposed to be representing them. As it stands today, the Health Care Bill is the one notable example where a relatively small number of Senators misrepresented their States and chose to represent for their party instead. Twenty two misrepresented States chose to sue to overturn Health Care. Lawsuits would not have been needed if those Senators had not held with the party attitude "what are you going to do about it?”
Third, add an amendment to prevent creation an Elite government social class that has different laws from the average American. “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States”.
I have hubs that present a few suggestions for additional Constitutional amendments.
What is really sad though is that we have such weak leaders in the executive as well as legislative branch, that there is little alternative but to change the Constitution rather than rely on statesmanship or backbone, in order to get the job done.
I know it is a little late but I would have added two items.
1.term limits for Congress ans 2. A balanced budget amendment.
Term limits are not needed if you eliminated gerrymandering and go to a California open primary. IMO you don't want to throw the baby (experience) out with the bath water. I for one don't want to see a Congress made up of a bunch of first graders.
Mechanically, a BBA would strangle the nation and make permanent the stagnation in Congress.
Strip it all away and provide one axiom:
No man or woman shall aggress against another's life, speech or property.
That's very good but wait until the lawyers start their work on it. The exemptions could turn the law on its head. I think something in the region of 10 fundamental rules would do very well. Unfortunately the state tends to 'de-classify' its personality as a collection of individuals. It then becomes some giant network with no individual responsibility. You only have to look at the mess that Rupert Murdoch has been doing in the UK with virtually no major political party standing up to him.
So if I disagree with this would I be agressing against your speech?
Then what happens when this axiom is broken? In order to enforce it, you'd have to break it.
In any activity, no man or woman have a right to discriminate and to have preferences to ignore others based on races, religion, gender, disability,
Hmm maybe I should have someone with better interpretation .
I would not change the Constitution at all, except, I would like top see wording making Government employees responsible for any Laws they break. Whether this be on an individual level or a group level, if they violate a Law, they are punished!
You make it even, RB. Half the people posting here so far about our Constitution aren't even Americans.
You're right. There's no need to change but rather add to our Constitution and I like your idea. Of course, you do realize if we actually held government employees accountable there would be a need for one HUGE prison just outside D.C.
Right now yes, we could fill up many prisons. Once a government worker is aware that they will be held before the public and punished for their actions, they would learn to abide by the same rules as the rest of us. One generation!
Interesting that the thread's biggest gun supporter is also its biggest supporter of prisons - with a (not surprisingly) strong xenophobic tendency to generalize how American a participant is based on their profile picture. Thanks for protecting our rights Mr Gun Toting Macho Patriot...
I don't know if I'm the biggest gun supporter on the thread but, if I am, I'll take that "label" with pride, Peter. And, if we had more prisons where we locked more of the animals of society up and left them there, people like me would have less of a need to personally carry a gun. Whether your or others have a problem with me carrying a gun matters not to me in the least.
At the time I made the above remark that you decided to comment on, Peter, I went back and looked at the profiles of the ones who had posted so far. Half of them weren't from the United States. Perhaps if you'd done your own research, you'd known that as well. Of course we wouldn't want a thing like knowing what you're talking about BEFORE you type a response to stand in the way. Would we?
As for my photo, it is not of me, Peter. It's a portrait I did of my oldest son in his re-enactment outfit portraying an 18th century longhunter. Even so, it's not surprising how someone such as yourself with such strong, xenophobic tendencies to generalize how a person thinks solely based on their profile picture could make such a statement.
There's a an old saying, Peter. "It's best to keeps ones mouth shut and only be thought a fool than open it and remove all doubt." I'm paraphrasing, of course, but I think you get my drift.
You have a nice day, Peter. I know I will.
The U.S. Constitution was written back when we were a fraction of the nation that we are today, but our forefathers had uncanny foresight. Maybe it was because of their understanding of human rights. I know, only white males were considered human at the time (blacks, Native Americans and all women were either property or aliens). But I think we have remedied that, except it was too late for my Native American ancestors as there are very few or no full-bloods left. I think that all bases were adequately covered, and that any tinkering with our Constitution would only weaken it.
The two most important changes to the Constitution I would want are:
An amendment insuring that free speech is applied to individual human beings only, as the spirit of the Constitution meant (and I'm totally supporting that movement). Free speech is being manipulated wildly on a daily basis by cynical businesses, in buying elections, in lobbying and in a thousand other ways.
