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Thread: Obama seeks 'consolidation authority' to merge agencies

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    Re: Obama seeks 'consolidation authority' to merge agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Dickieboy View Post
    Oh, sorry you're right. BHO had absolute confidence in the proposal as an entire package he broke it into pieces and merely passed a few of the components.
    That's how the legislative process works. They sometimes break things up to get small, more urgent, parts though quicker. Sometimes they combine things from different proposals together for strategic reasons, etc. Anyways, I think you have pretty much conceded that the jobs act was all serious, reasonable, proposals. Maybe all of them won't eventually make it through, or maybe they will, but either way, they were all real proposals. That isn't the case with, for example, the BBA. The core provisions of the BBA were all things that absolutely everybody involved knew for a fact would never pass. There was a zero percent chance. Like if you were friends with somebody that worked for Obama and asked them "what do you think the odds are that the bulk of the provisions in the jobs act get based into law?" they would say maybe 50% or 70% or something like that. If you asked somebody that worked for Boehner off the record what they think the chances were that the bulk of provisions in the BBA would be added to the US constitution, they would definitely say 0%. Actual passage just wasn't their goal at all. Depending on how you look at it, they were "taking a principled stand" or "playing politics", but nobody thought it was going to actually happen.
    Last edited by teamosil; 01-14-12 at 03:40 PM.

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    Re: Obama seeks 'consolidation authority' to merge agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    That's how the legislative process works. They sometimes break things up to get small, more urgent, parts though quicker. Sometimes they combine things from different proposals together for strategic reasons, etc. Anyways, I think you have pretty much conceded that the jobs act was all serious, reasonable, proposals. Maybe all of them won't eventually make it through, or maybe they will, but either way, they were all real proposals.
    I have conceded that SOME are serious but ‘all’ as you claim is a dramatic overreach. While my research is not complete I have found very few of the items proposed in the ‘debt reduction plan’ that have been passed. So far it is like 10% (excluding the Budget Control bill items as they were passed prior to this plan), none of the tax reform items have passed. The infrastructure bank, transportation improvements, etal have not passed based on bipartisan objection.

    That isn't the case with, for example, the BBA. The core provisions of the BBA were all things that absolutely everybody involved knew for a fact would never pass. There was a zero percent chance.
    Thanks for your opinion but you must agree a certain portion of the electorate support a BBA. Even Tavis Smiley stated support of BBA on Hannity’s radio show last week. I'm sure you would agree that legislators fail in their duty to represent their constituents by not proposing their desires. As you said they break things/combine things…which is how legislation works.

    Like if you were friends with somebody that worked for Obama and asked them "what do you think the odds are that the bulk of the provisions in the jobs act get based into law?" they would say maybe 50% or 70% or something like that. If you asked somebody that worked for Boehner off the record what they think the chances were that the bulk of provisions in the BBA would be added to the US constitution, they would definitely say 0%. Actual passage just wasn't their goal at all. Depending on how you look at it, they were "taking a principled stand" or "playing politics", but nobody thought it was going to actually happen.
    Thank you for your conjecture. Now I know more about how you think…who is promoting conspiracy theories now?

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    Re: Obama seeks 'consolidation authority' to merge agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by Dickieboy View Post
    I have conceded that SOME are serious but ‘all’ as you claim is a dramatic overreach. While my research is not complete I have found very few of the items proposed in the ‘debt reduction plan’ that have been passed. So far it is like 10% (excluding the Budget Control bill items as they were passed prior to this plan), none of the tax reform items have passed. The infrastructure bank, transportation improvements, etal have not passed based on bipartisan objection.
    I'm sure that's true. That's a problem the Congress hasn't acted on yet. They couldn't even make an agreement in the super committee even with those penalties hanging over their heads. That doesn't mean every proposal was ridiculous. Eventually they will address the issue one way or another.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dickieboy View Post
    I'm sure you would agree that legislators fail in their duty to represent their constituents by not proposing their desires.
    Maybe this is where we disagree. I would definitely NOT agree with the idea that legislators have a duty to introduce legislation that their constituents want if they know it won't pass. I would say the opposite- that they have a duty to use the time that their constituents gave them in government as efficiently and effectively as possible to achieve actual results. For example, say that there is some policy where conservatives want 10 and liberals want 90 of something and currently we have 50. A responsible conservative legislator will propose a bill reducing the number of that thing by 5, heck maybe even 10, and fight to get that, where a responsible liberal legislator will propose increasing it by 5 or 10. But a conservative that proposes that we drop the number by 40- their ideal amount, or even 50- more than their ideal, or a liberal who does the same in reverse, is not being responsible, they're just trying to generate sound bites for their next campaign instead of governing. They're using the people's precious legislative time not to do anything that affects the people in any way, but instead using it to try to secure their own re-election.