I would also add the equal rights amendment.
You're probably thinking of the Citzen's United case.
I had a very strong, angry reaction against it when I first heard about it, but after reading more...I'm not sure anymore. Maybe it was right. It says that individuals have free speech and groups of individuals in the form of corporations do too.
But corporations have far too much power and I can see that reasonable, freedom-loving people can differ on this issue.
Retire the whole thing into history and create a new Constitution to reflect what is needed today not years ago.
Why, if the people want to alter the document, there is specific instructions on how to do so?
The Progressives and Communists among us want to destroy this country from within. Doing away with our Constitution as these people want to do would be, in their minds, the final nail in the coffin.
The document has a historical perspective dating back to the Magna Carta. I think it is great that individuals have an opportunity to voice their opinions. revealing our character with every post.
Are you calling those who actually signed the Constitution, communists, Longhunter? Compared to those who refused to sign it, walked out of the convention or worked against ratification (most of them your political forefathers) they were progressives. Go figure.
Don't try putting words in my mouth, ME. Of course I'm not calling any of our Founding Fathers Communists. They were progressive in their thinking that we didn't have to live under the tyranny of a king a few of thousand miles away. The progressives of today are a different breed, wishing to change this country into a Socialist state, most of all, the current occupier of the office of the POTUS.
I'm not. I just drew a logical conclusion from the words you used. They were progressive in exactly the same way Abraham Lincoln was progressive, Theodore Roosevelt was Progressive, John Kennedy was progressive, Bill Clinton was progressive, and Barack Obama is progressive. They all believed in basically the same things, then and now.
To me, there's a huge difference in being progressive in one's thinking to try to make things better but working within the framework set forth by our Founding Fathers verses the Progressives that are of a Socialist mindset such as, IMHO, Barack Obama.
There is not a thing socialist in Obama's political make-up, any more than there is National Socialist (Nazi) in Romney's. The fact that conservatives don't think the phrase "provide for the General Welfare" is anything more than a hollow phrase devoid of all meaning while progressives put a lot of stock in it, doesn't make progressives socialists or communists.
If you notice, most of my changes go directly to the heart of that phrase, as do many of the suggestions you see posted here. What progressives believe is that the federal government has an obligation to protect the rights of people of this country to live a tranquill and happy life, free from the coersive power of both governmental and non-governmental forces more powerful than them, which is a lot more than just providing for a national defense which is all conservatives see the federal government useful for.
Care to explain how Obama is a socialist? Might you be thinking of the handout to insurance companies that is the individual mandate? The same individual mandate that the Republicans came up with back in the '90s?
Longhunter, I just love your tolerant and literate attitude. It's always a pleasure to see open minds and thoughtful perspectives expressed.
I've gotta say I agree, and I don't know how anyone could misinterpret your words. You don't want the Constitution or our country destroyed.
It was written I think back in 1787? Society as we know it today, was a whole lot different back then. I seriously doubt they were thinking about issues we would face today. They were addressing issues of the that time period.
That is why using their wisdom, the authors made sure there was a way to amend it if necessary.
I would definitely like to see legislators terms shortened. It seems it would be more beneficial to all if we rotated some of them.
Do you mean shorten the two-year term down to one?
Now that's a though - not so much cut their term, but limit the number of terms they can serve, just like the POTUS is limited.
The idea of term limits has been talked about for decades. It's not going to happen as long as the people that would be limited are the ones voting to make it so.
Would we not need a Constitutional Amendment setting term limits on Congress?
That one, I actually agree with, although my terms are probably longer than most on the right would like for I believe there is value in legislative experience. For me, I would feel comfortable at 15 House terms and 5 Senate terms.
If they want to stay in government longer, they can run for President or the other House.
I'm not sure about 15 and 5 as that would put them in office for 30 years. I can understand your reasoning on experience but that would make them career politicians.
I would say 5, maybe 10, for the House and 3 for the Senate. I really don't like people like Reid, Pelosi and Kennedy being career politicians. They loose the perspective of the ordinary citizen. And, no, I'm not just thinking of Dems. I'm not real happy with Alexander from my state of TN either.
If it was me, I'd of written the title as:
Let's give our politicians more stuff in the constitution to ignore, What Would You Change in Today's Constitution and Its Amdendments?
This concludes my civil rights rant for the day.
I would amend the First Amendment as follows: "Congress and [States] shall make no law respecting the establishment of any religion, [or take any action whatsoever to favor one religion over another], or prohibit the free exercise thereof: ...
I would modify 2nd amendment in some way. The founders could not have conceived of a world with machine guns, rocket launchers and land mines. The right to bear arms can be maintained, but it cannot be a free-for-all.
I would enhance the 1st amendment by making it clear that protection of religious freedom requires that the government not be influenced by any particular religion. Right now it is a one-way street--government cannot impact religion. Logic tells us that this requires the inverse--that religion cannot impact government. But still extra constitutional protection would help sort out a lot of misunderstandings on that point.
I would also abolish the electoral college, so that the popular vote was the only game in town. And probably abolish the office of the Vice President too, which serves no real purpose other than to enhance the prestige and glory of the Presidency.
In my wildest dreams, I sometimes imagine abolishing the Presidency altogether. When you think about it, the President serves no real purpose other than to start wars, give empty speeches and annoy people. Supposedly the President is the leader of the executive branch. But the President himself does not actually execute any laws; it's the various departments and agencies which are either under the sway of the legislature, or could be made so. If we were to abolish the Presidency, we would have much fewer wars and much less of a cult-like figurehead-based politics.
As a final note, I think it's unfortunate that so many in the US have sought to use the constitution for various minor political points--Prohibition of alcohol being the ultimate example, but gay marriage being the most recent one.
You make some extremelt interesting points although I think you will find some of them will ultimately lead you to places your really didn't intend to go. I agree with you whole-heartedly on your comment regarding the Second Amendment, but not about the Presidency.
There are many good reasons the Executive Branch is there, the primary one is to act as a check on the Legislature and another is to be the face of America to the rest of the world. To fight wars effectively, and whether you like it or not, we have to fight in some, you need a civilian leader for the military to report to and someone who can make quick decisions. The legislature, by design, makes very slow decisions, if you haven't noticed.
I worked for the Executive Branch in my civilian career in the Dept of the AF, and let me tell you, Congress was not our friend, lol, we took our orders, as did all of the other Departments, from the President. As to the cult like figure, yes some are, like Ronald Reagan, but, some aren't, like Jimmy Carter. Some control Congress, like Lyndon Johnson, for some, Congress controlled them ... Harry Truman's last two years. It all changes over time.
I certainly think we need an executive branch, but I have my doubts about a "President." In parliamentary systems the executive leader (Prime Minister) is chosen from the legislative branch. He does not enjoy an entire branch of government all to himself. This creates much more skepticism toward him and much more humbleness on his part. He is also far more accountable to the people, through their representatives.
I'm not too concerned about a face to the rest of the world--Congress can simply designate a friendly, leggy individual who just goes around wining and dining world leaders if necessary. We already have an office for the Secretary of State.
A civilian leader for the military can come from many sources--a hypothetical Prime Minister, the Speaker of the House, a civilian Secretary of Defense, etc.
The constitution gives Congress alone the power to declare war. The slowness of Congress when it comes to war is a good thing, not a bad thing. It's unfortunate that recent Presidents have tried to circumvent Congressional approval in the effort to speed up war.
Most short-term *defensive* security measures can be handled by military leaders who are sworn to defend the people anyway. And again, we could have civilian military leaders as mentioned above.
I think as the political parties have grown in power the so-called "check" between the Congress and the President has become more and more of a fantasy. The real check exists between the 2 political parties, not between the executive and legislative branches. If the two branches are controlled by different parties, then great. But if they are controlled by the same party--so much for the check.
So it's a crapshoot. Not very reliable for something supposed to be guaranteed by the constitution.
Good response for most, if not all, is reasonable.
In the system you describe, the people have no say in who there leader is, it is chosen for them by the party they put in power, that is the parlamentary system they have in England. It goes even further, the people don't even have a say in who their representatives are, only the party that represents them; the party does everything else. Personally, I don't like that system.
In fact, America was sort of like that originally, the President was not directly elected by the people nor was the Senate. Only the House of Representatives were.