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    Re: Obama seeks 'consolidation authority' to merge agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Maybe this is where we disagree. I would definitely NOT agree with the idea that legislators have a duty to introduce legislation that their constituents want if they know it won't pass. I would say the opposite- that they have a duty to use the time that their constituents gave them in government as efficiently and effectively as possible to achieve actual results. For example, say that there is some policy where conservatives want 10 and liberals want 90 of something and currently we have 50. A responsible conservative legislator will propose a bill reducing the number of that thing by 5, heck maybe even 10, and fight to get that, where a responsible liberal legislator will propose increasing it by 5 or 10. But a conservative that proposes that we drop the number by 40- their ideal amount, or even 50- more than their ideal, or a liberal who does the same in reverse, is not being responsible, they're just trying to generate sound bites for their next campaign instead of governing. They're using the people's precious legislative time not to do anything that affects the people in any way, but instead using it to try to secure their own re-election.
    What you describe here is business as usual in Washington. That's why we are where we are right now. That's why the Tea Party made a huge run, at the expense of the establishment GOP and left, into the House. In theory, your example sounds decent and fair. However, politicians never work the way you're describing. I'm sorry, but I have no trust, whatsoever, in the establishment GOP or the left. Their massive spending and irresponsible waste is what led us to this point.
    “Mr. Speaker, I once again find myself compelled to vote against the annual budget resolution for a very simple reason: it makes government bigger.” ― Ron Paul
    Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty. – Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Obama seeks 'consolidation authority' to merge agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    What you describe here is business as usual in Washington. That's why we are where we are right now. That's why the Tea Party made a huge run, at the expense of the establishment GOP and left, into the House. In theory, your example sounds decent and fair. However, politicians never work the way you're describing. I'm sorry, but I have no trust, whatsoever, in the establishment GOP or the left. Their massive spending and irresponsible waste is what led us to this point.
    Nonetheless, spending their time and energy proposing ideas that they know will never actually happen isn't going to change anything. If anything the radicalism of the tea party folks in the house have done more to prevent deficit reduction because they refuse to compromise, so compromise proposals to reduce the deficit can't make it through. Their insistence that 100% of the weight of the deficit be placed on the poor and middle class, and 0% on the military or rich is what has been stopping almost all of the attempts to reduce the deficit so far. IMO politics isn't about picking your ideal outcome and refusing to bend from that, it is about compromise.

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    Re: Obama seeks 'consolidation authority' to merge agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by rcart76 View Post
    So let me get this straight. Anything that Obama says or do, regardless of what party it favors you will b****.

    No, it's never smart to give ANY president that kind of power. Especially one who wishes to be king. So that he can "shrink" the government? My a$$.