As to the Executive - Legislative check and balance, it is very alive and well. The most recent example is Obamacare. Obama wanted, very badly, quick passage of this bill, his super-majority Democratic Congress simply wasn't in a mood to go along; just as they weren't for Bill Clinton. In fact, it is rare, that Congress rubber-stamps any president.
Further, the veto is an extremely powerful check against an overbearing Congress, especially one where the Congress is trying to make "tyranny of the majority" the law of the land and there have been several instances when presidents have vetoed bills of their own party. In addition, the ability to appoint members to the Supreme Court is another exquisitly marvalous check the founders gave to the executive branch.
Somebody has to set the Grand Military Strategy, and, believe it or not, that is fundamentally a political strategy. It first and foremost has to satisfy the political goals of the nation as described in its National Security Objectives. That somebody cannot be a committee, which is essentially what the Congress is, nor can it be an appointee. It has to be the elected leader of the nation in consulation with his or her advisors and Congress.
I didn't say I support the British system. You can still have a parliamentary system where the representatives are elected as individuals, not by party. The point is that there are other options, perfectly viable.
But... they passed Obamacare. In fact the Democrats worked painstakingly to overcome Republican opposition in both the House and Senate, and they got it done. That was Pelosi and Reid. Perfect example of policy being made by political party.
Sure, there are occasional examples of Congressional party members disagreeing with their President. But rare. It stands to reason that members of a party have similar ideological and political goals.
Why do we need a "Grand Military Strategy"? Are we trying to take over the world? Lol. But seriously, as long as American borders are being defended, we're good. In fact it is precisely the overbearing Presidency of the late 20th and early 21st centuries, preoccupied with its "legacy," that has produced one unnecessary war after another, leading to many American soldiers dead, and stoking a massive debt that threatens to ruin this country. No thanks!
I will give you the tyranny of the majority, I agree with that. But the thing is, if the President is elected by a majority of the people, he is a reflection of that majority anyway. The real check on the tyranny of the majority comes from the unelected courts, who do not answer to the people. And that is an essential institution.
The founders created 3 branches, two elected, and one unelected. They were all supposed to check and balance each other. The system has changed. It turns out that elections put the President and Congress in the same political, corruptible, power-hungry boat.
I think we could get by without a President. Most of the actual executive branch is already unelected anyway (i.e. the department and agency heads). And the legislative and judicial branches can check each other just fine. The Presidency has become too dictatorial and with too much concentrated power, that any benefits are more and more outweighed by the costs.
A couple of corrections first. The founders provided only for the election of the House of Representatives. The President, Supreme Court, and the Senate were appointed by others, either the president or the States. Constitutional Amendents changed that.
I would have to check, but I don't think the Founders created very many executive offices; State, Treasury, Navy, War, maybe, if those. It was the President who created his, at that time, own cabinet which became the various Departments and Agencies that execute the laws Congress passes.
And yes, I realized you weren't necessarily proposing an English-style parlamentary system, just pointing it out and that this was they way we really started out. In fact, under Washington, there were no parties, on purpose, he didn't think there should be.
Now, let me ask:
Do you think America can exist safely inside its own borders regardless of what is happening ourside them? For example, in the 1960s, Russia is being successful in its quest to dominate the world..
Who is the single indifivdual going to be that is going to be responsible for the coordinated activities and setting of the vision and goals of all Departments and Agents of the Executive Branch?
Who is te single individual who will set the vision and mission of America or do you think America should simply meander leaderless?
Exactly how are the actions of the Legislative Branch to be "checked" without a Presidential veto?
What about a chief executive that circumvents Congress like a dictator? Do you think our impotent Congress will lift a finger to stop him? All this to try and increase his voter base!
Obama, DHS bypass Congress, stop deporting illegals under 30
http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/15/obama … anic-vote/
It all depends on the Congress. If Bush hadn't lied to the Congress, or Congress hadn't been so gulible as to buy into his falsehoods, we would they would have never given him the authority he needed to go into Iraq.
There is only so much a President can do, as Obama is finding out. He would like to do many things which the conservatives are refusing to let him do regarding the economy; much to the detriment of the American people.
President Barack Obama is using his control over government agencies to establish a semi-amnesty for younger illegal immigrants, even though the nation’s youth unemployment rate is already at a record level.
The new policy was announced as polls showed that Obama’s re-election campaign is losing ground in critical states, including Wisconsin, North Carolina and Florida.
Obama’s campaign deputies have frequently said that the Hispanic vote is critical to their success in several swing-states, such as Florida, Colorado and North Carolina.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/06/15/obama … z1xsumlDIj
He is conducting himself using his Official power to help his reelection chances! Outside the Law! Abuse of power!
The legislative branch is checked by the judicial branch. The Presidential veto is no longer a viable check because the Presidency is now subject to the same political forces as the legislature. Also the state governments provide a check in various ways, but that's another issue. If, say, the state governors elected the President instead, that might be a different story.
Presidents created various federal departments, but they required the approval of Congress. Voila, it all goes back to Congress once again.
Now, to your questions:
"Do you think America can exist safely inside its own borders regardless of what is happening ourside them?"
The US will always need to intervene militarily in other regions for various purposes. But the question is, is the bias in favor of more intervention or less? Until the end of WWII, the bias was for less. The US still intervened successfully in WWI, but it got out right away. After WWII the US was permanently in the world, and that's when all this trouble started--an unconcluded war in Korea that has now spawned a (likely) nuclear power, a debacle in Vietnam, endless blind support for Israel, half-baked adventures in Afghanistan, etc, etc.
Regarding the USSR, note that for all America's military operations, ultimately it was the soft stuff--propaganda, radio, movies, diplomacy (i.e. "Tear down this wall"), clandestine support for anti-communist movements--that weakened the USSR from the inside and ultimately led to its downfall. It wasn't the high-grade military operations.
"Who is the single indifivdual going to be that is going to be responsible for the coordinated activities and setting of the vision and goals of all Departments and Agents of the Executive Branch?"
You are assuming we need a single individual for this. Why? The President is just one person. 99% of the government runs on autopilot without him, based on precedent, existing laws, Congressional action, and social capital.
Indeed, many government workers report that "cleaning house" every 4 to 8 years creates significant inefficiencies and operational challenges. Every President wants a legacy, wants to "shake things up" and wants to leave his mark. The same syndrome is seen in the corporate world with new CEOs, by the way.
The existence of the Presidency inherently fertilizes more bureaucracy and a gradual expansion of the federal gov't over time, from Bush's "faith-based initiatives" to Obama's government-sponsored health insurer.
"Who is te single individual who will set the vision and mission of America or do you think America should simply meander leaderless?"
The vision and mission of America was already established over 200 years ago: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There's no improving on that. Everything else is just administration and technocracy.
There are many leaders in America. Business leaders, cultural leaders, and political leaders in the Congress and at the state level.
Don't worry, somebody will always grab the spotlight. Probably the Speaker of the House or the Senate majority leader.
Phew, long comment.
Yeah, these kinds of issues "are" quite complex because there are so many ways of looking at things. Let me address just your last point for now because I think it will be the shortest.
In this since, the United States is not much different than any very large corporation that has been around for a very long time. A corporation has a CEO, a Board of Directors, and a large set of Vice Presidents and Cxx of one sort or another (COOs, CIOs, CFOs, etc) The CEO, is like the President, of course, and the Board might be equivalent to the Supreme Court, the Shareholders might be considered Congress. The VPs and Cxx's would be your Executive branch. When this corporation was established 200 years ago, it had an initial charter that gave it a mission and goal which was executed by all involved and was wildly successful.
What I think you just told me was that you can go ahead and get rid of the CEO (and save $100,000,000/year while your at it), and the corporation will run just fine, thank you, and be just as wildly successful on into the future for the next 200 years.
Hmm, not quite. The way a corporation works is the CEO/ management is designated by the Board, which is in turn elected by the shareholders. If the CEO is the equivalent of the President of the US, then the Board would be the "people" who elect or designate him. That's obviously not how it works.
If the shareholders are considered the "legislature," then the CEO cannot be the "President," and the Board cannot be considered the "judicial branch."
My model would be, the shareholders as the citizens of the country (the ones with real "ownership"), who elect a Congress (the Board of Directors), which in turn designates executive functions (the CEO and management). The judicial branch would be an auditing committee or in-house legal counsel or a consulting/ accounting firm that is designated by the Board (not by management).
This analogy is flawed, but fitting because CEOs have become controversial in recent years. Issues of executive pay, do they actually generate any value, etc.