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    Re: Obama seeks 'consolidation authority' to merge agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Nonetheless, spending their time and energy proposing ideas that they know will never actually happen isn't going to change anything. If anything the radicalism of the tea party folks in the house have done more to prevent deficit reduction because they refuse to compromise, so compromise proposals to reduce the deficit can't make it through. Their insistence that 100% of the weight of the deficit be placed on the poor and middle class, and 0% on the military or rich is what has been stopping almost all of the attempts to reduce the deficit so far. IMO politics isn't about picking your ideal outcome and refusing to bend from that, it is about compromise.
    Show me proof of your Occupy theory of the deficit being on the poor and middle class. Last time I checked, the military has been cut twice in 6months and is looking at a third cut when the failed super-committee automatic cuts go into effect. The military is taking their lumps, but organizations like the US Commission of Fine Arts are getting theirs. Yep, that makes sense.
    “Mr. Speaker, I once again find myself compelled to vote against the annual budget resolution for a very simple reason: it makes government bigger.” ― Ron Paul
    Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty. – Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Obama seeks 'consolidation authority' to merge agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    Show me proof of your Occupy theory of the deficit being on the poor and middle class.
    Sure. The Tea Party believes that we should close the deficit exclusively by cutting domestic spending, right? So, the biggest domestic spending areas, by far, are social security, medicare and education including student loans. So, if we cut social security, middle class people need to start, immediately, saving more for retirement. Whatever we cut out of social security costs middle class that amount same as if we taxed them that amount. Likewise with medicare. Medicare basically functions to subsidize medical costs for the elderly as a supplement to insurance. As medicare is cut, the cost of insurance goes up in proportion. Again, that is taking money out of the pockets of the middle class who need to pay more for their insurance. Likewise, as we cut subsidized student loans, that means that families need to save a little more each month for their kids' college and graduates need to use a bit more of their pay each month to pay back their student loans. In all those cases, the financial effect of domestic spending cuts are the same as if we left the programs alone and raised taxes on them by the same amount.

    To shrink the deficit we need to take the money from someone. Cutting domestic spending is the "make the middle class pay more" option. Tax increases on the rich are the "make the rich pay more" option. Military cuts are the only true "spend less" option. Cutting domestic spending doesn't actually reduce the amount we're spending as a country, it just shifts around who is paying for the stuff. People will still go to college, retirees will still retire, etc, so we aren't really cutting spending, we're just moving the costs for those things from the government to the people. That may be a good thing, but it isn't really the same as say a cut in military spending because if we cut military spending, as a nation as a whole we are actually spending less. Private individuals won't go around buying aircraft carriers to make up the difference, we'll just actually spend less on aircraft carriers.

    In my view, we need to spread the pain across all three areas. The middle class definitely does need to accept that they will have to pay for some things they didn't used to have to pay for. But, the rich also need to accept that their historically and internationally ultra-low tax rates are going to have to go back to the rates they paid in the 1990s. And, we all need to accept that we can't go on spending more on our military than the entire rest of the world combined spends on theirs. If we try to take $1.4 trillion a year from any one of those piles, it would be a disaster. That's just too much weight for any one of them to bear up under alone, but together, if we all pitch in, we can do it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    Last time I checked, the military has been cut twice in 6months and is looking at a third cut when the failed super-committee automatic cuts go into effect. The military is taking their lumps, but organizations like the US Commission of Fine Arts are getting theirs. Yep, that makes sense.
    You may know more about that than I do, but my understanding is that the cuts enacted so far are basically just starting to draw the military back down to the budget it had before the wars. Which, that is reasonable right? We don't want to keep spending wartime levels of money when there is no war going on. In fact, that's the explicit goal Obama has set. The clawback for the failure of the super committee, if that ever really happens, I agree that would be a meaningful cut, but personally I doubt that will really happen.
    Last edited by teamosil; 01-14-12 at 06:39 PM.

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    Re: Obama seeks 'consolidation authority' to merge agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    Sure. The Tea Party believes that we should close the deficit exclusively by cutting domestic spending, right? So, the biggest domestic spending areas..........
    I won't quote you whole post, just for the sake of keeping this post reasonably sized. There is A LOT of domestic spending we can cut. TSA, Obamacare, and the NLRB comes to mind. Various other spending programs come to mind. I'm not here to debate Obamacare with you. I will just say this was the wrong time to introduce it.