Although the CEO is called an "executive," modern CEOs have actually increasingly engaged in legislative functions (just like the US President!). Boards that were supposed to oversee them today are just on the sidelines rubber stamping and apologizing for him (and the CEO is often himself Chairman of the Board).
So if you get rid of a CEO altogether, you would still have management and executive officers, but the Board would be forced (as it should) to take a more active role setting company policy. You would not have $100 million egos with golden parachutes trying to "shake things up" and leave a legacy. Just shareholder value.
Indeed, just as Congress has become weaker and the Presidency stronger over the years, corporate boards have become weaker and the CEO has become all-powerful.
But again, the analogy is flawed because a corporation seeks to constantly increase profit, whereas a country seeks to maintain its freedom and security. Increase versus maintenance.
Well, damn, you beat me on that, I agree, and what's more, your model is a pretty good one; I should have taken more time to think that one through. I won't conceed one point, however, my main one, in that a CEO, an effective one, is critical to the success of a company.
Several studies have shown, of which I read one turned into a book, (Good to Great by Jim Collins) where he studied over 1400 companies that existed over 40 years and found the following. Those that made it Great, "and stayed there for long periods of time" had effective CEOs with certain characteristics, which I won't get into. Those that didn't, had the kinds of CEOs which you just mentioned, most where flash-in-the-pans; some just didn't get anywhere at all. Those who had ineffective CEOs, equivalent to no leader at all, went BK. America has had its share of each.
I am not sure why I didn't mention this to begin with, but America did have your kind of executive branch once, meaning none, with the Continental Congress. It had a few other flaws though as well.
It's true; a great genius CEO is better than a humble technocrat. And both are better than an ineffective, destructive CEO.
The same applies in the political realm. A benevolent dictator will do much better for a country than a leader who has to answer to popular opinion. The question is, how do you pick a dictator who will be benevolent? Nobody can predict the future. Germans thought Hitler would be great, that's why they gave him total power. We all know how that turned out.
Indeed, George Washington can be thought of as a benevolent dictator. He simply chose to step down after 4 years, for example. The Founders in general were benevolent oligarchs.
I'm exaggerating of course just to demonstrate the point. You're not advocating actual dictatorship.
But if we could design a system that would more or less guarantee a genius demigod for President, that would change things. Surely, America would grow by leaps and bounds.
But we can't. Humans are flawed. The Presidency and the selection process have become more harmful than helpful, in my opinion. We have now a system where a flawed human has the powers of a demigod.
Now, you should know that I never said to abolish the executive branch. I already said that is not what I'm talking about. You conflate the executive branch with the office of the Presidency unnecessarily.
I believe I would write in Healthcare for all and use the frivolous money we spend on executive offices and furnishings for it. I certainly would never think when it was written they thought some people someday would be spending thousands per month for healthcare, nor leaving the country for medical services, other than that I think its perfection.
Would you rather have senators and congressmen staying for 20 or 30 years and spending most of their calendar fund raising?
A BBA will force our government to live within its means just like the rest of us.
The deficit spending spree is what's keeping us down and putting a burden on future generations.
That is the point of no gerrymandering and CA-style open primaries; that will reduce the chance of that happening with those who shouldn't be there that long. And to your question directly ... yes, I would like to see some Senators (Senators rarely spend most of their time campaigning, btw) and Representatives with a lot of experience in the job (why don't they replace CEOs, CFOs, COOs, or, for that matter, production line workers every two years?), some congresspeople with a moderate amount of experience, and some with little experience. Should the Constitution have been written by people in their first or second term?
And that is the problem, a BBA will "force", even when that would be disastrous to the safety of the nation. BTW, are you telling me most Americans pay off their loans a year after they are made and their credit cards every month? I don't think so.
So, you are telling me that all during the '60s, '70s, '90s, and even the '80s (where deficit spending by America was the catalyst that brought down the Soviet Union and allowed America to win the cold war, i.e., where do you think Reagan got his money to force the Soviet Union into bankruptcy?)
Do you feel "kept down and burdened" by the even larger, in constant dollars, deficit and debt Reagan ran up? I don't.
So by your logic, the same people who have experience writing laws are the ones that gave us the ACA, a 2000+ page monstrosity that was incomprehensible and had multiple court challenges...
I think the term limit will provide the framework where politicians will change their behavior and not focus of re-election but on getting things done and make an impact on the people who elected them. Their motivation will be different and serving in Congress should be a privilege and then go back to their home state and private sector.
With regard to the BBA, you make a good point where some deficit spending can be advantageous in some circumstances. I would include wars and major natural disasters in the same category. However, those would be the exception but not the rule. Right now, we have deficit spending going out of control with no checks. It is so easy to spend other peoples money. Let the future generation be damned.
Why is it that the size of a document is a testament to its worth? Its worth, it would seem to me, ought to derived from its substance and its substance is what catches America up with the rest of the industrialized world relative to health care.
Once again it takes the Democrats to bail the country out of an economic nightmare caused by Conservative economic policies. Kennedy-Johnson did after Eisenhower's two recessions, then it went to hell in a hand basket during Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and H.W. Bush (Carter had n o time to do anything about the economy) except for a brief period of 1983 - 1986. Then Clinton drug us out of those doldrums only to have W. Bush put us back in. Now President Obama is getting close to breaking the record of the longest period of stained growth America has ever seen. Oh yes, I forgot to mention FDR pulling us out of the debacle caused by conservative economic policies in the years before 1929.
Clinton brought the deficit down from what the Conservatives left him and now Obama is doing the same. assuming the conservatives don't do (or by simply not doing anything as they are now) anything to screw it up again.
I agree the size of a legislation by itself is not an indicator of how poorly it is written. Did you read it? I tried to and I could not make sense out of it and I have a Master Degree.
On the economy, did you missed the 18 trilion dollar debt that we are living under and the debt ceiling is about to be raised again? If you think the economy is doing great now, you are in the minority. The federal reserve has artificially kept interest rate at zero for the last 6 years. That is the soul reason the stock market is pumped up. By every other indicator, our economy is stagnant and heading south again. The current afministration has tear up the Constitution with its executive actions. Show me where in the Constitution a President can re-write existing laws and pick and choose the law he wants to enforce.
Not the whole thing but those provisions I was interested in, so that would be abut 1/2 of it. But, have you read even the short ones? The language makes my eyes water.
Yes, the Fed as done that as part of its monetary policy mandate. But that is not the "sole" reason the market is up. The MAIN reason are the several years of record corporate profits. The indicators I look at tell a different story; I consider the change in unemployment and first time unemployment rates, the GDP and related indices, the housing market, the production indices, the stock market, and the like; they are all positive. What ones are you looking at.
I KNOW the economy is doing great and I also KNOW the top 2% are the only ones benefitting from it which is why most Americans think it isn't doing well ... where is the "trickle down" conservatives promised??
If the writers of the Constitution didn't want Executive Action, then that capability would have been left out or circumscribed by saying something like "The Executive Power, any use of which must be approved by Congress, is vested in the President of the United States." Instead, it says "The Executive Power is vested in the President of the United States." If fact, Executive orders are simply presidential directives issued to agents of the executive department by its boss and has been used from time to time by all presidents since George Washington. The biggest user of EOs is not President Obama but President Bush (in the last 15 years), Ronald Reagan (in the last 35 years), Dwight Eisenhower (in the last 65 years), Harry Truman (since I was born). But FDR holds the record with 3,522. Twenty-seven presidents have issued less EOs than Obama and 16 issued more. So it is hyperbole to accuse Obama of abusing EO power.
No, I didn't miss the $18T in debt, nor did I miss that the reason it is so high is 1) 9/11, 2) Bush tax cuts, 3) Afghan War (unavoidable), 4) Iraq War (unneeded), and before we forget, 5) the Great Recession of 2008 whose precursor was 2006 and real end is 2010 (a year after Obama took office).
So when did the recession ended in your opinion and how much debt was added since then by Obama?
Not to mention our unfunded liabilities of social security, medicare, medicaid...It is estimated that even if we could confiscate all the income of the top 1%, it would not pay for all the debt. I guess it will be paid by our kids and our grandlkids... It is so unfair.