    Quote Originally Posted by teamosil View Post
    You may know more about that than I do, but my understanding is that the cuts enacted so far are basically just starting to draw the military back down to the budget it had before the wars. Which, that is reasonable right? We don't want to keep spending wartime levels of money when there is no war going on. In fact, that's the explicit goal Obama has set. The clawback for the failure of the super committee, if that ever really happens, I agree that would be a meaningful cut, but personally I doubt that will really happen.
    Fully agree the military should take some cuts. However, my unit, for instance, just got done with training yesterday. We can't train again until May because we can't afford the fuel or the rounds. Do you really want to go to war training every 4-5 months? I don't. In addition, before the war stared, Clinton's foot print was still on the DOD budget. I had to use bungee cord to hold my flak jacket closed back then because he cut spending so much. That's not how far we need to go back. Lastly, we are not in peacetime right now. We're still at war with Afghanistan for 2 more years. That's a long time ahead to be cutting spending already.
    “Mr. Speaker, I once again find myself compelled to vote against the annual budget resolution for a very simple reason: it makes government bigger.” ― Ron Paul
    Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty. – Thomas Jefferson

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    Re: Obama seeks 'consolidation authority' to merge agencies

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    I won't quote you whole post, just for the sake of keeping this post reasonably sized. There is A LOT of domestic spending we can cut. TSA, Obamacare, and the NLRB comes to mind. Various other spending programs come to mind. I'm not here to debate Obamacare with you. I will just say this was the wrong time to introduce it.
    I agree that there is some pure waste spending domestically. No doubt. I disagree about Obamacare and the NLRB (both of those actually reduce the deficit in my opinion), but I agree that there are some useless things that can be cut domestically. But the same is true with the military ($900 toilet seats!) and there are some particularly glaring issues with taxation on the rich like outright tax evasion too. In all three areas there is some low hanging fruit that just ought to be snatched up for sure. That said, in none of those three areas is there really enough of that kind of stuff to make a big dent.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarineTpartier View Post
    Fully agree the military should take some cuts. However, my unit, for instance, just got done with training yesterday. We can't train again until May because we can't afford the fuel or the rounds. Do you really want to go to war training every 4-5 months? I don't. In addition, before the war stared, Clinton's foot print was still on the DOD budget. I had to use bungee cord to hold my flak jacket closed back then because he cut spending so much. That's not how far we need to go back. Lastly, we are not in peacetime right now. We're still at war with Afghanistan for 2 more years. That's a long time ahead to be cutting spending already.
    What I would do personally if I was in charge of the military would be to reduce it's size across the board, but spend more per soldier. I would like to see us focus more on more specialized capabilities. I want a good percentage of the troops to be people that speak Arabic and know middle eastern cultures and Islam like the back of their own hands. I want more terrorism interdiction capabilities. I want more actual defense and less offense. Less guys that know how to man a piece of artillery and more guys that know how to resolve a domestic dispute that is taking place in Farsi. Less bombers and more computers. Less recruiting from high schools and more recruiting from colleges and even graduate programs.

    I know our military has made some huge strides in those directions lately, but I still think the military we have is one that is designed to fight the last century's wars rather than this century's wars. Look at how we handled Iraq. We treated it like we were invading Russia in 1970. We toppled their formal military command, declared victory and waited for the parades when in reality the war hadn't even started yet at that point. The real war was providing police protection, winning hearts and minds, creating stability, building democratic institutions, repairing infrastructure, preventing terrorist attacks, etc, and our military isn't well suited to those sorts of tasks at present. The reality is that those are going to be the main tasks in the next war and the ones after that too. I think we can make it more effective and less expensive at the same time by refocusing on the actual threats to our security and the actual types of wars we're going to be fighting. I think one guy who speaks the language and is good at community outreach and intel gathering and knows how to use an AR-15 probably does more to keep us safe than 10 guys who just know how to use an AR-15. To answer your question, I don't want you to have less training. I want you to have so much training that you feel like you're in an intensive college curriculum where you are learning advanced topics ranging from technical stuff to cultural stuff to languages so fast that you think your head might explode. Again though, you probably know more than me on that too, so I'd definitely be interested in your perspective.
    Last edited by teamosil; 01-14-12 at 07:11 PM.

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