The recession stopped getting worse in terms of job loss in January 2010. GDP gains, the general measure, hit their 2nd positive growth in July 2009, the official end. In terms of the cost of the recession, that became minimal in 2013 when poverty rates fell, for the first time since 2006, and extended unemployment benefits were not renewed by the GOP. In terms of getting back to normalcy, the unemployment rate finally dropped back to below 6% in late 2014 (1st time since 2006) and is now 5.1% and it took until 3Q 2011 for GDP topped the best Bush could do in 2006. What does this mean in an environment a constant decrease in domestic and military discretionary spending? It means that virtually EVERY DIME of the increase in debt and deficit was due to the Conservative recession.
They were saying that (our kids and grandkids paying for the debt) in 1990 to. It wasn't true then and it isn't true now. What is unfair is the flawed conservative economic program; that has hurt every generation when it failed to control bad economic times which would be pre-1940 and post-2000
"It wasn't true then and it isn't true now."
LOL Let's think about that. In 1990 the people borrowing were in their 40's and 50's (or older), "running" the country. They are now on SS, paying little or nothing while the debt has grown. Just who do you think is paying it now if not their kids? And it won't be paid off in their generation, either, leaving the grandkids to pay it.
We have indeed been spending the future of our kids and grandkids for a long time now, and there is no end in sight.
The current deficits are squarely on the shoulder of Obama and no one else. In fact, we have record revenue due to his tax increases and yet we are still spending more than we take in. How much more taxes is enough in your opinion? The entitlements are what is adding and increasing to the debt. The other discretionary spending is small. Another part of spending is the increase in government regulations and mandates. Our military spending has also been cut due to the sequester. The republican in congress are to blame for allowing this spending to go on unchecked. They have the power of the purse and choose not to exercise it. They have failed their Constitutional duty and that is why I support term limits.
My esoteric, In recent years, I would estimate post the Reagan president terms, our country have been run by elites who have a hold on both parties. It is not a Democrat vs. Republicans but the elites vs the middle class. They have both governed in a way contrary to what the people want. The elections seems to not matter. No matter who got elected, they all end up growing government and debt. I am a Conservative and I believe this is by design. The elites create this false scenario and pit the people against each other (divide and conquer) and we are falling for it. Our discussion here and others on Hubpages is a prime example of this. I believe you are honest and believe what you say but the facts and history does not pan out. This is also reflected in your believe that Conservative policies are responsible for our current demise. The fact is, Liberal progressive policies have governed us since 2008. Prior to that, conservatives have not been in control in the Bush years. Conservatives have had many issues against the Bush policies including immigration and deficit spending and expansion of the senior prescription drug... Your analysis of who is responsible is faulty. It took me a long time to realize this "truth" about the elites. That is why term limits may put a dent on their strangle hold on our public officials. Unfortunately money talks and it is plenty in Washington DC.
This might be true in "Republican Pretend Land" but it's absolutely Inaccurate in the REAL Tangible World ~
Here is the record revenue in 2015 and deficit still continuing...
https://www.rt.com/usa/315299-record-ta … e-deficit/
How much is enough?
Who started this? Jeb Bush's Imbecile brother George W when he immediately flipped an enormous SURPLUS that President Clinton left him into an IMMEDIATE DEFICIT of TRILLIONS after giving OUR Wealth Away to the TOP 1 % Greedy Americans ~ Billionares & Wall Street Criminals gained an IMMEDIATE BENEFIT from the BUSH family, while Millions of Americans still could not attain a Basic Right, Health Insurance ~
So, now that the republicans Paved the Way to this Deficit, you would have to agree your Republican Cohorts are simply NOT telling the Truth when promising LOWER Taxes for Americans during campaign season right??
P.S. ~ Predient Obama has already taken a big bite out this Deficit by Signing a Multiple Year Spending Cut Package of Approximately 1.2 Trillion ~ What did George W Bush ever do other than toss' back a few and play "Hide the Nuke & Mass Destruction Truth" from the public?? ~
Kennedy (D) balanced the budget, so he cared and found it being "enough". But did Nixon (R) or Ford (R), or Reagan (R) or H.W. Bush (R) or W Bush (R) (Carter, D, wasn't in office long enough to reduce the deficit; but I remember him trying in having gov't base their budgets on "zero-based" budget forecasts)?
Why is it ok for them to run Increasing deficits while Obama runs a Decreasing one?
How did Clinton do this "No matter who got elected, they all end up growing government and debt. "? I seem to remember Clinton lowering both the deficit and debt while Reagan, Bush, and Bush raised both.
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